Moving to a new neighborhood is hard, especially if you’re even a tiny bit shy. Everyone on the block already knows each other (or at least that’s what we always think) so breaking into a new group of people can seem especially daunting. Whether it’s house-sitting while you’re on vacation, setting up a neighborhood watch for extra security, or just having an extra pair of hands when your desperately need one, getting to know your neighbors has a million different advantages. Here are some tips to help you break the ice with your new neighbors:
Say “Hello” This is the easiest way to get to know your neighbors. Whenever you’re out and about, greet others and keep introducing yourself until you know they remember you. If you want them to remember your name, remember theirs, it shows you’re interested in getting to know them.
Organize a party or cookout or (insert your get together of choice). A housewarming party is a great way to get free stuff for your house and get to know the neighbors in the process. Or maybe you’re more of a BBQ family. Pick up some brats and burgers, invite your friends and and the rest of the neighborhood and give them a chance to get to know you.
Exercise outside. Jog in the morning, walk in the afternoon. Many of your neighbors will be getting their workout on just like you. Do your thing but also take a break and chat with those you see. Not only will you become familiar with the area, but it’s also a great way to connect with those just about to leave or just getting home.
Bring goodies to your neighbors. When I was seven, I met my best friend by bringing her family some brownies. By sharing a “secret” family recipe, you could make a friend for life like I did.
Sit outside or work in your yard. Simple chores like raking some leaves and gardening or sitting out on the porch, are great places for neighbors to see you; it leads to a casual introduction.
Arrange activities. If you have children, organize a kids’ play date with the neighbors. Your kids get to know others their own age…and so do you.
Lend a helping hand. This is easy way to get to know the people around you and is usually welcome. If you see them struggling with the trash or groceries, offer to help. People will appreciate your kindness and return it with ease. On that same note, ask your neighbors for help or referrals to contractors. This networking will help you with your project and in turn let you know who will help out when you’re in a bind.
Moving to a new place is always tough. But by getting know those around you, you can remove some of the stress and make life-long friends. Don’t limit yourself to just these hints, there are so many ways to break the ice and become part of the community. Have fun and good luck!