First Days

Once the truck is unloaded—by you or someone else—take a break. Make some coffee or get a soft drink. Congratulate yourselves on your safe arrival. The mountain of stuff may look insurmountable, but it’s not. (And don’t forget to make the beds.)

Next, and arguably more important, make sure each bathroom is equipped with toilet paper, soap, and towels. Put paper cups, soap, and paper or real towels in the kitchen.  Hang a shower curtain, if needed. A hot shower before bed or upon rising will feel wonderful.

Don’t try to do everything in one day. It will probably take several weeks before all the boxes are unpacked and you feel really settled and “at home” in the new house. If you unpack just a few boxes each day, the mountain will quickly become a livable home.

It’s soon time to begin making the new house feel like your home. And maybe making the town your new hometown. So get your stuff out of boxes and around the house. Get to know the neighbors. Go to the unofficial city center, the neighborhood shopping mall.

Here are a few ideas for making everyone feel at home in your new home:

  • Hook up your stereo and speakers and put on some favorite music.
  • Hook up your TV and VCR and watch a familiar feel-good movie.
  • Hook up your computer and get some fun games going.
  • Hang your favorite picture.
  • Buy a couple house plants or plant a tree or bush in the yard.
  • Put your name on the mailbox.
  • Pick up any mail held at the post office and start home delivery.
  • Register to vote.
  • Get a new driver’s license, if you changed states.
  • Change the registration on your car, if you changed states.
  • Post telephone numbers of the hospital, police, and fire station.
  • Find out about trash pick-up and recycling.
  • Bake your favorite cookies, cake, or breakfast.
  • Prepare your favorite meal.
  • Host a neighborhood barbecue.
  • Knock on your neighbors’ doors and introduce yourself and your family.
  • Call the local Welcome Wagon. They will bring you gifts, as well as gift and discount certificates.

Back Savers

Need something to spruce up the new place? Make a trip to the library. Some have framed art that you can borrow just like a library book. It can help to make your home more complete until you can choose and purchase your own art.

To make kids more comfortable:

  • Unpack some favorite toys immediately.
  • Maintain a daily schedule similar to the one the children were used to at the old house.
  • Learn about local activities for children:
  • Swimming
  • Little League
  • Story hour at the library
  • Day camps
  • Bible School
  • Park and recreation department programs
  • After-school activities
  • Make sure your kids meet local children.
  • Find out which neighbors or co-workers have children close to your children’s ages and invite them to your home.
  • Encourage your children to call, write, or even e-mail friends from your old neighborhood.

Enjoy your new home!