Moving To A New City: 8 Insights To Help You Settle In

Are you moving to another city? Making a major move can be unsettling. Seniors offers eight tips that could help you settle in more quickly to your new environment.

Moving To A New City: 8 Insights To Help You Settle In
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Relocating to a new city can be a disorientating experience as much as it feels exciting at times. You might move for work, to be closer to family, to downsize as an empty nester, or simply for a change after retiring.

While a big move to a new city can feel overwhelming, fortunately, you’ll have a few strategies to help you adjust to your new environment more quickly. Keep these tips in mind and you could find yourself settling into your new city and feeling like home sooner than you realise.

1. Get your new place ready

Do everything you can to have your new residence feeling like home before moving day. Have the internet and utilities connected and set up your favourite photos and mementoes to make the place as much like home as possible. It’s advisable to have a pre-move checklist to help you remember everything you need to do to get your new home ready. 

For seniors and retirees, it’s important to make sure any necessary safety and accessibility features have been installed before the move. These can include ramps at entry points and grab bars in showers and bathrooms. If you’re downsizing, starting early with decluttering and disposing of the things you no longer need will also make your move easier.

2. Explore your city

Moving to a new city is an opportunity to get out and explore. Have a plan to explore your city as well as your immediate neighbourhood. Do some research online and chat to your neighbours about the best restaurants, parks, museums, art galleries to visit.

At the same time, tackle the practicalities like finding the nearest supermarket, grocer, and farmers market. If you’ll be relying on public transport, research the trains, buses, and other transport options most relevant to you. 

3. Keep up with things you enjoy

Keeping up with your hobbies is one of the best ways to settle into a completely new environment. It’s worth noting that among those in their 50s, around one-third move due to the costs of living. If this applies to you, it might be more affordable to do the things you’ve always enjoyed doing in your new city, so there’s no excuse not to stay occupied with your hobbies.

Keep active with your daily walking, running, or other exercise options. If you’re a keen birdwatcher, golfer, gardener, or hiker, find out about the best local places to pursue your hobby. 

Planning things to look forward to and continuing with your favourite recreational pursuits is vital for getting engaged with your new city. If you’re still adjusting to your new city, it will boost your mood and make your new place feel more like home. 

4. Build your social circle

Isolation can be an obstacle to settling in, so take every opportunity to build your social circle. Introduce yourself to your neighbours and chat to the locals when you’re out walking. Get involved in the community. Join clubs, volunteer associations, and social events to meet more people. 

Friends who are geographically close can provide you with the company and support that your old friends in your previous city won’t be able to. With new friends and a good support network, you’ll feel more at home and engaged with your environment. Being social is also wonderful for relieving stress and enhancing mental health and general quality of life.

5. Stay in touch with loved ones

Even as you grow your new network, don’t forget to make time for your loved ones and friends back in your old city. Although you can’t bring them with you to your new location, it doesn’t mean you can’t keep in touch with them and maintain close relationships.

Thanks to technology like video calls and social media, you can stay in touch with everyone. Accessing the support of your loved ones and friends will help keep any feelings of loneliness at bay and ensure your move doesn’t feel like you’re disconnecting from your old network.

6. Have a third space beyond work and home

When you move to a new city, your daily routine might consist mainly of going home and heading to work. It’s important to find a third space (or even a fourth and fifth space) where you can relax and spend time away from the usual settings.

While getting out there, meeting people, and joining the community is important, a third space is mainly about spending time for yourself outside the home-and-work cycle. This could be a coffee shop you like, the local park, a beach, or any place you feel at ease taking time-outs for yourself.

7. Say yes more than no

At a mindset level, be ready to say yes more often. When you make a big move to a new city, you might feel tempted to create fixed daily and weekly routines and fall into a pattern. It might be easier to simply focus on setting up your home and, where applicable, on settling into a new job.

However, unexpected opportunities, connections, offers, and activities will likely come your way as you get out and explore your new setting. 

Take a chance on doing things and going to places you normally wouldn’t. Whether these experiences are professional, social, or something else, be ready to embrace the unexpected and the novel. These could pave the way for some new discoveries and connections that enrich your life.

8. Be patient with yourself

For most people, settling in will take some time so be patient with yourself. Even those accustomed to moving to new cities will experience moments of loneliness and isolation. Stay in touch with how you’re feeling so you can take time out for yourself and get support from your social network whenever you need it.


Whether it’s for family, work, or other reasons, moving to a new city can mean the start of a new phase of your life. While the prospect of a completely new setting can be exciting, it could also be jarring at times as you adjust. Get your new residence ready as soon as possible. Be ready to explore your city, take every opportunity to make new friends, and continue pursuing your hobbies and interests.

As you make new connections, don’t neglect your old support network. Finally, give yourself time to settle in. By striking the right balance between taking time for yourself and getting out there and discovering new opportunities and connections, the whole process of adjustment could end up being easier than otherwise.