Yes, there is much that you will miss about your old house and neighborhood. Moving to a new place is a lot of hard work. A new place is also likely to have some teething troubles. You can make the best of a situation and settle down quickly with the help of a few tips and tricks.
Packing and unpacking – the whole relocation gig can be hell! You may miss your old home and feel everything to be unfamiliar in your new home. You will also have to be prepared for a lot of extra work. But also remember not to stress and panic. Things will get done; sometimes they just take a bit of time. Meanwhile these tips will help:
- Perform a pre-packing purge: This can actually be fun! Old toys, books you don’t even remember buying, those ugly curtains tucked away in a loft, clothes you haven’t worn for years, old linen that has seen better days, furniture you don’t need or which may not fit in with your new place…you can get rid of all of this. Give it all away to the garbage collector, your maid, construction site workers who may be living close by, beggars at the traffic signals, a local library or to a worthy cause. And if you think that the stuff may fetch you some money, go ahead and list it on Quikr, OLX or Sulekha.
- Collect packing materials: Don’t get rid of old cartons, old newspapers and magazines. Start collecting as soon as you know you are likely to move. They will all come in handy when you pack. You may also want to keep some old sarees and dupattas to cover or pack a few things. These you can get rid of after you’ve moved. Pack a few items in overnight bags – a few clothes, toiletries, some snacks that you will need while you’re moving and for as soon as you’ve arrived at the new place. Keep some garbage bags at hand to carry some last-minute stuff that you discover (and you will discover it) after the truck has been loaded with your stuff and has departed.
- Take pictures: Before you start packing, take pictures of your home. This will help you replicate a familiar, attractive setting in your new place. In particular, take pictures of wiring of electronic items before you disconnect them. This way you don’t have to play frustrating guessing games about what goes where when you’re setting everything up in the new house.
- Make lists: As you pack each carton, suitcase or box, stick a label on it with a serial number and a short description of what is in it. There is no way you will remember where you packed anything later and these will come in really handy. For instance, if you’re wondering where your pillows and sheets are as you doff down exhausted for the first night at the new place, you know exactly where they are. If possible pack in reverse of your unpacking requirement. Typically, what you pack last – kitchen and bedroom necessities are what you will need to unpack first.
- Survey and prep the new place: Decide where things will go in your new place: position of the furniture, curtains/carpets, etc should be decided beforehand. Alterations may be required and you will want to get these done beforehand. It can be very frustrating to try and hang up curtains that don’t fit the window or the pelmet rod. If you’re shifting in summer, make sure there is at least one functioning air conditioner in your new place before you move in. Make sure your fridge, microwave and your stove are the first things to be installed. You will thank yourself for this forethought.
- Don’t refuse help: You may be lucky to be offered some help when you’re moving. If someone offers to have the kids over for a while as you pack, quickly agree. If they are out of your hair, you will get things done a whole lot faster. If someone offers to make you a meal, thank them and accept their offer.
- Read up about the new place: Find out about the attractions of the new city or the new area you’re moving into. Knowing about options for entertainment and evenings out, parks and shopping malls in the vicinity will give you a sense of familiarity and make you appreciate the new place a little more. Ask around – friends and even acquaintances on Facebook may be able to offer you some valuable insight about the new place.
- Get to know the neighbors: Make a few friendly overtures to people in the neighborhood. Getting to know people around and making friends will help you settle into a new place much quicker. Neighbors can be a valuable source of information too. They can offer you useful information about markets and mandis in the area, the situation with domestic help, availability of tradespeople such as plumbers or electricians, home delivery of items, activities for kids and so on.
- Find out about takeaways in the neighborhood: When you move into your new home, you will feel utterly overwhelmed and the last thing you will want to do at this time is go to the kitchen to make a meal. There will be a thousand things that need doing, so at this time, ordering a simple meal (think pizza or something similar, which can be eaten out of a box and doesn’t need plates or cutlery) will seem like an extremely attractive proposition. If you don’t already have these apps on your phone, now may be a good time to download BigBasket or Grofers to order provisions, and Zomato, Swiggy or Foodpanda to order food, and take advantage of the convenience they provide.
- Add homey touches, keep in touch: Some potted plants, bright curtains and pretty rugs could help add a lived-in feel to a new house and make you feel more at home. Even as you make new friends around your new home, call up and speak to your old neighbors and friends. This will help you feel less disconnected to the place you called home; it will help to make you feel the comfort of familiarity and give you a sense of continuity.