Welcome to your new home! And, to your new town! Whew! The movers have left, the boxes are empty (well almost), and you’re on the way to getting organized. Perhaps you’ve downsized and moved to be closer to your children and grandchildren or simply decided to retire somewhere a bit warmer.
Time to take a break and venture out beyond your front door and begin getting comfortable in your new community. You may be wondering how to get involved in the community. Check out these tips to help you put down roots, make friends, meet neighbors, and feel at home:
- Play tourist. Pick a few places of interest to visit. Check the local Chamber of Commerce website for events coming up and places to tour. Learn something about your new town; then, you’ll have a place to take friends and family when they visit.
- Visit the local library. Public libraries are a treasure trove of information. Check the regional information section for the history of the area, review the magazine selection for locally focused publications (with information on many local businesses, planned events, and things to do), or read the newspapers. And don’t forget the library bulletin board. It will have flyers about happenings and opportunities for volunteering for adults and children.
- Volunteer. If you have school-aged grandchildren, consider volunteering there. It’s a chance to meet other families and spend time with your grandkids. After all, they are likely the reason you moved to the community anyway. Don’t have grandchildren? Find a non-profit or other charity organization that’s looking for volunteers. Perhaps something in which you have previous experience. There’s always a need for help at local food banks, clothing distribution places, soup kitchens, etc.
- Find a church. Visit churches and find one that makes you feel at home.
- Got a hobby? For the craft-minded, check out local clubs focused on whatever your preferred craft is. It’s a fun way to exercise your creativity and meet new friends interested in similar activities. Many also have charity initiatives as well.
- Meet your neighbors. Make a point of meeting your neighbors. Have an over-the-fence conversation or invite them over for a cookout. Sit down for a cup of coffee or a glass of sweet iced tea (the house wine of the south).
- Ask your realtor questions. It’s likely that during your home search, your realtor pointed out landmarks, schools, churches, etc., while touring houses. However, your attention was probably focused more on homes, so a refresher conversation is an excellent idea. You may have gotten a welcome bag from them but haven’t opened it yet. Now is the time — check out local restaurants (use those coupons), local businesses and shops, parks, and recreation activities!
You’re home. Welcome to the neighborhood!