Making Your New City Your Home

It’s a widely known fact that one of the most stressful events in a person’s life is moving. Coupling that with moving across the country to a new and unfamiliar city can make the stress overwhelming. Losing access to friends and family, having to find a new favorite restaurant, new doctor, and preparing for the unknown can leave you feeling lost in your new locale. But preparing for your move can alleviate the feelings of displacement, and allow for the excitement of new opportunities to arise.

The home you are leaving behind is more than four walls, and your attachment to it deserves to be acknowledged. During the process of packing your home, use this time to realize what items in the home are of utmost importance to place in your new home, and donate what you can live without. Rely on your friends and family for practical help, such as organizing and packing, but also ask if there are any items of yours they may find useful. You can also ask your friends and family if they have any recommendations for your new city, such as restaurants, or friends to meet.

Taking the time to organize and prepare can be one of the most primary avenues of alleviating stress. Ideally, having 2-3 months to get everything in order is recommended. Arranging the transfer of utilities, medical records, banking history, and children’s schooling can be a daunting process. Organizing a to-do list can help verify that nothing is missed. When advising professionals (doctors, accountants, veterinarian, etc.) of your relocation, don’t be afraid to ask for referrals in your new city. Keep all of your documentation together and in a safe, secure place and transport it yourself to your new home.

Cultivating that “at-home” feeling in your new city can begin prior to packing your current home. In today’s technological age, feeling out a new city can be done with a few simple internet searches. Many cities have social media groups that can be used to get recommendations for everything from pizza to physicians. Posting a simple request with a note stating “I just moved here,” can yield you a plethora of suggestions. Also, checking out places on Yelp or Google Maps that you want to try can also be helpful in getting you out of the house and meeting people in your new city.

Transitioning to a new city (and a new job) can take time, and you should allow yourself as much time to adjust as you need. Even if you are looking forward to the move, taking the time to prepare and have a positive attitude about the changes coming your way are an essential part of surviving moving with your sanity intact. Some regret is expected, however second guessing yourself doesn’t mean the move was a mistake. And if, after a while, your new city still doesn’t feel like home, you can always move again.