You stayed up late at night, dreaming about what it would be like when you had your own place. You imagined having more space, more privacy, and more freedom. Yet on the day when you moved into your new home, you may have felt overwhelmed by the experience.
Many people feel this way. In fact, it’s normal to have such mixed feelings. After all, you’ve just taken a big, bold new step in your life. You’ve just turned things around for yourself, achieving what you once thought impossible. You’ve just changed your life beyond recognition.
Here are a few guidelines to help you orient to your new home.
Get to Know Your Neighbors
When you rent, if you rent an apartment, you don’t know your neighbors. Now things are different. You’re no longer in transition. You’re now establishing roots.
You invested a lot of time and money to be where you are now, and it would be nice to know the people occupying the surrounding spaces. You not only want to spread a little kindness, but you also need to build alliances with the surrounding homeowners.
Neighbors need each other. A neighbor can take care of a package left on your doorstep by a delivery service if you won’t be home all day. You can help your neighbor if they need someone to pick up the newspapers in the driveway if they are on a trip.
It’s nice to know your neighbors. Your neighbors, in turn, are also curious to know you and your family. When neighbors get together to help each other, it builds goodwill, enhances a sense of security, and creates community.
Since social distancing is still necessary because of the coronavirus, you can still reach out to your neighborhood through a social network app like Nextdoor. Nextdoor not only makes it easy to introduce yourself to your neighbors without knocking on their front door, but it also helps you find out about any local community events. The app also has features like location-based sign-ups to validate that you are texting a real neighbor and a Nextdoor racial profiling prevention program so you can reach out safely.
Make It an Adventure for Your Kids
You might be excited about moving to a new home, but your kids might be a little anxious or depressed about the whole thing. The way to make it fun for the kids is to make the move into something of an adventure. They may feel sad about moving away from their familiar home and leaving their friends behind.
Rather than try to explain why you are moving, visit the new house a few days before you move in and spend a little time in the neighborhood. Perhaps you can have lunch at a local restaurant or walk around the block.
Show them why they will love their new home and how they can still stay in touch with their friends online and visit each other. Show, don’t tell. Invite them into your new adventure. Moving into a new home can be challenging for your kids so do the best you can to help them settle in.
Relish the Moment
It can be overwhelming moving into your new home. It can be confusing to feel anxious when something good happens for you.
Many people suppress their natural sense of disorientation at changing their lives by getting busy right away on practical things. They get busy child-proofing and pet-proofing their new home. They rush to make sure the utilities have been set up. They run around the house locating the water valve and finding the fuse box. They pull out their toolbox and start changing the locks.
There is plenty of time to take care of all the details. But before you do anything, pause. Drink it in. This time in your life is special. Relish it. You did it! Celebrate, even for a moment, before you get lost in the details of settling in.