Tips for Easy Living

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How to acclimate to your new community

Moving is seldom easy. But even after all of the boxes have been unpacked and the furniture moved in, some of the difficulty of moving remains. Much of that remaining struggle can be traced to adjusting to your new environment.

Though many people settle into a new residence after a short period of time, acclimating yourself to a new community is a taller order, especially for those without friends or family already entrenched in the community. The following are a handful of ways men and women who recently relocated to a new community can acclimate themselves to their new surroundings.

* Join a local community organization. Local community organizations provide great opportunities to meet new people and learn about a town or neighborhood. Parents may find such organizations more accessible, as associations that focus on local youngsters are quite common. Adults can join parental organizations sponsored by their children's school or volunteer with an extracurricular organization, such as a local youth sports program. These are great ways for moms and dads to meet fellow parents and begin forming new friendships.

Singles or married couples without children also can take advantage of community organizations. Volunteer with an environmental cleanup group or sign up to play in a recreational sports league with neighbors in your age group. Opportunities to assimilate into your new community abound, it just takes a little effort on your part to get involved.

* Make an effort to meet your neighbors. The days of yore when everyone knew their neighbors are largely a thing of the past, but that doesn't mean you can't make an effort to meet the people who live next door. Once you have settled in, knock on your next door neighbors' doors and introduce yourself. If you really want to go the extra mile, host a casual backyard barbecue and invite your neighbors and their families. Such an affair can be a great way to break the ice and you might just find your neighbors share similar interests.

* Don't be a shut-in. Communities are often home to numerous traditions, and many such traditions are aimed at increasing the sense of community within a given town. Summer carnivals or winter holiday balls can make for a fun way to assimilate into a community and meet your neighbors. Leave the couch and your television behind to take advantage of such opportunities when they present themselves.

* Join a professional organization. Many professionals find the demands of their careers are simply too great to give them the amount of time they need to fully assimilate into their new communities. In such instances, men and women might want to join their local professional organization, which can help them meet professional peers and make contacts that can pay both professional and personal dividends. If no such organization exists in your community, consider starting one.

The difficulty of moving is often considered a burden on children. But adults may struggle to acclimate to a new community as well. Making that adjustment and learning to thrive in your new community may require some creativity and a little extra effort on your part, but it can be done.