If you just moved to a new neighborhood, it can be tricky to get to know your new neighbors. The days of your neighbors just dropping by with a plate of cookies to welcome you to the neighborhood are long gone. While you might be happy living in complete privacy, there are some benefits to getting to know the people next door. But you will have to be proactive about getting out there to make those introductions. Here are some ways that you can break the ice:
“Can I use your…?”
If you are still unpacking, chances are high that you will need to use a tool or gardening implement that you either can’t find or do not yet have. It gives your new neighbor a chance to help you out and you can return the favor down the road. Once the introduction is made, friendly exchanges will be easier and more frequent in the future.
This can work by attending one or having one of your own. If you don’t have enough stuff to purge, check out what your neighbors have for sale and strike up a conversation about how you just unpacked and realized you need a new such and such. Having a garage sale gives all the people with questions for you an excuse to come a chat with the new people on the block.
Be a good neighbor
When you get a misdelivered package for the person three houses down, knock on their door to make sure you hand it to them rather than leaving it on the stoop. If you see a person with a dead battery, offer a jump. Complement the neighbor on the corner with the beautiful flowers while you are out for a stroll. It doesn’t take much effort to be courteous. A small deed can give you an excuse to strike up a conversation with a stranger.
Have fun with decorations
During the holidays, be festive. Do something that will make people smile on the outside of your home. You can even set up snack or beverage stations during holidays when people are outside, like July 4th and Halloween. Nothing brings people together like free food.
Join a neighborhood group
Facebook and apps like Nextdoor have groups that you can join online for communities so residents can share community info, items for sale, and communicate with ease about events. Join a group online and start posting. You will find out more about your new community and you will also get to know people online so when you see them in public, it will be a catalyst to start a conversation.
Not every neighbor is going to be an extrovert. But you will find by making a little bit of effort, you might make some great new friends in your new home. At the very least, you might find a person that is willing to lend you a cup of sugar when you are in a pinch.