Culture Shock! What to Expect When You Go from City to Suburbia…

Apr 21, 2023

Many things will change once you settle in the suburbs, especially if you have been a city mouse for several years. Here are some tips to help you prepare mentally and physically for the big move.

No matter where you move—east side to west side, Manhattan to Brooklyn, downtown to uptown—there’s going to be some element of culture shock. But what about when you pack up the gang and head out to the ‘burbs? What happens when you’re no longer in the concrete jungle…but the suburban jungle? Granted, we love the suburbs—we’re avid fans and, of course, we love our lives in our own towns. But, coming from the city, even our team experienced some of the bumps, twists, turns and other shocks to the system that come with making a move from the big city to the suburbs. Some are good, some are interesting and some, looking back, are hilarious—here’s what to expect, city dwellers!

Oh, the quiet…

Even if you live on a tiptop floor in the city, chances are there’s a lot of noise emanating through your apartment 24/7. You probably don’t even notice it anymore, it’s just part of the ambient noise that surrounds—like a friendly white noise machine or sound of the ocean…ahh…

Head to the ‘burbs and it’s quiet. Unless you’re on a major throughway, it’s going to be silent all night long, and into the early morning hours—depending on how densely populated your street is as well as how many streets it connects to, it could be quiet much more than that, even. It’s a huge plus to the ‘burbs, but one that sometimes shocks newcomers right off the bat—you don’t realize how soothing those city noises have become until their gone. Our tip? Savor the silence—because when you step off the train at Penn or Grand Central tomorrow, you’ll be right back in the middle of it all again!

Becoming a DIY’er

If you rented before moving to the suburbs, you have a super and, probably, maintenance folks around your building to help with everything from clogged drains to frozen pipes to dishwasher malfunctions. Even if you owned your apartment, you probably had some level of in-building support—but in the ‘burbs, you’re on your own once you become a homeowner. Sure, there are handymen and repair services every which way, but they aren’t right there. You’ve got to track them down, book an appointment and wait…

Or…you could become a DIY’er. That’s right, now’s the time to try your hand at everything from gardening and grilling to painting and basic repair work. Plenty of homeowners find this kind of DIY a fantastic perk to being in the ‘burbs, so why not give it a whirl? You may find a newfound love for the all things do-it-yourself!

Having a whole house

Your family might cram into a 500-square foot one-bedroom, or could have a “massive” 1,100-square foot multi-bedroom apartment. But in the suburbs, you have a whole house. And that can be a shock to the system—a great one, in fact! The average size of a new home built in the U.S. in 2013 was just under 2,700-square feet so, chances are, you’re gaining a ton of space in the move. It’s amazing, no doubt, but it’s also funny to watch a city family try and really spread out and enjoy the whole space after spending years in something a fraction of the size. Where will the sleeping bags go? Anywhere you want! The winter clothes? Infinite storage possibilities! Enjoy the space, enjoy spreading out and enjoy just living in something that really fits your family.

Much more to come on this theme—because there’s plenty your pets, your kids and even your friends will experience during your big move. Stay tuned!

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