10 Ways to Make Your New Community Feel like Home Sweet Home

You’ll end up feeling like you’ve always lived there.

Reviewed by Chris Leitch

New Community

It's never been easier to relocate to a new community for work. The rise of remote working, ever more connected economies, and emerging technologies mean that if moving for work is a career goal of yours, you can easily give it a go.

If you’re considering moving for work, or you’re are already in the process of a job relocation, you’ll make the most out of your time there by actively seeking out ways to make your new community feel like home.

This article shares 10 great tips to keep in mind to ensure your transition goes as smoothly as possible.

1. Introduce yourself

The first thing you should do when you move to your new community is to get out there and proactively introduce yourself. Start with your neighbors by popping round to knock on their door with a card, a gift basket or even a bottle of wine — they might even do the same to you!

As you visit the local area and start to find your way around, ensure you introduce yourself to people that you meet, such as local workers like the mail person, gardeners, or owners of local stores. This way, you’ll make a positive first impression, which means locals will be delighted to assist in you settling in.

2. Host a housewarming party

One of the most fun ways to get to know your local community as well as meet new people is to hold a housewarming party!

Think about how many people you can comfortably host in your house and garden, and send out invites accordingly. Make it as big a bash as you can comfortably manage, and consider inviting not just your neighbors but also local community and business leaders — and maybe even your friends and family so you have some “moral support” while you break the ice.

Lay on as much of the hospitality as you can, but don’t be afraid to respectfully ask visitors to bring a plate or bottle of something, just to ensure it’s a good time had by all.

3. Join a local organization

Local community organizations can include the neighborhood watch, town council, parent–teacher association or chamber of commerce. There are lots of ways to volunteer your time to help with these organizations, from simply being an extra pair of hands to more technical roles like secretary or treasurer.

Keep a lookout in local newspapers and on social media for opportunities to support, and answer the call right away to show that you’re enthusiastic and proactive about making your new local area an even better place to live and work.

4. Volunteer for community projects

Participation in local community projects is a great way to settle into the local area. These projects can take many shapes and forms, but some common examples could be community gardening work, litter picking, supporting a church fete, or painting the fence of the local school.

Leaders of these projects will never have enough people to support, and if you volunteer your time to get stuck in and help, this will be regarded extremely positively. You will also meet new people and maybe make some friends along the way.

5. Join local community forums

Community forums can sometimes exist “in person” as a regular sit-down event in a public building like a school hall. Most commonly, though, these are online, via social media or on a more dedicated internet focus.

Either way, when you move to your local community, ensure that you join and participate in these forums. You can initially just post to say “hello” and contribute, but over time, you might want to raise questions or concerns yourself, or simply use the forum to invite people to events you are hosting.

6. Stay in touch with your friends and family

Even if they might be many miles away, when you move to a new community, your friends and family will feel as close to you as ever. It's essential that you stay in contact with your loved ones, as they will offer you a welcome dose of familiarity as you settle into your new local community, and they might also be able to offer advice and support to help you transition.

Moreover, friends and family are invaluable emotional support. Acclimatizing to a new community rarely goes perfectly smoothly, and you will be grateful for a confidante or two when you need a little reassurance.

7. Shop at local small businesses

Taking the time to visit the local businesses around your new neighborhood is a win-win.

Firstly, it means that you’re seen to be passionate about supporting the small business community and giving back to your local area. Secondly, shopping in smaller shops like local grocery stores will enable you to meet local people much faster than going to larger out-of-town shops.

You’ll likely bump into the same local people repeatedly, breaking the ice and making it easier to chat about where you live.

8. Take up a hobby

Taking up a new hobby or finding places to carry on practicing your current ones is a great way to feel at home in your new community.

If your hobby involves getting out and about in the area, such as attending a fitness class or joining a board game club, then use these opportunities to share your passions with other people. The chances are that whatever your hobbies might be, there will be a local group or online forum with likeminded devoted to it.

If you’re unsure about a new hobby or simply looking for inspiration, then take a look at community noticeboards or forums to contact other people looking to share activities and interests with others.

9. Explore your local area

Exploring your local area and attending community events can be a great way to settle into your new home. Visiting places like gardens, the town center or local parks can help you understand where everything is, and it will ensure your face becomes a familiar one with time.

If you have a family or a pet dog, bring them along so you can all explore together. This gives the added benefit of the community getting to know all of you together; strangers bond really well over pets and getting to meet the family.

10. Research your community before you arrive

Take some time to research your local community in advance of your work start date. This might include looking into important information such as real estate and housing via community development organization websites (your employer might also offer relocation packages to support with this).

Other things to research in your community could be cost-of-living information, where services are located, who the main points of contact or good people to know might be, or browsing local forums and social media pages to get a head start on what's going on in your new home.

Final thoughts

Moving to a new community can be great fun, but it takes some effort from you to make the experience rewarding and enriching.

Be sure to make the most out of relocation assistance from your workplace to facilitate the transition, but the best way to make your new neighborhood feel like home is to use a combination of the tips above to get involved in the community comings and goings.

Remember to give this process time and be patient. It will be unlikely that you will feel adjusted to your community right away, but if you get stuck in and meet new people, you will begin to feel at home in no time at all.

Got any other tips? Let us know in the comments section below.