By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
"It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood. It's a beautiful day for a neighbor...." - Mr. Rogers
The physical task of moving to a new home is enough to fully occupy anyone's mind while it is happening. Packing, coordinating with the moving company, getting yourself there, and unpacking are a serious marathon of challenges. But once the movers have left and your stuff is unpacked, how do you make the new place really feel like home? A good part of this process is getting to know your new neighborhood including the neighbors and all the special little quirks that make a neighborhood unique.
As professional movers, we've seen many residents settle into new homes. Today, we're talking all about exploring your neighborhood and getting to know everything the locals know so that you can soon feel like a local at home after your move.
Get the Neighborhood Details from Your Seller or Landlord
Whether you bought or are renting, there is always at least one contact you know who can clue you in on the essentials of living in the new neighborhood. Trash day, for example, is a big part of neighborhood routine, among many other little details.
- Trash Day and Recycle Policies
Ask your seller or landlord about what day trash is picked up in your neighborhood, if they don't tell you right off the bat. And if your neighborhood does recycle, you'll want to find out what the sorting rules for this city are.
- HOA Rules, Regs, and Enforcement
If your home is within an HOA, you will need to be incredibly aware of their rules and regulations. Some HOAs are very laidback and nearly invisible but some can be really picky about, say, how high the grass on your lawn grows or what colors you can paint your front door.
If you don't have a driveway or garage, it's time to learn the parking customs of your neighbors in order to fit in and, likely, gain a little local-knowledge convenience.
Take a Walk Around the Neighborhood
You may want to bicycle, jog, or walk your dog around this neighborhood hundreds of times in the future. But the best way to get started is just to take a long walk, looping several blocks away from your house in each direction. Get a feel for where the sidewalks are, how safe it might be to bicycle, and what kind of shops, parks, or venues are nearby. Every neighborhood is different, and a walk can tell you so much about what is within a few blocks of your new house.
Befriend Your Closest Neighbors
There is nothing like a positive neighborly relationship with the people who live closest to your house. It might even be worth popping over with a container filled with cookies just to say hello. Having a few neighbor friends is also incredibly useful for learning about the neighborhood. Not just what you can see, but the tips and tricks that all the locals use to enjoy living here even more.
- Meet and Make Friends
Directly greet your closest neighbors and say hello to all your neighbors who are outside when you are. Go out with the aim of making friends and connections in your new neighborhood.
- Ask for Insider Neighborhood Tips
If someone has time to chat, ask for insider tips on how to enjoy the neighborhood. You might be surprised at the variety of tips, ranging from which stoplight is the longest to which local pizza place is the best.
Get to Know Your Local Grocery Store
You will be spending a lot of time in the nearest grocery store so it's worth your time right now to get to know the aisles. Before your life restarts here at breakneck speeds, take a stroll through the grocery aisles and begin memorizing how your new source of family food is laid out. Even if you don't mega-stock-up right now, just one memory-walk through the store can save tons of time later.
Learn the Traffic Patterns
Start learning how traffic flows around your new home. Do people stop fully at stop-signs or politely pause and roll through? How long are the lights? What are the side-street shortcuts? And if you've moved a long distance, you will likely discover that things you thought were essential like freeway courtesy is completely different in your new home. The sooner you adapt, the better.
Streamline Becoming a Local
What all this boils down to are fun and helpful ways to streamline your process of becoming a neighborhood local. After all, one of the great advantages of moving into your new home is being able to enjoy your new neighborhood and feel like you belong.
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