furnished quartersRelocation means new areas to explore and new routines to learn. While this can be exciting, being unfamiliar with your neighborhood can also be stressful, whether you’re moving on your own or with your family.

To cut your learning curve, here are 5 tips to help you feel at home when moving to a new neighborhood:

Learn the Lay of the Land

Part of the stress of moving to a new place comes from having no idea where to go for basic services—the grocery store, pharmacy, or post office—that you generally don’t think twice about. Give yourself some extra time to make your search more like an exciting adventure than a hassle. Scoping out your new neighborhood before you move can go a long way in helping to ease your adjustment.

Meet the Neighbors

Moving to a new neighborhood means having new neighbors. Getting to know others who live nearby can help you feel more at home. Don’t wait for neighbors to knock on your door—make the first move to introduce yourself when you see them coming or going. Once you’re unpacked, consider holding a neighborhood potluck to facilitate neighbors getting to know one another. Be approachable and open to chatting—it’s the best way to form new friendships. If you’re having trouble meeting folks by chance, consider seeking locals who share your interests in particular sports, hobbies, or activities.

Relocation Tips: Keep the Kids in Mind.

Moving with children brings special challenges, but also special joys. Helping kids discover and appreciate new surroundings brings opportunities for learning, growth, and friendship. But kids, like adults, need time to adjust to change. Your kids may be feeling a sense of loss and separation from things that were important to them, such as their former school, classmates, house, and neighborhood. Take time to communicate with your kids about these changes, and help them find solutions to stay in touch with old friends. Find comparable resources in your new location depending on their interests, whether through sports or other activities. To make them feel more a part of the process, let kids make decisions about their preferences when possible, such as having a say in new furniture or choosing their room.

Check In Before You Move

To explore your new locale with sufficient time to enjoy it, establish a local “home base.” Renting a corporate apartment or other short-term furnished apartment can be a cost-effective way to investigate and begin to assimilate into a new neighborhood before the moving truck arrives, giving you a chance to experience your new town or city from the eyes of a local.

Tap into Available Resources

There are plenty of local resources available for newcomers. Gyms and community centers offer information about classes, events, and other opportunities to meet people in your neighborhood. Chambers of Commerce, realtors, and corporate housing providers can also lay out the welcome mat through a variety of resources. These include weekly event listings that help you make the most of what’s in your area, neighborhood guides that point you toward navigating your location’s ins and outs, and local information that can facilitate finding the things you need.

While your move may not be stress-free, taking these five steps can help you feel more at home—and more quickly—when moving into a new neighborhood

Robin Madell, for Furnished Quarters