It’s exciting, unfamiliar and even a little scary, so keep in mind that your journey to a new place is also a journey to a different way of living, too. In fact, finding home as a singleton could be one of the most amazing adventures you’ll ever have.
Whether you’re recently uncoupled, widowed or striking out on your own after living with a roommate (or two), the important thing is you’re part of a new community that’s full of new people to meet, places to explore and stuff to do.
Here are five basic tips every singleton like you needs to consider in order to make this new chapter in your life the best yet.
Be Smart about Safety and Security
Unless it’s a brand-new space, you never know to whom the previous owner or tenant gave their keys. If possible, have the locks changed, and consider getting a home security system or door camera. When you move with Mayflower, you could qualify for a complimentary doorbell camera and free installation with one of ADT’s top authorized dealers.
And while this might seem a little paradoxical, urban singletons — especially apartment dwellers who don’t have a door attendant — need to find a Keeper of the Keys. This could be your super, a nearby friend or a reliable neighbor. After all, it’s no fun calling a locksmith at 2 a.m. when your keys have gone missing.
Leverage Social Connections (and Social Media)
In a lot of cases, you’ll know people (or people who know people) who live in the area. They can provide a much-needed extra level of support until you get your bearings. New co-workers are also a great resource for advice on what to see and do.
Get the word out on channels like Instagram and Facebook and ask your contacts to connect you to anyone locally they might know. That said, it can be all too easy (especially if you tend to be a bit shy) to substitute social media for “real” life. Don’t hide behind a screen; this is the time to make human connections.
Get out and about
It takes time after you’ve moved in before you’re able to settle into a routine. Take advantage of this window — step out of your comfort zone, and by all means keep your eyes, ears and mind open.
Scope out the new neighborhood. You’ll soon see the areas where married couples live with kids; younger singles hang out; major shopping districts are located; and people gather on weekends and after work. A stroll down Main Street is a wonderful way to feel part of your new community, let people know you’ve arrived, and familiarize yourself with the town’s pace and vibe.
If your new home is in a bigger city, use public transportation. That’s how the locals do it and as soon as you’ve mastered the nuances (and let’s face it, peculiarities) of the city’s mass transit system, the sooner you’ll feel at home. Larger cities will also have culture-rich neighborhoods full of authentic fare, as well as cultural experiences waiting to be explored.
If you live in a touristy area, by all means be a tourist yourself and get the sightseeing out of your system while you’re still new in town. Odds are you’ll avoid them once you’ve settled into town. However, it’d be weird to live in, say, Seattle without having been to the Space Needle.
Put Yourself on a Budget
While visiting local hot spots or dining in restaurants may sound wonderful, new singletons should always be careful about overspending, especially during the first few months. For one thing, expenses will almost certainly be higher since you’re solely responsible for the mortgage or rent, food and utilities.
If you’re coming from a roommate or partner arrangement, you’ll need extra funds to buy the stuff you used to share communally, like furniture, appliances, and pots and pans. The upside is you’ll finally be able to truly decorate according to your own personal style.
Another “budget” to think about is your time. Remember you’re no longer sharing household chores, lawncare and/or pet care responsibilities. Factor in some extra time to handle these additional duties.
Deep Dive into Your New Community
Be a joiner. It’s the best way to make new friends and open yourself up to new possibilities. For some this may be joining a place of worship or a community center. Others might find volunteering for a non-profit, participating in a book club or playing on a local amateur sports team more their style.
If you live in a city, it’s also wise to invest in a museum membership: they often host members-only events full of people with shared interests. Feeling brave? Try something you’ve never done before. Whether it’s a pottery class, a neighborhood clean-up or a Zumba session, it’s the perfect way to make friends with people exploring new things just like you.
As you explore and settle into your new neighborhood, we’re here to help. Be sure to check out our blog for tips to help your new city feel familiar — and help you feel at home.