Moving to a new neighborhood can be somewhat intimidating – especially when it comes to meeting your neighbors. One of the most common complaints today is the lack of community and sense of connection people feel in modern society. Busy schedules, social media and even fear are keeping us locked up behind closed doors. Not only is this a big loss in community, but also in overall health.
Studies conducted on longevity and good health show that having friends and a sense of community contribute significantly to greater happiness in life, as well as how long we live. This ability to walk down the street and feel a sense of camaraderie with our neighbors is a simple prescription for greater happiness and health.
The best time to build connections and friendships with your neighbors is when someone first moves onto your block. So slip on your shoes and venture over to the newbies’ home with these simple tips.
Talk to Others
If you’ve lived in your neighborhood for a while, you may already know others on your block. This is an easy way to find out who your new neighbors are before you even say hello. Find out from others if the new neighbors have any children (and their ages), where they moved from or if they have any pets. Knowing information like this ahead of time will make it easier to engage in that first conversation, putting everyone at ease.
Knock on the Door
It’s usually easiest to approach a new neighbor when they are outside – at the mailbox, gardening, etc. But don’t dismiss knocking on their door. Knocking on the neighbor’s door with a freshly baked cake may sound as cliché as it gets, but it produces a sense of welcoming that most are appreciate of. While introducing yourself and exchanging a few pleasantries is definitely enough, if you decide to opt for a welcome gift, here are a few to consider:
- Cakes and pies (homemade or store bought)
- Home-baked cookies
- Indoor plant
- Vase with flowers
Moving is physically draining and exhausting. It also creates a ravenous appetite. After a long move, it’s not always possible for the people moving in to go to a restaurant or take-out place – especially if they are new to the area. One of the kindest and most memorable things you can do for your new neighbors on moving day is to provide them with warm food. This is not always possible, of course, but it is the ultimate way to welcome newbies to the neighborhood.
Inform Them of Local Places and Professionals
Neighbors that are not only new to the neighborhood but also new to the area will be seeking information about local places and professionals. A great idea is to make a list for them with all must-have contact information, such as: grocery stores, restaurants, dry cleaners, plumbers, handymen, physicians, etc. This is an invaluable list that your neighbors will be truly thankful for.
Provide Information for Parents
If your new neighbors have children, they most likely want to get their children settled as soon as possible. They will be on the lookout for playmates for their children, sports and recreational activities nearby, and so on. Here are some of the most helpful things you can do for them:
- Introduce them to other parents and children on the block.
- Share any knowledge you have about pediatricians, schools, camps and other programs for kids.
- Provide names and numbers of reliable babysitters.
Throw a Block Party
An easy and fun way to welcome your neighbors to the area is by throwing a block party. You can even host the party jointly with another family in the neighborhood. Have everyone bring a simple dish to share (chips, dip, water, beer). This is a great way for neighbors to get to know each other, especially those who have just moved in.
Welcoming new neighbors may seem difficult, but with these tips you are on your way to creating a long-lasting camaraderie that will make that first hello worth it!
For more moving tips and tricks, click here.