How to Settle Into Your New Neighbourhood

How to Settle Into Your New Neighbourhood
Urban Editorial July 25, 2018

Moving into a new neighbourhood after buying your first home is an exciting prospect, but it also means leaving behind the comforts of your old neck of the woods. These five tips for home movers will make sure that you feel at home in your new place as soon as possible, and can start establishing some long-term roots within the community.

Introduce Yourself

It might seem like an obvious first step, but something as simple as an introduction and a handshake can move mountains in those first days of settling in. Not only will it make you feel like you’re living next to real people and not just faceless neighbours, you might even make some new friends out of it.

Not all neighbours will want to be your best friends, and that’s perfectly fine. If your neighbours seem a little on the reserved side, then an introduction will be a good way to get a feel for any boundaries that will be in place. Do they have young kids? How do they feel about pets? Maybe they’re very particular about their perfectly manicured front lawn. Everyone has their quirks and their pet peeves, and getting to know your neighbours’ sooner rather than later could mean a less abrasive relationship in the future.

If you’ve missed those first few days to knock on the door and say hello, then you might find yourself scrambling for an excuse to introduce yourself. Why not be a cliche and bake some cookies, or even host a small get together as a housewarming party. The shy ones among us might hesitate at the thought of being out of their comfort zone, but this way there’s a reason behind your visit so there’s no need to feel awkward.

Unpack Within the Week

If you’re lucky enough to have some time off work during the move, then put it to good use and unpack every single box. Nesting is a key part of making a house feel like a home, and so arranging all of your personal belongings in their new space can do wonders for making you feel more relaxed and comfortable. Plus, if your house is in order straight away, you can make the most of any opportunities to invite the new neighbours in for a cup of tea.

Get Involved With the Community

You can get involved with people in your new neighbourhood either formally—as part of a board or strata committee—or informally, as part of a social group. You might find that your new neighbourhood hosts a weekly farmers market or an annual street parade. As well as attending these events, get chatting about whether you can help out with setting up. Going out of your way to help someone else is a fantastic way to show your community spirit from the get go.

If kids are part of the equation, then offering to lend a hand through the school community can also help to strengthen those ties. Strike up a conversation with other parents at the school drop off, and welcome opportunities to meet other parents if your kids suggest playdates or parties.

Get to Know Your Area

Taking the dog for a walk is a great tip for new movers looking to bump into locals, as well as having a chance to stroll through your new suburb’s streets. If you don’t have a pet, then maybe it’s time to start going for a morning jog, or taking the kids to the local park on the weekends. Bonding with the locals is about more than just a chat over the fence; every activity is an opportunity to strike up a conversation and start bonding.

Explore your new suburb through the eyes of a tourist—dine out once a week to taste what’s on offer, go for coffee on lazy Sunday mornings, and look for free things to see and do with the family or your partner. Moving in can be a stressful experience, so take some time out to unwind, and see what hidden gems you can stumble across in your own backyard.

Try Not to Rustle Any Feathers

Whichever neighbourhood you move to, there are likely to be some traditionalists who will scoff at the newcomers with their grand plans and modern architecture. If you are planning to renovate, erect a new fence, or drastically alter the facade of your home, then it might be worth thinking twice about it in those first few months. Chat to your neighbours to get an idea of the status quo for these sorts of things, particularly if you’re located in a heritage or traditional area.

Together, these tips and guidelines for new movers will have you part of the community in no time.

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