Getting settled into your new neighborhood after moving
When you move to a new neighborhood, it doesn’t just mean a new home to learn to get used to. It means a whole new set of new things that you will find yourself faced with, from new neighbors to new surroundings; and settling in can be harder than you might think. Moving into a new home is a unique opportunity to start a fresh new life in these new surroundings and one that you should try to embrace. Don’t worry about what you have left behind but instead look towards the future and approach these new changes with excitement; look on it as a positive.
Many people find meeting new people stressful, and it can be, but there are things that you can do to make it easier.
Get out there
It can be very tempting when you move to a new neighborhood, to spend all your time trying to get your house sorted out. There might be repair work or decorating that you would like to get sorted, to say nothing of all that rather tedious unpacking you can find yourself with. Its understandable that you will want to sort everything out as soon as possible and get back into a normal day to day routine but it is important to make sure that you take breaks otherwise it can be overwhelming. Take time out from your unpacking to explore your new neighborhood, this is especially important if you have children, as it a good idea to make sure they know their way around. It will also give them an opportunity to possibly meet some of the other kids in the area and even begin to make some new friends.
There is plenty of time to sort your house out. Remember, it took you plenty of time to pack so allow yourself a good amount of time to unpack as well. And if your children make friends, they can be outside playing and having fun and not getting under your feet when you do need to get on with the unpacking.
Be bold and seek out your neighbors as soon as you can, go ahead and introduce yourself and your family. There is a good chance they will have seen you move in and may be curious about the new addition to their neighborhood, and while some people might come over and introduce themselves on moving day, there will be those that won’t want to bother you on what can be a very stressful day. So, don’t wait for them to come to you.
If people do knock and introduce themselves, no matter how tired or stressed you are, remember that first impressions count and a friendly “Hi” will go a really long way to creating the paths for possible friendships. Your neighbors are probably just as curious about this new person on their street as you are about them.
While you might have taken some time to explore the new surroundings when you were looking at property there is nothing like exploring when you have finally moved in and have a base to return to. Take a walk and find out where your local store is, perhaps find your nearest coffee shop. If you have children make sure that they are familiar with the neighborhood as well. You might want to find the local park, and depending on the distance to the school they will be attending, walk the route so they know exactly where everything is. Being out and about also offers you a great opportunity to bump into your new neighbors if you prefer not to knock and introduce yourself. They are sure to be able to offer you helpful advice about the nearest amenities or even the best transport routes, and they will also be able to tell you the places to avoid.
Once you are in and everything is sorted the why not throw a housewarming party for all your friends and new neighbors. There is a good chance some of them might have been on friendly terms with the former owners of your new home and are not only curious to meet you properly but also dying to see what you have done with the property.
Organizing a party is also a great way to distract yourself from any work you still have left to do on the property, and it is a really good way to meet new people. It might be a good idea to invite people in person, then you can also introduce yourself, but if you don’t have time or prefer to write an invite then this is also perfectly acceptable.
Don’t plan anything too formal – drinks and snacks with the opportunity to mingle and chat is the best bet, with perhaps a little music in the background, but not too loud. Relax and get to know your new neighbors, it’s unlikely that you will all hit it off immediately, friendships can take time but making this first step is a great way to show you want to be a part of the community. You might find yourself being invited to coffee or to join a local club.
If you have children make sure that they also get to meet the local children in your new neighborhood. Some of them may be in the same class at school which may just give them that extra bit of confidence when it comes to starting a new school – something which can be quite a scary experience for many children. Pretty soon, hopefully, they will be asking you if they can go out to meet up with other children, have them over for play dates and who knows making friendships that will really help them to settle in.
Do remember, while it takes time to truly feel like you belong in a new neighborhood after moving into a new home, there are things you can do to help you and your family settle in quicker.