New Town, New You: Life Hacks for Newcomers

There’s nothing easy about moving to a new town, but there are ways to make it less intimidating. Whether you have kids or pets or have made the move solo, keep reading for quick tips on how to ease the transition.

Unpack first

You’re excited to get to know your new hometown, but scale back your enthusiasm for a moment. Your first priority is to get rid of boxes. Start by placing your large items -- beds, tables, appliances -- where they belong; then, get to work making your kitchen and bathroom usable. If you have kids, you can help the new house feel like a home by adding a few personal touches, such as family photos or their favorite toys. YouMoveMe.com asserts, however, that you’ll need to take a break to spend some time together, even if that means nonpriority rooms remain bare.

Give your pup special attention

Like your children, your dog is likely a bit nervous and ready to explore his new world. Consider hiring a dog walker to get your pup out from underfoot a few times a day during your first week so you can prioritize school registration, utility transfers, and other necessary tasks. Once you have a little less on your plate, do some exploring with your furry friend so you’ll both get to know the new neighborhood. You should also locate your local dog park, but before trekking over to it, make sure your pup is up to date on vaccinations and parasite prevention, and make sure your address has been updated on both his ID tag and microchip. Once those steps have been taken care of, he’s ready to make some social connections. Establishing a relationship with someone new, whether a neighbor or a fellow dog park frequenter, may help your dog feel more comfortable in his surroundings.

Explore the big, wide world

Now that the kids are in school and your dog can be trusted to stay home for a few hours alone, it’s time to get to know your new town. The public library, visitor center, and your local coffee shop are all great places to get a feel for the culture of your neighborhood.

Taste the town

During the first year in your new home, plan to visit one new restaurant each month. There are few better ways to dive deep into your community than by tasting what it has to offer. Don’t forget to check out farmers markets in the area for fresh fare you can prepare at home once the kitchen is unpacked.

Back at home

 There’s a lot to see, but you’ll also need to keep focusing your efforts on settling into your new home. If you haven’t met the neighbors yet, host a get together. They are just as curious about you as you are them. Realtor.com contributor Jennifer Geddes says you can also put together a little information about yourself and your family to leave with your neighbors. Before you start having people over for coffee (or something a bit stronger), take the time to get your home decked out for guests. Pay attention to color, storage and traffic flow. After all, you don’t want to host a neighborhood get together if you don’t have an inviting place to do it.

Starting over is never at the top of anyone’s want list. However, job changes, life circumstances, or even just a sense of adventure sometimes necessitate an upheaval. By getting your house organized, exploring your new community and forging new relationships, you’ll make the transition less of a chore for your entire family.