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Settling in - First Steps

After you've completed the moving part of relocation there's the temptation to just collapse in a chair and relax for the next few days. However, you soon realize that you're only halfway done and still have the entire unpacking process ahead of you. This can be quite disappointing and it can also cause you a bit of  stress. The important thing here is to keep calm and pace yourself as stressing will only make everything harder. Here are a few simple steps to help you find your footing in your new home.

1.    Initially you just need to get through your first night. If you arrive late, or the movers are delayed, you will not have access to your things. This can be a bother in your first few hours, so make sure to pack a survival kit. It should have things like bedding, products for washing and bathing, something to eat, perhaps a book or electronic device to entertain yourself with - make sure you tailor this for your own needs. These things should be carried with you in a luggage bag. The rule of thumb is: make it small enough to be accepted as carry on on a plane.

2.    Explore your new surroundings. While you will not be able to unpack in the first few hours, do walk around your new house or flat to get a feel for the place. Open the windows to let in some air. Begin planning where to put the furniture, the appliances, think of interesting ways to decorate and liven up each room. This stage is planning only, but it's an important step to making the new location feel like home. You may even want to put on some music or spray your favorite scent - anything that will make you feel at home.

3.    The next step is to begin unpacking. Before even beginning the removals, you should have labeled the boxes with their destination rooms. If you've done this, everything is now in the room where it should be unpacked. This will make the whole process easier. When unpacking, stick to the one room rule. Meaning, make sure you unpack and organize one room before anything else. Try to make it as homey as possible, put in some decorations, clean, fix the lighting. All of this should be done to create a pleasant and relaxing space. Unboxing everything can take up to a few days and living out of boxes isn't usually a pleasant experience. This is why you should dedicate one room in the house to being the designated space for rest and relaxation

4.    Make sure you move everything that needs to be in storage to the attic, garage or basement as soon as you decide that it doesn't have a place anywhere else. Alternatively, you could recycle or donate it. Do not leave clutter lying around.

5.    Unpack as quickly as possible. Plan a little, but do not get too bogged down in decisions. It is better to have to move things around later, than to stretch out the unpacking process indefinitely and have boxes lying around for months after you have moved in.

6.    Explore your area. Make sure to go out and walk around your neighborhood and general area for at least an hour each day. Look up available transportation. Figure out where you can find grocery shops, banks, doctor's offices, chemists, post offices and the like. This will make settling in much easier.