4 Tips To Help You Settle Into A New City

It doesn’t matter whether you’re only moving to a nearby neighborhood, or making the move halfway across the world – settling into your new home can be difficult. With time, patience, and a little help from the advice below, you’ll be loving life in your new area in no time at all.

1. Embrace the Internet

The internet is an incredible resource if you are moving to a new area. Google Maps can help you find everything you need and is more detailed and updated than pretty much any city atlas. Yelp is a great resource for finding local restaurants, grocery stores, hardware stores, doctors or dentists, swimming pools, gymnasiums and just about anything else. You can read real reviews from real people, and make informed decisions that will help you find the hidden gems and the places to avoid in your new neighborhood.


2. Be Brave

Okay, so moving to a new area in itself means that you’re already fairly courageous, but by showing just a little more bravery you will have a much easier and more enjoyable time moving into your new area. Don’t be afraid to explore. Visit new restaurants, new bars, new stores, and whatever else you can find that’s new. Most importantly, be brave and talk to strangers. Meet your neighbors, and invite them to lunch or to have a coffee with you. This will help you to not only make new friends, but also to find great restaurants, cafes, bars, and more in your area.


Even if you have a car, one of the best ways to travel through a new area is to walk. When you drive you are focussing on street signs, traffic lights, and trying to make sure you’re heading in the right direction to your destination. When you walk, however, you can’t help but notice what is around you. Walking through a neighborhood won’t only help you get oriented geographically, but it will also help you develop a feel for the vibe and atmosphere that different parts of town have. You can also stop and explore whenever you feel like it, which is much more difficult to do when you are driving.


4. Go Easy on Yourself

There’s no denying that moving to a new area can be hard. Leaving behind friends, family, and social safety nets to move into a new and different environment can be challenging and sometimes difficult. An important part of any such move is to realize that there will be hard times (especially early on) and to go easy on yourself, and those you moved with, when stressful situations arise.  Coping with the inevitable stress of moving to a new location involves taking each step one at a time, and trying not to worry about the totality of the tasks that lay ahead. Remember that challenges are a part of life, and you will overcome them (no matter how difficult they may first appear), if you take them one by one.


Kurt Jacobson is a surfing enthusiast with a background in real estate. Having moved 10 times in the past 7 years, he thrives on helping others learn from his experiences. When he’s not out shredding waves he writes about rental apartments for RentFinder.co. 


The Top Mistakes People Make When Moving Home

Moving home is a rather large ordeal and one that takes a lot of time and planning. While it should of course be exciting to be moving somewhere new that will hopefully provide you with more space and/or nicer surroundings and decorating, it is also of course going to involve a lot of moving boxes, a lot of coordinating contracts, and a lot of budgeting to make things go smoothly. And this only gets a lot more stressful and complicated when something goes wrong and you find yourself with extra things to worry about. Here then we will look at some of the top mistakes people make when they move and at how you can avoid these pitfalls.

Packing Too Late:

There is nothing quite as stressful as having to pack an entire property up in a single evening or two, and if you leave packing too late then the job can be much more daunting when you finally get around to it. Much better is to start packing early so that you can do it at a leisurely pace and so that you’re all ready to go when the time comes. Designate a room for your boxes so that your packing doesn’t get in the way, the pack early.

Taking Too Much Stuff:

When you move home this is the perfect opportunity to have a ‘cull’ of your belongings and to really cut down on the things you don’t need. If you’re a hoarder this can be hard work, but actually you’ll find it’s incredibly liberating to just let go of a lot of your stuff and that it makes moving far easier. De-clutter now, and that goes for things like washing products and food – they just aren’t worth lugging around with you.

Using One Small Car:

You look around your home and think ‘there’s nothing here that won’t fit into my car’ and so you opt against using a removals company or hiring a van. In fact though when it comes down to it you’ll discover that things like your bed – even once collapsed – are not so easy to transport. To get the most from your removals van or an extra car, hire them early and pack some non-valuable items into them the night before. This way you’ll have much less clutter around the house and the first journey will be much simpler.

Having No Overlap:

Whether you’re renting or buying, it can be expensive to have an overlap between properties because it means you’ll be paying for two at the same time at some point. This might seem like a bad thing, but actually having two properties at once is very useful when it comes to moving as it will enable you to stagger your move. If you can’t organize any overlap at all on the other hand you might want to consider using a storage unit, or even a local and generous friend so that you can begin moving some of the items earlier.

Having the Wrong Containers:

The containers you use for your packing will make a big difference to every aspect of the move from the packing to the transporting. It’s very much worth investing in some heavy duty cardboard boxes then that have lids, that are well supported underneath, and that have handles. This is better than collecting free boxes from your local supermarket even if it is a bit more expensive, as the uniform nature of the boxes will mean you can stack them more easily while the handles and sizes will be designed specifically for moving home – it makes a difference.

