Settling into your new home

Coping With Moving-Related Loneliness

  • After moving to a new place, don’t wait for your neighbors to greet you. Initiate the first step by either leaving a card in their mailboxes with information you are comfortable revealing, or stop by and introduce yourself. This will allow you to ease some of the tension of new introductions, as well as allow you to get to know your neighbors a little bit in case of emergency.
  • After introducing yourself, invite the neighbors for a gathering at your place. Suggest some dates and times that will go well with everyone, and make sure that no one feels pressured to attend. To do this, keep the invitations simple and informal.
  • Consider your hobbies or interests and look around the neighborhood for local organizations and clubs where you can meet people who share the same interests. This can be done either online or in person.
  • Make it a point to take walks whether you are living in the city or country. Casually meeting new people who live nearby can provide you with a sense of comfort. Introducing yourself with a smile and a handshake could lead to a new friendship, but remember to respect people’s privacy.
  • If new people move into your neighborhood, make it a point to introduce yourself and to make them feel welcome. Bonding with those who are new to your neighborhood would be easy, as you would understand each other’s situation better.
  • After moving to a new location, don’t be predetermined to be unhappy. Being angry and unhappy will only make the situation feel worse and could prevent you from meeting others or pursuing your interests. Always try to make the best of the situation; you’ll be amazed by the results once you have changed your outlook.
  • Remain in contact with people from your old neighborhood. You can also invite them to your new home or show them around your new town. Interacting with old friends will help you to be happier when making a new adjustment.
  • If you like animals, getting a pet (especially a dog or cat) will provide you with some company to ease your loneliness, and walking your dog will not only help you get regular exercise, but will also give you an opportunity to meet your new neighbors. Read our tip on How to Settle Pets In After a Move?

How to Help Children Adjust to a New Place/Home

  • If the house you are going to move is located close to your current home and you have the right of admittance, visiting the home with your children before the official move would be helpful for them to make the adjustment.
  • Remain positive and optimistic after you move into your new home, as this may affect the way your child feels about the move and new residence.
  • Before enrolling your child in their new school, take a tour of it with your child. Take him/her to the school ground, library, cafeteria, etc.
  • After the move, ask your kids how they want their room to be designed or decorated. Let your child select the items he/she will use to deck up the room. This would help them grow interest in their new home.
  • Many parents postpone telling kids about the move. Usually it’s better to tell the kids right away about the move and answer all their questions. Provide your kids with all the information regarding the move.
  • Try to lighten the mood of your children by playing small games like hide and seek and others which would also help them explore and become acquainted with the new home.
  • Try to lighten the mood of your children by playing small games like hide and seek and others which would also help them explore places at the new home and get acquainted with the new home.
  • Much anxiety children experience after the move comes from the newness and difference of their surroundings. Therefore, after the move, it’s advisable to bring back your child to their normal routine as soon as possible—regular family, meals, nap time, etc.
  • Take pictures of your children, new home, and community and encourage your child to share the pictures with others.
  • Get your child involved in community activities after the move. If they are interested in sports, encourage him/her to get involved with school or local sports teams.
  • Take your kids to local parks in the afternoon for a walk. Spend a day with your kids doing various activities such as having a picnic, going on a trip to the zoo, or visiting the nearby eco-park. These may help your child adjust to the move.

Books and movies on how the main characters deal with difficult moving situations are also great resources to help your child adjust. You can read one or two of these books with your child to help him/her understand the moving process. Some of these include:

  • Dear Phoebe, S. Alexander
  • We Are Best Friends, Aliki
  • It’s Your Move: Picking up, packing up and settling in, L. Bourke
  • I Don’t Live Here!, P. Conrad
  • I’m Moving, M. W. Hickman
  • Moving Molly, S. Hughes
  • I’m Not Moving!, P. Jones
  • Maggie and the Goodbye Gift, S. Milord & J. Milord
  • Moving Day, T. Tobias
  • Moving, W. Watson

How to Settle Pets In After a Move

  • After moving to your new home, introduce your pet to the new place and let him/her explore. This would help your pet get acquainted with the new surroundings. Initially, if your pet decides to hide away under the bed, let them remain there. Your pet may be feeling insecure, but he/she will come around when they feel comfortable
  • If you have a dog, let it sniff around your new home, and eventually he/she should feel comfortable in the home. Generally, a dog copes with settling to a new place faster than a cat. Just remember to be patient
  • Take out your dog for a walk and introduce him/her to the area around your new home, and make sure to remain calm and speak in a smooth voice when talking to your pet. Reassure him/her that they are safe and there is nothing to be nervous about
  • Keep in mind that you should bring all of your pet’s belongings: their bed, blanket, toys, food bowls, etc
  • Keep in mind that you should retrain your dog to the new noises and situations he/she will experience in the new environment. Your dog may not know what you expect him/her to do in a crisis situation at your new home. If you see no improvement in any new, negative behaviors after the move, you can always take help from professional assistants who can help you improve the situation
  • You must keep in mind that animals especially dogs are very good at picking up emotions. Often dogs understand if you feel anxious or nervous to a new place where it might also feel unsecured
  • If you have a cat, do not allow them to go outside alone until they are more comfortable with the home and the area. If they need to go outside, accompany them and bring them back inside after 10-15 minutes
  • Do not become stressed if you find your pet not eating their regular meals immediately after relocation. This may be due to your pet’s insecure feelings regarding the new location. Do not panic or try to force him/her to eat their meals, but rather calm them down, cuddle them and try to make them understand that there is nothing to fear. If their fear is something that continues for a few days, consult a veterinarian who can help you out with more suggestions.

