Settling in to a New Neighborhood
With all of the busyness and logistics of moving, it’s easy to forget the importance of getting plugged in to your new neighborhood! Once you’ve unpacked a few boxes and it starts to feel like home, there’s nothing more welcoming than a neighbor showing up with cookies or extending a hand to help with something. That’s a great organic way to meet new people, however, it’s not always that easy, so what do you do next to introduce yourself to the neighborhood? Here’s a few practical tips to consider!
- Start online—If you’re really hoping to avoid that initial (potentially awkward) conversation with your new neighbors, start online! There’s lots of apps that make it easy to get to know who is in your neighborhood and keep track of the latest news. Be sure to check out the Nextdoor app or a private neighborhood Facebook group.
- Observe—There’s plenty of different people in a neighborhood or even in a new complex. Take note of simple things like if they have children or if they’re around your age. That way you start to recognize something you might have in common or that you can talk about when you do eventually see them outside! A friendly smile and wave could start a whole conversation and it’s always nice to know a little something about them first (without seeming like a stalker.)
- Get involved in the community—There’s plenty of ways to get involved and meet folks through community involvement. Find out events by checking out your local chamber of commerce website. You can also look for a local YMCA or community center and get involved by taking some fitness classes or even just walking the track. Better yet, follow your passions and if you love gardening or being outdoors, look up if your neighborhood has a community garden or even a hiking club that you could join! Little by little, you will start to make connections within your community.
- Host a get together—This option is for the social butterflies who can hardly wait to meet everyone! Going door to door and inviting people over for a dessert night or open house BBQ is a great way to meet people! Chances are, they are going to want to come over and if it isn’t to meet you, it’ll be to see the changes and updates you’ve made to the house! You may even bring other neighbors together to meet that haven’t met yet either!
- Let your pet do the talking—One of the simplest ways that neighbors meet is often through their pets! Walking your pup could lead to a whole new conversation with a fellow pet lover or someone who has a young child that runs up to your fur baby. Using the pet to do the talking could make this whole scenario a whole lot easier!
- Find the neighborhood hot spots—Whether it’s a local coffee shop or brewery, start becoming a familiar face at the town ‘hot spots’. The more you frequent them, the more familiar faces will be and it won’t be as intimidating to say hello! You may even start a conversation with a new neighbor by asking for places they recommend to eat or stop into!
While it takes a few seconds of courage to make the initial introduction, it will be worth it in the long haul! Neighbors will be around forever and you’re better off connecting with them now and knowing that you can count on them. Whether it’s borrowing sugar or asking them to look after your home while you’re away—there’s nothing quite like a good neighbor!