Moving to a new city or suburb can be daunting, especially when you don’t know anyone in the area.
The move is stressful enough (although it doesn’t have to be), but an unfamiliar neighbourhood is an added challenge.
We offer 11 tips for moving to and settling into a new neighbourhood in South Africa.
1. Research the area online
Do a little online digging to find out what your new neighbourhood is like. Larger cities usually have articles written about them. Even small towns will have local publications or Facebook pages.
Learn more about what happens using these guides:
2. Download apps and join online groups
Find out if there are any Facebook or WhatsApp groups for your new area. These will give you an idea of the local vibe, events that might be taking place and even crime stats. Some areas have apps for reporting issues or sharing info.
3. Say yes to invitations
If your neighbours invite you for a braai or sundowners, say yes. This is a great way to connect with people from your neighbourhood and learn more about the area. Look out for local events you can attend.
4. Locate important shops and amenities
Use Google Maps (or just drive around) to find the most important locations in your area. Where is the nearest supermarket? Where is the most convenient petrol station? Is there an ATM close by? Where’s the closest hospital and dentist?
5. Take time off work
Trying to squeeze a move into a weekend won’t work. Take at least a week off work and have a couple of free days after the move to settle in, explore and get to know the area.
6. Get lost (safely)
Do some off-the-beaten-track exploring in your new neighbourhood. This is how you stumble across the best local hangouts or a hidden park. Be sensible and don’t go down any quiet roads that give you bad vibes.
7. Enquire about public transport
If there’s public transport in your area, find out the routes and where your closest stop is. Even if you have a car, public transport is a good backup. In some areas, the bus or local ride-sharing are great options.
8. Attend local events
Find out about local events and attend a few that suit your tastes. This could be a gallery opening or a street festival. Some areas have walking guides, especially areas with historical significance or street art.
9. Don’t neglect housekeeping
Change your address, sort out an internet service provider and make sure utilities are up-to-date and in your name. These jobs aren’t fun, but putting them off is an added stress.
10. Volunteer or find a new hobby
The best way to meet new people is to do activities together. Find out about local volunteering opportunities like soup kitchens or beach clean-ups. If you have a hobby, look for a local club. A park run is a perfect example of this.
11. Order moving supplies online
Keep the move as stress-free as possible by ordering packing materials online. Packing is a big job. Having all the necessary materials delivered to your door removes some of the pressure.
You can also rent reusable moving crates that are delivered to your house and then collected from your new home once you’ve finished unpacking. This means you don’t need to worry about disposing of cardboard boxes.
Make your move to a new city easier with Ecobox
At Ecobox, we offer:
- cardboard boxes in a wide range of sizes
- a full range of packing materials
- eco-friendly, plastic moving boxes for rent
- convenient office move kits.
Visit one of our retail locations to get the office moving supplies you need, or simply order online and we’ll deliver to your door.
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