A Single Parent’s Guide To Settling Into A New Neighborhood After Moving

It’s not uncommon for Americans to move multiple times throughout their lives. Some people may simply switch to another city or state, whereas others may head abroad. According to an Internations survey, reasons for moving include love or a desire for a comfier retirement. Whatever the motivation, moving offers an exciting opportunity to get a fresh start. This is especially true if you are recently divorced and looking to turn over a new leaf. The process of transitioning to a new place can be daunting, however, especially if you have a child in tow. So, let these pointers guide you through the process.

Make Sure the House Is Ready Before You Move In

You don’t want to spend the first night in your new home discovering that there’s no hot water for a shower or cooking. Before you move, check that basics such as plumbing are working and that the bare minimum safety devices such as locks, smoke alarms, and carbon monoxide detectors are in place. If any remodeling issues related to wiring, plumbing, or heating and cooling are needed, have these fixed before you move in. It’s also smart to scope out amenities before moving day. Where is the nearest pharmacy or supermarket? Do you know who to call in case of an emergency like a power outage or a broken pipe? Lining up this information beforehand can save stress down the line.

Unpack in an Orderly Fashion and Prioritize Kids’ Rooms

When it comes to the actual moving day, label boxes according to room. As you unpack at your new place, Moving.com recommends starting with kids’ rooms. You can ensure your little ones are comfortable and stay safely out of the way in their rooms while you finish unpacking in peace. Consider loading up a tablet with their favorite games and cartoons to keep them occupied. After your kids are cared for, prioritize the remaining unpacking based on the rooms you will need most urgently, such as your own bedroom and the kitchen. As you continue unpacking over the first week, you can start adding personal touches that will make it feel like home, such as kids’ artwork and family photos.

Take the Time to Get to Know the Neighbors

Once your house is somewhat in order, host a housewarming party and invite people from the surrounding neighborhood to stop by. You can simply leave an invitation in their mailbox, with a few brief lines about yourself and your child. This is a great way to get to know fellow parents in the area; some may even have kids in your child’s age range. If not, network and ask those who stop by if they know of potential playmates for your little one. Getting kids involved in local activities like sports teams is another fun way to get them settled.

Get Out and About in Your Community

The key to really getting to feel at home in your community is to get out of the house. Take the time to visit local shops and restaurants, join your neighborhood association, and host events to get to know people. If there is a public library or visitors center nearby, check of bulletin boards advertising community events. The local newspaper is also a great resource to see what’s going on in your area. Finally, a fun activity for a single parent and kid to get to know their city is a hop-on, hop-off bus tour.

While moving can be nerve-wracking for kids and adults alike, you should be able to integrate with ease. Keep in mind it will take time to adjust to your new surroundings and that you and your child may get “homesick” from time to time. This is perfectly normal. Stay positive and focus on the many exciting opportunities your new community has to offer. With an optimistic outlook, you’ll be sure to find yourself feeling at home sooner rather than later.

Author of this article, Tilda Moore, researches and writes about educational resources for openeducators.org. She is passionate about helping parents and teachers in providing kids with the best education possible. She works directly with teachers and other public education groups to ensure they are working toward our vision of constructing a reliable database of verified information