Moving to New York City is one of the most exciting things that you can do at any stage of your life. Whether you’re heading off to college, taking a first job, moving mid-career, or coming to New York City late in life, you’re sure to meet with big changes and unforgettable experiences. But for all of the joys that this city has to offer, you’ll also find plenty of stresses and challenges. If you’re going to survive and thrive in New York City, then you will have to pay close attention to some things and use some new strategies. Here’s what you should do.

Take the city neighborhood by neighborhood — starting with your own

New York City is too big of a place to handle all at once. For it to make sense, you need to break it down a bit. Happily, it already has great units for doing this. We can divide New York City into its five boroughs and, more usefully, into neighborhoods.

Choose your own neighborhood carefully. Where you live in New York City will change your experience drastically. Living on Staten Island is remarkably different from living in Manhattan, and the Upper East Side lifestyle bears little resemblance to the one you can find right across the river in Astoria, Queens. Pick a neighborhood that speaks to you. You can find quiet suburban sorts of places as well as jam-packed city streets, so choose your own adventure.

Then, explore. Walk around your neighborhood on foot. Get to know the local shops, restaurants, and bars. Get comfortable, then branch out. Check out neighboring places and the neighborhoods that are home to your office, your friends, and other essential spots you visit.

Be especially mindful of your health

In some ways, New York City is a pretty healthy place. For instance, city dwellers tend to walk more than suburbanites, which is good exercise and helps cities keep their obesity rates lower than those in suburban and rural areas. But New York City also has a lot of very unhealthy things, including all of those delicious restaurants and awesome bars you visit. Long work hours don’t help, either — especially if you’re sitting down and/or have poor posture, explains one expert chiropractor in New York City.

So if you’re in New York City and working for hours at a desk, you shouldn’t be surprised that your back hurts. So what can you do? You can visit a chiropractor, of course, and follow his or her advice. And just as you should rely on chiropractors, so should you rely on doctors, dentists, and all of the other professionals who can help you stay healthy and strong. Hold up your end of the bargain by eating more whole foods, cooking at home when you can, and exercising regularly.

Get some space

New York City is a crowded place. Sure, some spots have more room than others, but every area of this city has a lot going on in it. Take Astoria, Queens, for example. It’s not nearly as crowded as Manhattan, but the apartments and homes there aren’t exactly roomy by suburban or rural standards. It’s easy to see how New Yorkers run out of space.

So what can you do in a place like Astoria? Well, you can use clever techniques for organizing small spaces and gaining extra storage, but that will only take you so far. A great way to gain extra space efficiently in New York City is to rent a storage space. You’ll find that self storage in Astoria is surprisingly cheap, and it’s similarly affordable in most places in the city.

Getting a storage unit can be a great way to keep stuff like winter coats, skis and snowboards, beach chairs, and other seasonal essentials out of the way until they’re needed. Living in New York City means you may not have room for ski jackets and Christmas decorations, but it doesn’t mean you don’t want to hold onto these things and enjoy them when they’re in season!