Relocating your family is a lengthy process. You first must sell your home and find a reputable real estate agent to help you navigate the house-hunting experience. Then you have to plan the move (and possibly find a moving company), pack up all your things, and make the trek to your new city.
But relocating is also an exciting time. Months of anticipation builds up, and then it hits you, as you’re surrounded by boxes, that this is your new home. It’s finally come. But now what? Here are some tips on how to settle into your new home and adjust smoothly.
- Switch Registrations and Insurance
After a move, the focus tends to be on unpacking and decorating, but certain changes need to be made to important policies and registrations, such as:
- Applying for a new license or changing your address on your current license.
- Switching your contact information with your health insurance, bank accounts, retirement accounts, investment accounts, phone provider, etc.
- Switching your address with your car insurance provider or, if in a new state, switching your auto insurance coverage.
If you need to switch your auto insurance coverage, do some research to determine your state’s minimum requirement and whether it’s best to extend coverage based on underinsured and uninsured statistics. Also, look at the cost of different policies. This way, you can determine whether you should opt out of unnecessary coverage, purchase full coverage, or get personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. PIP coverage covers you and any passengers in your car. Some policies even cover and lost wages and other types of damage.
- Begin Unpacking and Organizing
During your first week in your new home, you will want to give your home a thorough deep cleaning and start unpacking your belongings. Children often have a difficult time adjusting, so it can help to make their rooms your first priority. It can also help to involve the kids by having them unpack some of their belongings. That way, it’s a family activity, and you can even have rewards each evening, such as game nights or dinner out.
Unpack one room at a time and organize the items as you go. Seeing your belongings in the new home will help you to envision any new decor you may need to add later down the road.
- Get to Know Your Neighborhood
Exploring your new neighborhood and getting the lay of the land is an activity for the whole family, and it will make adjusting to the new home easier. Make a new-neighborhood bucket list that requires you to find some spots everyone loves. Your list could look something like:
- Locate the best parks.
- Get a library card at the local library.
- Visit all the coffee shops and find a favorite drink.
- Attend one community event a month.
- Check out the town visitors center.
- Take one tour.
- Ask five people for their favorite places and visit those places.
- Shop local and find locally made goods.
- Host a housewarming party and invite the neighbors.
Even if your home isn’t fully unpacked or decorated, getting your bearings around town will help your family to start building familiarity.
This is actually one of the most challenging parts of relocating for many families. Amid the busyness of settling into your new residence, it can be tempting to stay cooped up. However, the quickest way to get comfortable in your new environment will be to meet your neighbors and make friends with people in the community who share your interests. Start by seeking out local events, go to locally owned establishments, and look online for community groups.
Doing a little planning will help your relocation go smoothly. Remember to get all your family’s registrations and insurance policies in order, and strategize your unpacking process. Leave the house to explore your new neighborhood and meet people. Most importantly, try to enjoy the journey with your family, and allow time to get settled in.
Photo Credit: Burst
Written by – Kris Louis of Parentingwithkris.com