At the same time though when it comes to other items like clothes and DVDs, don’t be above using just a black bin bag. Sure you won’t be able to stack them like this, but if the items aren’t heavy or delicate this will mean you can store lots easily and carry them around with ease too.

Not Labelling:

Labelling boxes might seem like it’s not all that important, but it can lead to problems if you find you need a book you’ve packed, or if it means you stand the delicate crockery under the books. This can help a great deal and it doesn’t take long, so just grab a pen and mark what everything is.

Making Boxes too Heavy:

What’s the worst thing to transport? It’s books right? Of course books are very heavy when combined so a case of them can be an absolute nightmare to try and shift. It needn’t be that way though – just distribute your books evenly across multiple boxes and you’ll not even notice their extra weight.



Shruti Vaghe, the author of this article, is a freelance blogger,who often writes for, Tender Touch, a moving company in Toronto. She likes to cook and read in her spare time. You can also follow her on twitter @ShrutiVaghe.

Tools, Apps and Great Gadgets for an Easier Move

Moving day box

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 36.5 million Americans packed up and moved in 2012, a 12 percent increase from 2011. If you plan to be one of those people this year, newer apps and gadgets decrease the time and energy you spend packing, organizing and planning your move. Get ready to increase your productivity by making your move smarter and faster.

Getting Ready to Move

Once you know where you are moving, there are plenty of great apps and websites to help you find the right apartment or home. You’ll find some sites focus on certain areas, and allow you to search by price range. You can find less expensive apartments from ForRent.com by selecting a price range before you search. Once you have your apartment, start planning how to move all of your stuff and save time.

Move Faster with these Apps

Moving Day, available for the iPhone for free, helps you keep track of everything as you pack and unpack. That makes your move so much easier, and keeps those “where did my silverware go” moments to a minimum.

You can create labels and bar codes with the app, so labeling your boxes is much simpler. When you unpack, a quick scan will tell you where the box needs to go. You can also make insurance claims much faster, and figure out what’s missing in just minutes instead of hours or days.

Moving Van, also available at the Apple App Store for $1.99, is a similar app that catalogs everything inside the box. If you plan to store your items, investigate this app’s search feature to tell you which items are where. When you have boxes going to storage, your new home and elsewhere, this app saves time and energy.

If you don’t have an iPhone but use Android, Moving Planner is an excellent option for $.99. The app has more than 200 ready-loaded items to complete and check off, like address changes, setting up cable, etc.

Start Moving Online

Some of your existing furniture might not fit into your new space. If not, you’ll want to leave it behind or sell it. Use a software program like Roomstyler.com (it offers a free 3D room planner) to determine what furniture fits in your new home and where it will go before you move in.

You can also see how new items from your favorite stores will fit into your new space. Once you know what furniture you want to sell, use Craigslist to post a free ad. Another option is Call Dibs, a free classified ad website designed for military personnel. The app is also free on iPhone.

Making the Actual Move

Now, none of these apps can do any real work like move your refrigerator onto the moving truck. For that, you need a physical tool like the team strap to carry heavy objects. The strap costs around $20. Furniture casters (small boards with wheels), dollies, and lifter tools, are also good tools to have.

5 Things to Do Before You Move

You definitely don’t want to forget something during a move. WomentoWomen.com reports chronic stress can change the hippocampus in your brain and affect memory, and moving is definitely stressful. Whether you move across town or across the country, consider five things you don’t want to forget as you move:

Transfer Medical Records

After you catch the flu or while your pet has a seizure, is not the best time to realize that you’ve never transferred medical records. At least a month before the move, choose a new primary care physician, pediatrician, dentist, OB/GYN, and veterinarian. The Medical Board of California advises patients to ask their new doctor to request all previous records.

You won’t have control over how fast your previous doctor sends the records, but you typically won’t pay for records transferred among doctors. After transferring records, remember to write down your new doctor’s address and phone number and share relevant information with your babysitter, school and others who provide care for your family.

Dig Up Plants

Leaving behind the flowers your kids gave you for Mother’s Day is heartbreaking, so take them with you. If possible, follow University of Vermont’s guidelines, and wait until your flowers are finished blooming. Then, snip off the leaves, and dig up the plants. Ideally, perennials can be planted immediately in your new home. For best bulb results, replant daffodil bulbs within three weeks. Wrap tulips, irises and dahlia in a paper bag, and store them in a cool place before planting irises and tulips between July and October and dahlias in the spring.

Turn Over Home Accessories

How many friends, neighbors and family members have a spare key to your old home? The new homeowners may change the locks, but you’ll still feel more peaceful if you gather all those spare keys. Remember to turn over the garage door opener, too, and any keys to outbuildings, sheds or interior doors. These items are important features of your old home, and the new owners will want them. Trash old, decrepit coat hangers, fans, lamps and other eye sores. You can always find these items when you get to where you’re going. There are places like Interior-Deluxe.com where you can purchase modern light fixtures and have them shipped to your home.

