A Checklist for Setting Roots in A New City

Have you just recently moved to a city and you want to put down roots to feel at home, even if you’re only there temporarily? Here are some steps I take each time I move to a new home.

Feel free to download the Google Doc version of this so you can copy, edit, and print your own personal list.

Before Moving and Settling In

[ ] Secure housing. Don’t forget to check Facebook groups as well and ask friends for suggestions.

[ ] Find a new job or client.

[ ] Give a two-week’s notice to your employer.

[ ] Submit Form 8822, Address Change Request, with the IRS.

[ ] Contact your current insurance providers to discuss the best method of transferring your insurance policies to your new state.

[ ] Meet with a financial representative at your bank to discuss the best method of transferring your finances to your new state.

[ ] Change your address. It only takes a few minutes with a credit card.

[ ] Trash, sell, or donate excessive belongings. If you’ve always wanted to be a Minimalist now is the time to start.


[ ] Register your car if you have one.

[ ] Transfer your driver’s license.

[ ] Get a local transportation card and load it with a week or month’s-worth of money.

[ ] Set your new work and home address in Google and in your map apps.

Feeling At Home

[ ] Put extra bags and boxes away in storage after unpacking. Clear all pathways and clean your new room.

[ ] Furnish your new place. Check out for local listings on Craigslist, BuyNothing, Goodwill, and Freecycle for free/cheap goods that you can reuse instead of buying new materials.

[ ] Make a little sanctuary nook in your bedroom with photos, candles (if allowed), letters, and souvenirs. Anything that’s precious to you, place it here carefully in a safe space.

[ ] Make a nice, comforting meal for yourself. Maybe you can even make enough to share with new housemates and friends.


[ ] Join a Gym- Check Groupon for local deals and see if there are any special gym deals where you’re located (some gyms have the first month free…)

[ ] Switch health insurance if needed.

[ ] Schedule an appointment with a new Primary Care Practitioner. Also schedule an appointment with a dentist and eye doctor if needed.

[ ] Go to the grocery store and purchase healthy foods. Then put it away in your new fridge and pantry space.

Be Social

[ ] Host a Housewarming Party/Potluck.

[ ] Attend a local niche networking event in your professional industry. See what's happening on Meetup.com and sign up for a few events to attend. Be sure to schedule it on your calendar!

[ ] Introduce yourself to your new neighbors. If you want to go the extra mile, bake something and offer it as a kind gesture.

[ ] Volunteer at a local non-profit, especially close to the holidays. Just Google ‘your city’ with ‘volunteer opportunities’ and see what comes up.

[ ] Email old friends with an update on your move and schedule times to catch up.

[ ] Find a place of personal spiritual practice. Try these out if you’re not sure or join an interfaith community.

Do you have other suggestions for what to do in a new place? Comment below and we'll add it in!

Tara ByrneComment