Cities have become the center of the world’s educational facilities, technological powerhouses and economic strongholds. According to extensive research, more than 4 billion of the world’s population now live in urban or urbanized environments. This slow but steady migration to cities has been linked with increasing job opportunities and amenities available in these locations.

Although not every city offers the same level of economic comfort, more and more cities around the world are turning to smart digital solutions to improve their quality of life. Experts say applying these solutions can bolster the lives of a city’s populace by as much as 30 percent.

With all cities have to offer, it’s no wonder you would have jumped at the opportunity to secure a unit in a preselling condo or seal the deal on a townhouse. But moving to a city can be difficult, especially if you’ve spent most of your life in the country.

Here are 9 essential tips that can make your first few days and weeks in the city more manageable.

In Your New Home

Your first order of business should be to fix your home and familiarize yourself with the immediate area.

  • Meet Your Neighbors

Throw a small housewarming get-together when you’ve successfully moved in. Not everyone in the city has an abrasive personality and forming a bond with your neighbors can become very useful in the future. They can keep an eye on your home or apartment while you’re away, accept deliveries and even become true friends during your life in the big city.

  • Bring Some Greenery

Many cities have large parks and community gardens you can go to when you feel the need to be close to nature. But you can also bring plant life into your own home to brighten things up. Succulent plants are an excellent choice because they are relatively easy to care for and are small enough to fit on a window ledge.

  • Think Compact

You may be used to large open floor plans and sprawling homes in the country, but city accommodations tend to be more Spartan with their spaces. Choose every piece of furniture carefully and assess how much space they’ll take up. Furnishing that serves as storage containers are the best examples of the perfect furniture for your city home.

On the Go

Getting around in an urban environment can be a great deal more complicated than in sparsely populated areas.

  • Bring a Map

Whether it’s an old-fashioned folding paper version or a useful app on your phone, invest in an accurate map of the city you’re living in. You don’t want to get lost just by crossing the street and having a map can help you familiarize yourself even faster with the neighborhood. It will also help you settle your family down and find essential services.

  • Going Public

Learn all the public transportation methods available to you and that you can easily afford. If there’s a subway or above ground train system, ask if they have transportation charge cards to remove the necessity of buying tickets. Determine the most convenient routes to and from your home to places you regularly visit, such as your workplace of favorite leisure spots. This will help you narrow down the most effective and affordable method for getting around.

  • Learn the Flow

Different cities operate in different time frames. Some cities rise early and have their rush hours sooner and others are the complete opposite. Learning this rhythm is essential in optimizing your own schedule. By getting in touch with the city’s flow, you’ll learn when to get up to avoid getting stuck in heavy traffic and when the streets will be empty, making it harder to catch a ride.

Around the Community

Understanding the workings not just of your immediate neighborhood, but also of the city at large is essential in integrating completely.

  • Determine Essential Locations

You should find out the locations of essential services as soon as possible. Such locations include hospitals, police stations, fire stations and similar establishments. You can argue that a good grocery store within walking distance of your home is an essential establishment. If you have pets, a veterinary clinic can prove to be essential in an emergency.

  • Know the Rules

The city or community you live in may have different rules form your old home. For example, the subdivision your townhouse is in may require all pets to be leashed and vaccinated for public safety. The city could have different policies regarding transportation. Learning these rules can help you avoid getting into sticky situations during your stay in the city.

  • Explore

Finally, the best way to get to know your city is to explore it yourself. Schedule days for you to just go around your neighborhood in ever-widening circles so you can intimately know every street and alley in the vicinity. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of your neighborhood as well as have many opportunities to enjoy yourself.

Life in the big city can be very different from life in the country, but you can grow to love it quicker with these tips.