Moving is stressful. From finding a new place to live to packing boxes, there are so many things to keep track of.
Moving somewhere new on your own forces you to take on all of those challenges by yourself. You may be used to moving to a new place with family, friends, or a romantic partner. What about moving to a new city where you will live alone? If you’re feeling nervous, that’s completely understandable. However, we encourage you to think of it as an adventure full of opportunity. Yes, that sounds a bit cheesy, but such a momentous life change should feel exciting.
Here are some helpful tips for moving somewhere new on your own:
Decide On an Unpacking Deadline
When you live alone, it’s easy to let the cleaning slide, and when you move somewhere alone, it’s easy to let the boxes stay where they are and to unpack only what you need, when you need it.
The thing is, you’ll never quite feel like your new house (or apartment) is your home until you unpack. Show your intention, to yourself and to any new friends who might visit, to settle in and get to know your new city.
This isn’t to say that you need to unpack everything at once, or that you should spend days unpacking without doing anything else. Instead, set a deadline for when you plan to have your home set up, with shelves, desks, tables, chairs, couches, your bed, and so on where you want them, and with your belongings and decorations all in their own place. We think two weeks is a good time frame.
Enjoy Your Job
Did you move for a job? If so, we’re guessing it’s one you’re excited for. So go in, learn the ropes, and enjoy your work.
In addition, think of work as a place to start getting to know new people. Since you’re in a new city, you may not have many friends there. If you do, that’s great, and we’ll discuss that shortly. Work can also be a good place to make friends. Even if you don’t have much in common besides work with others in the office, be friendly and do your best to get along.
Get a Job, Quickly
It’s also possible that you saved your money and moved to a new city to get into a specific industry, and you don’t have a job yet. Start looking! Keep in mind that depending on the field you want to get into, your education, and your past job experience, it might take a while to find a job you’re happy with.
If that’s the case, find other work you know you can do, and keep looking. Consider working for a temp service. Some will test your skills, and teach you new ones. Each state has an “unemployment office,” and the names vary. For example, in California it’s called the Employment Development Department, while in Indiana it’s the Department of Workforce Development. These are run by the government, and they often have classes that help job seekers develop new skills, such as resume writing.
What do you know about your city? We’re guessing you’ve discovered some interesting facts, and that you moved there because it offers specific things you like. Perhaps you’re in alignment with prevalent political attitudes. Perhaps it has a great arts scene.
Start exploring! A Google search for “things to do in” followed by the name of your city should bring up parks, museums, theaters, sports venues, and much more. Check out these places. Also, visit the local library and get yourself a library card. Find some unique restaurants and other shops. Visit a historical site or two. You may even meet some interesting people while you’re out.
Contact Your Friends
Do you already have friends in the area? If so, let them know you now live nearby and that you’d like to hang out. Schedule time to catch up. Invite them over to see your new place. Count yourself ahead of the game, because you already have a social network around you.
If you don’t know anyone in the area yet, that’s not a problem. Our next two tips will help.
Meet Interesting People
Now, if you want to ensure you’ll meet interesting people, we recommend you go online and check out Meetup.Com. Sign up for a free account, and search in your area, using keywords based on your interests. If you like playing basketball, use “basketball.” If you want to join a book club, type in “book club.” Whatever your interest, there a high probability a group of people sharing that interests already exists and welcomes new members. Find out when they gather and go to a meeting.
Mine Your Facebook Friends
These days, we all have friends on social media, primarily on Facebook, whom we like, share interests with, and chat with sometimes, but whom we have never met in the real world.
You may have friend from Facebook who live in your new city, even if you don’t know it.
If you feel comfortable doing so, announce to your Facebook friends that you live in this new city, and are wondering who else lives in the area. You may get some responses from people you’d like to meet.
Most of all, we hope you enjoy your new city and that you’re happy and successful!