Welcome to the Neighborhood!
Congratulations on your new home! It’s been a long road, hasn’t it? First the searching, then the deciding, then the negotiating, then the waiting, and the financing, and the moving, and finally…you’re in your new home. That’s a lot of work.
But that’s not the end of it. You still need to unpack and get settled. You could take your time if it were just you and your partner, but when you have kids involved, going at your own pace doesn’t cut it anymore. So what can you do to enjoy your new home?
You make it fun! And this guide is here to help show you how to add some fun and lightness so that your awesome kids – and maybe you too – can enjoy the move-in process.
The Move-in Process
Can you think of anyone who enjoys the actual moving process? Probably view few, if any at all. That’s because it is long and it is tiring. So that seems like the perfect opportunity to inject a little fun into the mix!
Try to corral a few friends. I know, they don’t like moving to begin with, and moving someone else’s stuff…well…double not fun. What you can do is ask them for a teeny bit help. Maybe not the whole time of the move, but maybe an hour here, or an hour there. Someone to listen to you, someone to help you say goodbye to the old place, someone to be there when you open the door of your new place.
Then you need to add in some fun music! Nothing makes work seem less…work-y…than some great music. But don’t play it too loud – you are going to live in the area with your new neighbors.
And what would moving be without food? Beer and pizza are the usual mainstays, but what if you shook things up a bit? Got some gourmet sandwiches, charcuterie-to-go, or brought in some BBQ?
Even if you don’t have any friends or family who can be around on moving day, great music and food will still help you and family get past the moving day hump.
The Nooks and Crannies
So you have just moved into your new home. Of course, it has the kitchen, the bedrooms, the bathrooms, the hallway. Depending on the type of home you bought, you could have a driveway, garage, deck, pool, den, and a bunch of other neat places. Your mission: find them!
OK, this may sound a little silly. You obviously saw the home at least once before buying it, and the home inspection report lists the rooms in the home. What makes this time different is that all of those rooms now belong to you. So find the little shelves, the space under the attic, the drawers in the kitchen. Start looking for just the right place to put your keys, the special spot for your kids’ backpacks, and the area that will store mobile devices.
The whole point is to figure out how you and everyone in your family can find the spots that will hold each of your things, especially as you begin unpacking. Once you do that, the house will start to feel exactly what it is: your home.
Make It Your Own
Even after you have checked out your new abode and claimed your individual spaces, you still have some work ahead of you: making the place your own. And while it does involve unpacking, it isn’t only a matter of unpacking. Ask yourself this question: does your stuff fit into the spaces you have? Or, does your current stuff work with your new space?
You may simply try to recreate your old home in your new one. But STOP! This isn’t your old home. It’s your new home, so have fun with it! You can always try the ye olde remodeling, but that can get expensive and messy really fast. So start small. Paint, of course, is always a good standby for a great pop of color, especially when it comes to your kids’ spaces.
But first, try really easy things. Maybe move your living room rug into the den. The couch – would that go in your master bedroom? Try a new configuration in the dining room. Move things around, mix and match your existing stuff. Decorating your new home doesn’t have to cost you a dime….although maybe a bit of elbow grease.
Also, feel free to get rid of stuff. Even if you bought a larger place, don’t feel obligated to keep things that no longer work with your space. It’s a new space, so make the most of that. Get out of the possession funk, and let your space feel free.
Nice to Meet You!
There’s more to moving than the house itself. One guess is that you’ll have neighbors. They may be really close by, if you are in a condo, or they may be further away if you have settled into a rural area. Either way, people are out there. And your second mission is to find them!
And you want to make this fun, especially for the kids who would love to meet some new buddies. Scout out the local parks and green spaces. Visit a few garage sales. Check out any community gatherings that may be posted on public boards or lamp posts. Or even just go for a walk. And one more thing – don’t forget to say hi! If you let people know that you are new, chances are your neighbors will open up and let you know the ins and outs of what is happening. And nothing beats a smiling face and a little conversation, so go for it!
The Great Neighborhood Explorers
Do you know what makes a great community? It’s one where…sing with me now…everybody knows your naaaame! It may sound hokey, but regardless, it’s true. So in addition to the parks and garage sales, you also need to get around and check out the local amenities. Maybe the local fruit market? The bank? The dry cleaners? Your place of worship? These are other places where you can start to meet new people, who can eventually become familiar faces both for you and your kids.
Take a walk or a drive and figure out what your neighborhood has to offer. And then use those amenities. The more you use them, the stronger your ties will be, and that makes the community even better and happier.
Take It Easy
It looks like you’ve been busy. Moving, unpacking, decorating, and exploring. You must be tired! Come here and put up your feet. Take it easy.
That’s another way to have fun with your new home – by relaxing! Yes, the “r” word. People are always busy, on the go, running here, getting there…when do you have time to relax? So plan some time with your family simply to take a break in your new home. Plan a movie afternoon, a pizza night, a pancake breakfast where everyone wears their pajamas until noon. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you won’t get settled quickly either. It’s OK if boxes are still packed or you can’t remember where you put the broom. Sit back and enjoy time with family and share a few laughs. That’s what makes life sweet – time together.
Your Handy Dandy Go-to List
The above information aims to help you have fun while moving! Unless you prefer lists. So here is a list of quick points that you can use to make the process of moving to your new home safe, fun, and easy. Enjoy!
- Let each kid pack a small backpack with their favorite items and books.
- Keep a cooler filled with water and healthy snacks available.
- When you need a laugh, tell a corny joke or two. Try this one: Why did the pear go out with the apple! Because it couldn’t get a date.
- Have a pizza party on your first night at your new place.
- Also on your first night: have everyone camp out together in the living room.
- Moving is stressful, so try and focus on the positive aspects of your new home.
- Take breaks while packing and unpacking. A walk or a Frisbee game will get you outside for some fresh air.
- Definitely get a babysitter to let the kids have some fun while you parents deal with the little things.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Unpacking takes time – there’s no award for the fastest unpacking. So enjoy the journey as much as you can. Good luck!