Finding your niche

New Home, Moving Boxes, House Keys

Finding Your Niche: Tips for Settling into a New City

You don’t realize how comfortable you are with your daily routine until you have to move to a new city and start all over. Over the years, you’ve found the best route to work, a convenient dry cleaner, your favorite coffee shop, restaurant and shopping center. These are all touchpoints of a comfortable lifestyle: You use them without even thinking about it. 

Moving to a new town means starting all over and finding a new routine. It can be an unsettling adjustment, so take time to get comfortable in your new surroundings and do some looking around once you hit town. Consider the following five tips to help you get settled and feeling at home: 

Get settled

There’s a lot to see and days of exploring to do, but first things first - you need to get the daunting but extremely important tasks done. If your new residence is in a different state, you’ll have to choose a new auto insurance. Regulations vary by state, so you’ll need to learn which ones you need to follow. Where you live can have a major impact on the cost of car insurance, so make sure you compare coverage options and get quotes to help you save money. If you live in a state with high premiums, there are still ways to lower your rates, such as combining auto and home insurance policies, having a clean driving record, and not getting into any accidents. 


Now is also a good time to focus on getting your new home organized with everything just where you want it. Being able to find what you want, when you want it, can help you feel comfortable and more confident about reaching out and making connections in a brand new city. Pay special attention to the kitchen and bathrooms, rooms that really need to be completely set up and well organized for the house to function. Decorating can come later but you may want to hang up a few familiar items such as the family Christmas portrait right away just to help everyone feel more at home. And be sure you know where the water shutoff valve and electrical junction box are in case of an emergency. 

Venture forth

It’s a good idea to spend a couple of days in your new hometown just to get a feel for things and find your way around, but that’s not always possible. If you’re coming in as a complete stranger to the place, it’s helpful to take time and figure out how to get to the office, the grocery, the bookstore, a nearby park, and the closest hospital rather than feeling your way around when you really need to know. Check out a few restaurants; find a movie theater; a museum or art gallery to begin getting comfortable and feeling like a member of the community.

Reach out

Being part of a community means reaching out to people and making new acquaintances. Connecting with the locals is usually the best way to learn the ins and outs of a new city. Sometimes just chatting with someone can lead you to the best place to take the family out for pizza, where the most popular golf courses are, where you can drop off donations (a handy thing to know as you move in and go through your stuff) and where to get good fresh bread. Consider inviting the new neighbors over for a cookout or to watch a football game (knowing your neighbors can pay dividends if you ever have an emergency). 

Co-workers at your new job will also prove to be valuable sources of local information. If you have a dog, consider hiring a dog walker or dog sitter while you’re unpacking and putting a new home together. It’ll keep your pooch active and away from all the chaos at home, which can be upsetting to a dog. Your dog walker may be able to put you in touch with other local services and amenities.   

Leverage affiliations

If you have professional or personal affiliations, relocation is the perfect time to take advantage of them. For example, as a member of your alma mater’s alumni association there’s a group of local people with whom you have something in common. Become active in your local chapter and take part in any events they may sponsor. The same goes for any professional organizations to which you may belong and any local group you may become a part of.  

Find your happy place

If you’re missing that favorite hangout from your old city, it’s time to find a new one in your new hometown. Keep an eye out as you make your way around town. Look for a quiet, green space that appeals to you, or perhaps a quaint bookstore or coffee shop where you can be comfortable and relax for a few minutes during or after a chaotic day at work. 

Don’t worry if things don’t fall into place quite as quickly as you’d like. Settling into a new home and a new routine is always a challenge and it takes time. Don’t worry - it’ll come together and one day that strange new city will feel like home.

Courtesy of


Natalie Jones

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