We’ve all been there before—the time comes for us to move into a new neighborhood, and we’re not always sure what to expect. While some neighbors will be welcoming, others will prefer to keep to themselves. When we’re on the other side of the coin, it’s always nice to make new neighbors feel welcome in the area, whether they’re moving in on their own or they’ve got a van full of kids.
If you see new residents coming into the neighborhood, there are quite a few things that you can do to make them feel welcome. Here are 5 things you might want to do to help your new neighbors get a good start in their new home:
1. Introduce yourselves.
This is the simplest form of greeting new people and making them feel like they’re welcome in the area. Even if you don’t have anything to offer, or you’re just stopping by to say hello, introducing yourself and your family is a very kind thing to do for newcomers.
Even this simple bit of etiquette will make new neighbors feel safer in the area, and they may be more willing to start conversing with others around their home. Stop by their place when they’re all settled in to introduce yourself and, if you’d like, you can even let them know where you live if they need to stop by for anything.
Remember that moving in can be a very busy and stressful time, so not all neighbors will have a lot of time to chat in the beginning. If you can, make your first stop a short one so that you’re not intruding or making the situation more stressful. You can always tell them to stop by your home another day, when they’re all moved in, to visit longer.
2. Throw a block party.
A block party is a great way for neighbors to introduce themselves to each other, and feel more comfortable and settled in their new home. A strong neighborhood makes for a safer and more enjoyable space, so you might consider getting the neighbors together to plan the event, and throw a potluck or afternoon event that both the adults and kids will enjoy.
You can hang flyers on your street to let everyone know about the event, and you may even get in with the city to discuss shutting the street down for a few hours. Make sure to include name tags for everyone so that your new neighbors can easily make some new friends. If you need some help with your block party planning, consider this list of 10 tips to hosting a block party. This is a great way to learn more about your new neighbors, like where they’re from, what they like to do, and why they moved to the area.
3. Bring a welcoming gift.
Not every neighbor will be comfortable with lengthy conversations or block parties, so be sure to give them space if they prefer it. If you want to welcome new neighbors without making them too uncomfortable, consider dropping off a card, some flowers, or some baked goods that you can leave on the front porch. You might also offer some coupons for restaurants in the area, numbers for local businesses, or even a bottle of wine. This list is full of delicious baking ideas that you might want to bring over for your neighbors to enjoy while they unpack.
Let them know who the gift is from, and that you just wanted to welcome them to the neighborhood. Even a simple gesture like this may be all they need to come over and say hello on their own.
4. Offer to help with the move.
Depending on the personality of your new neighbors and whether they have professional home movers, you may want to offer your services while they unpack all of their heavy boxes and furniture. This situation may not always be appropriate, but it’s nice to let neighbors know that you are available to help them out if they need it.
You can always head over for a quick chat to let them know that, although they are busy, you just wanted to introduce yourself and let them know that you are close by if they happen to need any extra hands in the moving process.
5. Invite them to a social function in town.
If you know of some socializing events going on in the area, this is a great opportunity to invite your new neighbors who may not know a lot of people yet. It could be an auction, a festival, dancing lessons, or anything that involves large groups, and which is relaxing and fun.
It can be difficult for people who are new to an area to get out into the social scene when they don’t really know their surroundings. Take this chance to let them know about a few things you take part in during the week that may interest them. You can carpool or walk together and show them well-known spots in the area as you go. Not only will this help you to get to know each other better, but this will give them the opportunity to get out into the community and to see what the neighborhood has to offer.
When you’re new to a neighborhood, it’s always nice to be greeted by others who are happy to have you and show you around. Put yourself in the shoes of your new neighbor and consider doing something for them that you would appreciate if it were you moving into a new home.
Not every neighbor will have the same personality or preferences when it comes to new friends, but it’s always a nice gesture to reach out and let them know that you’re there if they need anything. Keep your eyes open for moving trucks and for sale signs in your neighborhood so no one misses out on a kind welcome—even if they don’t reach out, it will be worth it to extend the greeting.