Getting Settled in a New Town

By Danny Knight

Moving is a big challenge, and making connections and putting down roots in your new location will require time and effort. 

Move and unpack like a pro

It would be great if all the work was over once the movers leave, but the truth is, you’ve completed part one of the move– unpacking is part two.

● Finding qualified movers is essential—research the best moving companies and read feedback from past customers to help you determine who to hire.

● Before your belongings arrive, clean your new place.

● Unpack essentials first. Bed linens, towels, toiletries, phone chargers, and kitchen implements for a few days should be packed together and labeled “Open First.”

● Make your bed. This will make it feel more like home, and you’ll be glad to climb into it.

● The bathroom and kitchen are high priority, so begin here.

● Declutter and donate as you unpack. Moving can change your perspective, and you may not want to keep everything you brought.

Say “yes” to everything

Although you may be tired and want nothing more than time on the couch, as much as possible, enjoy as many activities in your new area as you can.

● Accept all invitations and opportunities, even if you’re not crazy about the activity or the person inviting you. 

● Sign up for local apps, like neighborhood listservs. There’s a website to help you find local online resources.

● Introduce yourself to your new neighbors and get recommendations for everything from restaurants to gyms.

● Spend time in places that reflect your interests, such as yoga studios, food co-ops, or dog parks. You’ll be more likely to meet like-minded people there.

Find support services you need

Although looking for a new drugstore isn’t exciting, locating service providers in your new area will help you feel more grounded.

● Find groceries, gas stations, pharmacies, and public transit stops near you. Use local apps, ask everyone you meet for suggestions. Recognize that getting lost is part of the process of learning your new town. 

● If you’ve moved to a new state, register to vote, and get a driver’s license and library card. 

● Eventually you’ll need a new doctor. Consider using an online healthcare provider for convenient and less costly appointments.

Be patient with the process

Moving is a multi-component process, and finding new networks of people and services takes time.

● Feeling at home in a new city can take from six months to two years, according to some experts, so don’t expect it to happen overnight. Try viewing it as an ongoing project. 

● Ask social media friends about connections they have in your new area.

● Moving back to your hometown? Use an online search engine to find friends and acquaintances from your high school class.

● Accept that you’ll occasionally feel lonely—after all, you’ve left behind your friends, neighbors, and acquaintances.


Moving and settling in a new area is a huge endeavor, and every part of your life will be impacted. Think of it as an adventure and know that fatigue and loneliness, as well as good surprises and fresh starts are part of the process. Hire movers, start unpacking, and find the support services you need. It won’t all happen immediately, but if you consistently explore your area and make friends, eventually you’ll be happy to call the new town home.

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