Moving to a new home can bring up a wide array of emotions, from excitement at a fresh start in that home you’ve been dreaming of for years, to trepidation at moving into an unfamiliar area. Maybe your move was your choice, and you’re thrilled. Perhaps you had to move because of a job transfer, or a divorce, or the death of a loved one. Or maybe you are upsizing to make room for elderly family members who need extra assistance. Whatever your circumstances, here are some tips for making a new place feel like home.
Do Your Homework
This may sound obvious, but before you move, make sure you learn about the new area you are about to call home. If you are like most people, you spent a lot of time researching the actual house, but sometimes buyers forget to look at the neighborhood as a whole. For example, if you do not have children yet, or if you are empty nesters, you may not put much thought into the quality of the schools. But this will matter when you get ready to sell down the road. Also, think about how you live your daily lives, and make sure the neighborhood you are considering meets those needs. Some want walkability, while others are looking for open green spaces and walking trails. Knowing what you want in your community will help narrow your search.
Look for Similar Comforts
Even if you are really excited about your upcoming move, there are probably a few things you are going to miss. Your favorite playground for the kids, that favorite coffee shop or Mexican restaurant. Finding some new favorites can go a long way toward making a new place feel like home. If you are able to spend some time in your future neighborhood, you may be able to find some good contenders before the big move. If that’s not an option, start looking online, and reach out to local groups on social media for recommendations. Then you’ll have a list to look forward to exploring once you do move. Finding new favorites will go a long way toward making a new place feel like home.
Broaden Your Horizons
While finding familiar comforts is important, a new start can also be a great time to find completely different events, activities, and places to explore. This is another great job for social media—if you can start connecting with locals in your new area, you can get insight into what they think are the best things about that city. You can also find mom groups, preschool or private school recommendations, church suggestions, dog park locations, and fitness center options.
Prep the Kids and Pets
Kids and pets generally adapt quickly to new environments, but this doesn’t mean you can assume everything will go perfectly. With a little planning, you can help them ease into their new home, too. Kids may want their favorite blanket or stuffed animal (or television and WiFi) as soon as you get to the new house. Pack up the moving truck accordingly, so you can get to their important items quickly. They can feel more included in the process if they help with the packing and unpacking, too.
And don’t forget your four-legged family members. Pets can get anxious just like people, and they will need your help making a new place feel like home. Familiar bedding, crates, and routines will help ease any anxiety they experience. Also, get your pets microchipped if they do not already have one. Remember to update your contact information as soon as you move, in case they escape their new yard. Local social media apps like Nextdoor have a pet registry where you can post a photo and contact info in case someone else finds your lost pet.
Any way you look at it, moving is stressful. Accept help when it’s offered. This could be in the form of a corporate relocation package, or a neighbor watching your kids while you pack. If you are moving for work, find out if you can make contact with employees in the new location before you make the move. Having some friendly faces in your new office will help your transition. Talk to your HR department as you are preparing for your move in case there are other assistance programs available to you.
Enjoy the Ride
Finally, don’t forget to look for the fun parts of moving! It’s easy to get caught up in the drudgery that comes with packing up your life and starting again. But maintaining a positive outlook and enjoying the fun parts. Once the boxes are emptied and you can relax a little, you will have a whole new town to explore.