Moving to a city from a small town can be overwhelming to the senses. I grew up in a very rural town and made the move to a city for college, and later after graduation. How do you adjust to the hustle and bustle while keeping your sanity? Here are my tips for tackling the most annoying problems country folk encounter in the city.
Is it Ever Dark Here?
Cities, especially very large ones, have a lot of light pollution. This means at night the city lights from street lamps and buildings make the night sky not quite dark, but have a soft glow. For me, adjusting to this not quite darkness was hard, because I was so used to total darkness at bed time. I have found that buying darkening curtains I can draw back during the day for sunlight and close tightly at night are the best way at blocking light. The Eclipse brand curtains have been very reliable for me and provide almost total darkness at night. I recommend these for the bedroom and any room you spend a lot of time in during the evening.
It’s So Noisy!
The noise of most cities can disturb your sleep cycle, interrupt dinner and just annoy you when you’re trying to get work done. I highly recommend noise canceling, wireless headphones for times when you’re taking phone calls, watching TV or just relaxing at the computer. There are brands as low as a few dollars to very expensive, and they all work to block outside sounds. At night time, a sound machine or app on your smartphone can provide nature sounds. I like to put on rain tracks or night time ambient sound from my Relax Melodies app to help me sleep. If you have external speakers for your device, it can help amplify the sound. I also recommend sleeping with windows closed, which can be hard for those of us who like fresh air, and switching to a fan to block more sound.
Parking is a Pain!
If you live in a city where parking in a garage is expensive, street parking may be your only option. Check with your new city for a parking sticker for your neighborhood. This sticker may allow you to park anywhere in your neighborhood but also might be necessary to keep your car out of the tow yard. In my city, $15 got me a pass to park on any street in my neighborhood for a full year. Check for date restriction signs, like street sweeping, before you park. You’re probably going to need to brush up on parallel parking skills. Be flexible because you might have a long walk on busy days. Be sure to lock your car and have an alarm system if you’re parking far away.
Even though there are some downsides to city living, you can adjust your space to accommodate the lifestyle you’re more familiar with. I even made a little window garden to remind me of living on a farm back home. You’ll find your city has new cultural activities, shopping and you’ll discover the joys of delivery food. Be sure to make a lot of new friends, too, which can make your transition a little less lonely. Following these easy tips will help you make the most of your new home.