One of the most difficult aspects of moving out of your old community and into a new one is losing all of the important social connections that tied you and your family to that place, then being forced to make new ones. After any move, it takes time to build a sense of community. However, it is so important to do so in order to make a successful transition. As a new resident, this can take some time. Finding new friends and networking is something that you will have to put the effort into in order to reap the rewards.
The best way to start is to begin with things that you find fun and entertaining–that way everyone else taking part will be certain to share some interest of yours, so you’ll never be without some common ground to bond over or a conversational topic which you can use to break the ice. If you are interested in sports and fitness, join a health or sport club. If you are interested in cooking or gourmet food, take a cooking class. If there is a Williams-Sonoma near your new place, they offer free cooking classes on Sundays. Check out their website for more information. If you like interior decorating or want to get a jump start on decorating your new place, Pottery Barn offers free decorating classes and their schedule is listed on their website. If you love to read, check out your local library to join a book club in your area. If you’ve moved with a significant other, try to get involved with couples’ activities. This can increase your chances of successfully finding others your age to bond with. Pursuing these activities will allow you to mingle with folks who share your interests.
Keep in mind that your work colleagues will be able to help make recommendations and give you guidance as well. Coworkers can be your opportunities for branching out, as you already share one important connection with them–so don’t be afraid to ask.
Children offer great opportunities to meet and build community. Getting involved in their school, the PTO (Parent Teacher Organization) or PTA (Parent Teacher Association), sports teams and extracurricular activities give you many opportunities to meet other parents. By arranging play-dates with other parents you can also help your own kids make connections, while you and the other parents can bond over any parent’s favorite conversational topic: your kids. Your involvement with the interests of your child will also help them with the transition and find friends. Staying positive and offering encouragement helps your child stay the course and make the effort to settle-in and make those important social connections.
Be patient and stay positive. Making the effort to get out and network and make those connections will make all the difference in a successful transition and build that sense of community.
A part of making these connections and settling in is finding the community-based businesses in your area that you need. Finding your nearest grocery store, Department of Motor Vehicles, dentist or dry cleaner help you begin to settle. Free internet services like MovinGal can help you make these connections. Just type in your address and you will instantly be connected to all of these local services and ratings in proximity to your address.
About the Author: Janet has extensive moving experience, having moved eleven times in sixteen years, which include domestic and international relocations. She has a Masters Degree in Urban & Regional Planning from Michigan State University and is AICP Certified by the American Planning Association. From this extensive background she has created MovinGal, a company designed to offer calm and reassurance in the chaos of moving by providing community-based information all in one convenient location so that customers can be better prepared to make a decision and settle into their future home.