Things to Do After You Move to Your New Home

  • Unpack and check the condition of your goods. Run the appliances and electronics, and check whether they are working properly or not. Your insurance policy may have a limited time in which you can make a claim.
  • After few hours of unpacking, go out for a walk and get to know a bit about your new neighborhood – nearby shops, medical stores, neighbors, public libraries, etc. Find out about public transport close to your new home.
  • Fill in a Change of Address form with the post office which can be done online at In the case that you are expecting a tax refund or other important mail, you should change your address with the IRS. Here is a list of other federal agencies you should notify about the change of address.
  • Send your new address to any publications you subscribe to, as it can take up to eight weeks for the change to become effective.
  • You will need a new driver’s license, as well as tags and plates for your vehicle in the new area. Consult your local DMV for the legit guidelines.
  • Get in touch with your state’s election office if you want to change your address on your voter registration record.
  • Get in touch with the local Visitor’s Bureau or Chamber of Commerce for materials you will need to get acquainted with the new town. This should include a map of your new area.
  • All of your receipts and documents should be kept in a safe and secured place. File away all documents related to the move; you’ll need them for verification of moving expenses at tax time.
  • This is the best time for a deep cleaning your new home, as all of your belongings will not yet be here. You will be able to clean the floors and windows with utmost ease. If you are having troubles with cleaning your new home by yourself, you can look into hiring a cleaning agency.
  • Make sure to keep your new home free from pests by using a bug bomb and/or insecticides. It would be best to try and arrive at least a day earlier than your moving van’s arrival in order to fit these tasks in.
  • For the safety of you and your family, change all the locks in the house. You can do this either before moving or on the moving day. This is important, as one never knows who else has keys to your new home.
  • The garage door opener codes should be reprogrammed if necessary. All the window locks must be checked to see whether are working properly or not.

Check the existing security system. If you think the home needs additional security, you can check various security options such as:

  • Door/window sensors
  • Motion detectors
  • Smoke detection sensors
  • Breakage and leakage sensors
  • Temperature change sensors
  • Close-circuit television (CCT) and wireless video surveillance (VSS), which connect to a VCR or DVR

You should know the access to the main and sub electrical panel boxes. Label the main circuit breaker so that you know about the functioning of the breakers in different areas of your home.

If you are very interested in the news that’s happening around your neighborhood, you can buy a subscription to the local newspapers.

Don’t forget to ask for the contact information of all the utility companies from the previous owner/realtor for your new home. Also, make sure to have the basic services in your name and turned on before moving in.

All your flammable and hazardous substances should be kept away from pilot lights and water heaters. There must be a fire extinguisher on every floor. Make sure everyone knows about the emergency exits in case of a fire.

The best way to unwind after a stressful moving is to enjoy a family meal at a nearby restaurant or to order something at your new place.

Get a decent amount of sleep, as you will be needing rest after a long, tiring day of moving.

Unpacking Tips After Your Move

  • The first priority would be to unpack the essential items. These things are generally loaded last in the truck & so are the first things that come off from the truck.
  • Next you can unpack the basic kitchen things such as pots & pans and then set up the major appliances like toaster & coffee jar.
  • Once the kitchen is set up enough to function, unpack the bathroom essentials like towels, soaps, toilet papers, toothbrush etc.
  • Placing the furniture won’t be a big problem if you know the layout of your new home. You can also ask the movers to place your furniture at your desired spot. That will also save you the trouble of rearranging the larger pieces afterwards.
  • Make sure that you locate the bedding & pillows and prepare your bed as you will be tired by the end of the day. If the beds are not assembled then don’t worry! You can use air mattress/sofa/futon.
  • Unpack the wardrobe box and hang clothing. Make sure you dust the closet and drawers prior to that.
  • Fragile items like glassware, mirrors & antiques should be unpacked with utmost care. You don’t have to unpack them on the first day.
  • While unpacking, try to place all the boxes in the appropriate rooms or else you have to madly search for your goods.
  • Before you fully unpack, take the time to clean each room.
  • If it’s warm & dry you can do the bulk of your unpacking outdoors.
  • Make a point to involve all the members of your family in the unpacking process as it will save time and will be fun.
  • Garage should be unpacked at the last.