The Ultimate Guide To Feeling At Home After A Big Move

Around 12% of the American population moves each year. Many of those moves are across town, or into a neighboring city, but some of those moves are big. They are across state lines, sometimes many state lines. They take your family into a whole new arena, and those are the tough ones. Here are 4 tips for feeling more at home after a big move.

1. Do Your Homework

Once you know where you're moving, don't wait until you get there to find out about the place. Most cities and towns have a website, or at least a Facebook page. Use these resources to help you gain an understanding about how the town functions, the culture there, and what leisure activities are available. Find things you love about your new hometown.

If you are a stay-at-home parent, finding local parenting groups can go a long way toward avoiding the isolation that comes with being home all day and not knowing anyone. Socializing helps avoid depression, and having friends helps you feel relaxed and at home faster. Even if you're not a stay-at-home parent, making new friends will be important. You can volunteer at a church or community organization, take a class, or join a club.

2. Introduce Yourself to Your Neighbors

With the rise of the Information Age comes the decline of neighborhood block parties and gossip over backyard fences. That means it's unlikely your new neighbors will get a welcome wagon together and bring you fresh baked cookies. You need to make the effort to get to know them, and here's why.

  • Knowing your neighbors helps keep yourself and them safer. People are more likely to recognize and report suspicious activity when they observe it directed at someone they know.
  • Sometimes you find friends in the most unlikely places. Other times they are right across the street. It can't hurt to ingratiate yourself to your neighbors early on—they might just become your best buds.
  • Even if your neighbors aren't the sociable type, knowing them can create a real sense of community, and help you settle in more comfortably.

3. Get to Know the Lay of the Land

Taking walks around your neighborhood will give you a great idea of how the streets in your area connect. Which one's dead end? Which parts of town are safe and clean? An evening stroll can help you identify the answers to these questions.

Branching out beyond your neighborhood, get to know the major thoroughfares and landmarks. Which streets are major veins through the city? Where is the public library? Where is the DMV? Your new friends and neighbors can help you get to know this information, and that way you're less likely to get lost on your way to the grocery store for the first time.

4. Don't Waste Time Decorating

Nothing shouts "home!" more than adding personal touches to your house. After your big move, you're probably going to be tempted to spend most of your time unpacking and arranging furniture, but if you really want to settle in quickly you'll hang pictures, put up drapes, organize your new cupboards and pantries, and maybe even update the paint color. That's easier to do when you haven't unpacked anyway.

Some evidence points to elements of interior design having dramatic impacts on your health and well being. Make your house into a home as soon as possible.

All in all, moving out town or out of state is a big deal with a household moving company. If you don't put the effort in, it can take months or years to truly feel at home in your new surroundings. Don't spend that much time feeling out of place, take action right away to integrate yourself into your new home and community.