Everyone knows moving can be stressful. Being friendly is one way you can help new neighbors feel welcome and less stressed. Nothing says welcome like a hot meal, but with the rise in food allergies, you may need another way to greet new neighbors. Here are some ways you can make your neighbors feel welcome that doesn’t involve food.
1. Walk Over and Introduce Yourself
It sounds simple, but it’s easy to put off meeting new neighbors because of a busy schedule. You don’t necessarily have to make a special trip over to their house and knock on the door. If you see them in their yard while you’re getting in your car or while walking your dog, take a moment to introduce yourself and ask questions about their family. A good ice breaker is to ask where they moved from or how they like their new house. A short five-minute conversation can be enough to help them feel welcome and you feel more comfortable talking to them again.
2. Offer to Help
Whether it’s helping them move furniture out of the moving truck or mowing the lawn, most people will appreciate the offer of your time and service even if they don’t accept. There’s a lot to do when first moving into a home, which makes for a lot of service opportunities. Raking leaves, weeding flowerbeds, or walking their dog are all ways you can lighten their load and get to know them. If physical labor isn’t something you have to offer, ask to babysit kids or offer to walk their kids to school with your own.
3. Invite Them on a Walk or to the Park
Ask them to join you for your morning exercise or a leisurely evening stroll. It provides plenty of time to talk and get to know one another. Time spent walking through the neighborhood can also help them learn the area. If you both have children of the same age, ask if they’d like to join your family at a local park. They might appreciate a chance to get out of the house and let their kids make some new friends.
4. Make and Deliver a Welcome Kit
A welcome kit can include just about anything, and you don’t necessarily need to spend any money. For a family with children, you could include the local pool schedule, library location, and a map with your favorite parks circled on it. For a retired couple, you might include brochures for local museums and other attractions they might like to visit. If you want to give them something more practical, fill a bucket with cleaning supplies or tools they may need when first moving into their house like a small hammer, screwdriver, and plyers.
However you decide to welcome your new neighbors, the most important thing is to be sincere. When you’re talking to them, look them in the eye, and try to remember their name. Write it down if you have a hard time remembering names. When you take the time to get to know your neighbors, you’re creating a sense of community. It also sets you up for a good relationship. You never know when you might have to talk about property lines or arguments between children. If you’ve already established a good relationship, bringing up potential problems will be that much easier.