Visit Local Businesses

Don’t forget to visit your dry cleaner and pick up your laundry before you move. While you’re in town, return books and videos to the library or your kid’s school, and cancel your newspaper subscription.

You’ll also want to change your address at the post office and arrange for mail forwarding. You face a huge library fine if you forget to return library books, but your identity is in jeopardy if the new owners of your home misuse utility bills or credit card offers with your personal info printed on them. You don’t need that hassle, so learn facts about identity theft, and take action to protect yourself before your move.

Gather Contacts

You may have a photographic memory and never need to look up a friend’s phone number, but as chronic stress affects your memory as you move, it can also make you forget things such as names, phone numbers and emails. Store all those contacts in a folder in your phone or on paper. Then, when you need to call a former neighbor or catch up with a yoga friend, you already have the number, and can stay connected after you move.

What Can You Do If You’re Sick On Moving Day?

We’re in the midst of a particularly nasty flu season, and it got us thinking… What could you do if you wind up sick on moving day? Rescheduling can be difficult and costly (most movers have a penalty for canceling or rescheduling within 48 hours of a move), and it might not even be an option. If you have to move out by the last of the month, you may not have a backup date to fall back on. Today’s blog will help you figure out the best course of action if you can’t stomach it on moving day.

1. Lifeline – Phone A Friend

See if you can have a friend, family member, or even a roommate handle the interactions with your movers. Better yet – see if they’ll let you rest up away from the move. Trying to recover from an illness requires a lot of rest, and if you’re dealing with the movers, you’re not going to get your rest. It might be a big favor, but that’s what friends are for.

2. Try To Reschedule Early

If you’re worried that you’ll be too sick to move and you have two or three days before your move, see if you can reschedule. Even if you do have to pay a fee, it’ll be money well spent. Nothing should come between you and your recovery.

3. Let The Movers Do Their Thing

This is probably best if you’ve used the movers before. Explain to the movers that you’re sick and won’t be able to be as hands-on in the moving process as you’d like to be. Let them know what is being moved (or what isn’t being moved, if that’s easier), and then let yourself rest. You can ask them to clear out your bedroom furniture, and then use an air mattress to rest on once they’re done in that room.

Of course, if you’ve never dealt with the movers before, this can be a difficult option. You want to know that you can trust the movers and that they’ll keep moving, even without your supervision.

How To Avoid Getting Depressed During Your Move

Moving to a new home is the start of a new phase in your life. By all logical reasoning, it should be an exciting experience. However, moving to a new place also means leaving the old home behind, and with that you also leave friends, neighbours, an established community identity and so much more behind. Sometimes, the move itself might not be caused by a happy, positive event.

In any case, it is not entirely unheard of to find yourself feeling depressed and under the weather during and after a house move. To help you cope with these worrying feelings, here is a list of some fantastic mood-boosting tips that will help you focus on the positive side of things and make the most of house removals experience.

The first tip is the simplest, and yet the most effective: be positive and focus on the good things. Whether the reason behind the move is a positive one or not, as long as you put your mind to it, you can easily transform the change into something happy and uplifting. You have to focus on the good parts about the move and look at all the ways in which you stand to benefit from it. Even the smallest things count, so make sure you’re grateful for all that this new place is going to mean to you!

Spend time exploring the neighbourhood. One of the best things about living in a place for long is the familiarity that comes with it. Now, when you’re in a new home, you no longer have your favourite haunts to rush to. However, instead of looking at this like it is a sad thing, look at it like an adventure: you get to discover new treasures and make new choices! Take a walk in your new neighbourhood, plan a trip to the local marketplace and plan an outing to the local picnic spots. These are fun ways to find out more about your new neighbourhood and have a great time doing so.

Focus on building new relationships. One of the most heartbreaking aspects of moving to a new home is that you have to leave your old friends and neighbours behind. Instead of focusing all your attention on the losses you experience, put your energy into making new friends. Visit your neighbours, host a get-together once you’ve settled in properly and make it a point to stop and chat with people. Very soon you’ll find yourself enjoying the company of new people and the loss will hurt much less. You can always stay in touch with and visit your old friends and neighbours too, but don’t pass the opportunity to build new bonds!

Sign up for different services and activities in your new locality. If you’re a bookworm, head to the library to get a card made and start issuing some good reads. If you are a fitness buff, find a gym or a sports complex in your locality and spend some time on getting in shape. If you’d like to get involved in a charity, locate an NGO or a charity institution and start volunteering your services and time. Doing these things will not only help you stave off the depressing effects of moving to a new place, but they will also quickly set you on your way to becoming an active, engaged and happy member of the new society and neighbourhood.