Finally! The moving truck has gone, your boxes have been unpacked, and you are settling in on the couch of your NEW living room in your NEW house!
How amazing does that feel? All that hard work, all the stress, and all the savings have finally paid off.
Congratulations on being a homeowner!
However, you might have a tiny niggling feeling in the pit of your stomach: you are now part of a new neighborhood with new people and in a new area.
It is absolutely normal to stress about these types of things. You have to start completely over and remind yourself to drive to the correct home on your way from work.
Moving into a new home means you have to acclimatize yourself to your new surroundings. It can be very exciting to explore your new surroundings and meet the neighbors, but it can also be stressful when you know you have to form new relationships with people – and avoid getting lost on the way to the supermarket.
There are many easy ways in which you can make this process easier and here are a few things to consider.
#1 – Get involved in the community
Whether you have moved to a bigger city or whether you have moved to a smaller town, having a sense of community gives you peace of mind and it makes you feel like you are part of the neighborhood. However, this takes effort and time.
Finding things that connect you to people and the community can be very tricky. Many people opt for volunteering at shelters, getting involved in your child’s school, or finding a niche at your job.
Community service is one of the best ways to create ties with the people around you. There are many opportunities at shelters for the homeless or for abandoned animals. Your workplace, church, or your child’s school might also be very involved in charity work that you can take part in.
Think of something that you love doing and find a group that allows you to do that in your area – whether it’s biking, hiking, or painting.
It would be even better if you could find a group that shares the same hobbies and interests that you used to do before you moved. Even saying that you are new in town will provide ample opportunities for new friendships!
#2 – Get to know your neighbors
Your neighbors become your closest point of contact in the community. These are the people that you see when you drive out of your garage in the morning or when you run down to put out the refuse bags in your pajamas.
This might be the last thing on your to-do list but getting to know your neighbors might lead to knowing other people in the community and making new friends through them. It also provides a safer community when you know there are people watching out for you.
If you find it difficult getting to know the neighbors, use your daily routine as bait:
- Use your front porch, balcony, or yard as much as you can: instead of being in the backyard, rather spend time where your neighbors will see you and interact with you. Being out in the open is perfect for initiating conversations.
- Shake a hand a week: Make it a priority to meet one new person in your community every week. You can start by taking something over to the neighbor’s house like cookies or a plant. A gesture like this will definitely go a long way.
#3 – Get back into your groove
If you have kids, the move might have thrown them completely off, so it is important to get back into your routine as soon as possible.
If there are things your kids used to look forward to when you lived in your old home like Friday afternoon ice creams, don’t skip out on that.
If it is during the school holidays, take your kids to the new school so that they can see what it looks like and explore your new surroundings with them.
#4 – Be a tourist and explore the neighborhood
Building on that idea, a great way to assimilate yourself into a new neighborhood is to familiarize yourself with it. Pretend you’re a tourist, grab the camera, and set out to see what the area is all about.
Your community library is a good place to start to see what events are taking place and what magazines or newspapers are available. Ask your neighbors where the best place is to shop and where the bargains are. Try to get involved in your child’s school and meet with parents. This will definitely help in forming friendships.
Being a tourist in your own backyard is embracing the fact that you don’t really know much about the area. Research local fun family activities and get the whole family involved. This is the best way for you to feel at home.
You can simply check your town’s schedule online or join a Facebook group where activities and events are advertised.
#5 – Celebrate the new beginning
Planning a party is something that you probably haven’t even thought about, but maybe it is time for you to break out the snacks and invite people over.
A gathering is the perfect way for you and your family to meet your neighbors, make new friends, and celebrate your new beginning.
Keep it simple and welcoming.
Guests know that you have just moved in and they aren’t expecting tea for the Queen. If you don’t want to plan a party, do something else to celebrate the big move: decorate the home, join a gym or a health club, or take up a new hobby.
In any of these cases, you are bound to meet new people and make the area your own.
Starting fresh in a community might be daunting, but if you put on your friendly face and your stunning smile, you will make friends in no time.