After Moving to a New City, What Should the First Stop Be?
Posted By Marisa Sanfilippo on February 24, 2017 at 4:27 pm
To our readers: Moving is stressful, especially when it’s outside the mover’s comfort zone. GoodCall®’s Marisa Sanfilippo recently talked with experts about getting comfortable when you relocate. Earlier today, she addressed things that need to be done soon in a new state. Now the focus is on moving to a new city.
Moving to a new city is stressful, of course, but there are steps movers can take right away to begin blending in with new neighbors. Not all these steps are obvious nor will they be stress-relieving right away.
That’s why a good first step could be checking out the local library. Moving expert Ali Wenzke calls libraries “a refuge from the moving chaos.” After arriving in a new city, she takes her children to the peaceful familiarity of a local public library to enjoy a quiet reading oasis or give children an opportunity to meet new neighbors at story time.
What the library offers to new city residents
Wenzke isn’t the only library advocate. Trey Gordner, CEO of Koios – a company that aggregates free online library resources, knows the nation’s libraries offer services that many people don’t realize are available. Some include:
- Access to e-books and audiobooks.
- Local and federal tax-filing assistance.
- Access to computers and printers with internet connectivity.
- Study rooms for completing tasks in a quiet space.
- Free wi-fi
- Free passes to local museums.
One particular service movers may embrace is help with job training and job searches. This was authorized by President Obama in 2014 with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. The act made libraries eligible to access federal funding to help residents with their quest to locate, qualify for, and obtain work.
Alaska public librarian Sara Bornstein explains, “Libraries are community spaces. You’ll usually find a bulletin board where you can learn about community activities and the library will often host their own community events.” She further explained that while visiting the local library may not solve every new resident’s problem, the librarians working there will likely know where to look for creative solutions.
Requirements for obtaining library cards to unlock some of these services will vary by location, of course.
Other early steps for new city residents
What are some other things people moving to a new city can do to feel comfortable? Get out of the house and leave the boxes unpacked. But don’t hop in the car.
Consider the following:
- Dog blogger Brad Nierenberg, not surprisingly, suggests an activity involving canines. “Anytime I’ve relocated to a new place, it is my dog Bitsy that introduces me to new people. With my dog in tow, I find people are eager to approach me and introduce themselves and vice versa. Dog fanatics have an instant topic of conversation. From meeting on the street and friendly hellos, it is natural to ask a neighbor to join you on an occasional walk, hike, or trip to the local dog park.”
- Even if you don’t have a dog, a walk is a great way to meet neighbors in a new city and relieve stress from moving day, says Mike Glanz, CEO of HireAHelper. “Becoming familiar with the neighborhood and meeting neighbors is often as easy going for a stroll. If you see people active in their yards, raking leaves or watering plants – it could be the opportune time to make a new acquaintance,” Glanz says. “It’s particularly important for kids who who are new to the neighborhood to roam the neighborhood with a parent first for safety reasons.
- Don’t have a dog and not comfortable talking to strangers? Kerri Gois, marketing manager at BroadbandSearch.net, suggests coupling the walk with edible icebreakers. “I have moved to a new city every 3-5 years for the past 15 years,” Gois says. “I have found the best way to get involved in a new community is to put yourself out there, whether you find volunteer opportunities or attend a class.” Those take time, but she has a more immediate suggestion. “I always introduce myself to my immediate neighbors and bring them a little basket of baked goods. You have to put yourself into the community in order to meet people.”
That’s the key. Being accessible to people in the new city will make it easier to meet them and become part of the community.
When moving to a new city, it may be tempting to focus immediately on unpacking and establishing a new routine for dealing with daily issues. But movers shouldn’t neglect steps that will help them settle in to their new homes – maybe even before emptying all the boxes.