Relocating to a Small Town

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Moving from a city or suburb to a small town can be an intimidating proposition. Here are a few tips to help make your move as painless as possible.

Research before you move. It’s important to understand the culture you’re joining. Do research online and find out about school systems, neighborhoods, parking, weather, public transportation (…if any.), and laws that are native to that area. If you can, visit where you want to live before moving and connect with someone who’s lived there before.

Have a plan. There are a lot of steps to go through before you start packing the moving truck. Find housing before you leave, or at least know where you’ll stay while you look for a home. Never sign a lease on an house or apartment that you haven’t seen. If you can’t get there, find a friend or an employer to check for you. Have a job waiting for you, or if that’s not possible, know what you’ll do for money in the first few weeks of living there. Try to line up things like driver’s licenses, car insurance, and renter’s insurance ahead of time as well.

Get involved. Meeting people in a small town can be daunting. Don’t expect the neighbors to knock your door down with a casserole when you arrive. If necessary, take the initiative. If there are things you liked to do where you moved from, try to find ways to do those similar things in your small town. Also, definitely try new things. Volunteer. Small towns offer many opportunities to engage other people, so find what you like.