Photo - Flickr - You’ve noticed the “For Sale” sign on the lawn next door now has a “Sold” sign, so you know new neighbors will be moving in before too long. Welcoming these new neighbors to the area is not only a nice gesture, but it’s a great way to help them feel welcome. An opportunity to make new friends - Here are 10 helpful tips for helping your new neighbors to feel at home;
- Introduce yourself. A day or two after your new neighbours have moved in, go over with your family and introduce yourselves. If you’re unsure of what to say, consider asking if they have children, pets, or what brought them to your neighborhood. It is likely they will be grateful for the excuse to stop unpacking for a short while.
- When taking food, be considerate of allergies. When you go to introduce yourself, it’s nice to take a treat as a welcome gift. Keep in mind that many people have food allergies, so you might want to steer clear of the cake or freshly baked cookies. Celiac disease, gluten allergies, or a dairy sensitivity are common in many families. Instead, you could put together a gift basket with coupons to local stores, a map, and information about their new city. You could also give them a house plant or seeds for a garden.
- Get a group of neighbors together to help move. When you see the moving truck pull up, get a group of neighbors together to help your new neighbors unload the truck. Not only are you offering a friendly service, but this is a good way for everyone in the neighborhood to get acquainted.
- Host a dinner party. Give your neighbors a few days to get settled and then invite them over for a dinner party. You may want to invite two or three couples from the neighborhood over as well so your new neighbors can meet more people. This is a good time to offer housewarming gifts, which don’t need to be extravagant simply thoughtful. Photo - Flickr
- Share Neighborhood Watch information. People want to feel safe where they live. Be sure to share the details of your neighborhood watch program with them. Share when the group meets and where your new neighbors can go for more information. Invite your new neighbors to participate and to take part in helping to make the neighborhood safe.
- Provide a neighborhood and national safety directory. Put a list together of all the neighbors’ addresses and phone numbers. You may also want to include phone numbers for schools, doctors, government offices, and the police department. Gather this information in a 3-ring binder so it’s easily accessible. If everyone in your neighborhood doesn’t have one of these, work together to build out enough for everyone.
- Create a list of local services. Get all the phone numbers for reliable babysitters, lawn care professionals, and handymen in the area. Glue the information to a magnet that can be put on the refrigerator. When you’re new, you don’t know where to go for basic services.
- Connect with local groups. Do you belong to a book club? Do your children play soccer? Offer to connect your new neighbors with any groups or clubs you may belong to. This will help them acclimate to the community, while also making friends and getting to know their new home town.
- Be courteous and respect their privacy. Not everyone enjoys interacting with new people, and your new neighbors may be hesitant to have a lengthy conversation with you or a group of people. Keep your meeting brief, and if your new neighbor seems uncomfortable, politely introduce yourself and leave. If your new neighbor suggests that it isn’t a good time, respect their wishes and come back another time. Try saying something like, “I can tell you’re busy. Is there a better time for me/us to stop by?” The secret to meeting new people here has the same rule of thumb as dating - “No Means No”. If you aren’t successful it may be that you have to wait for them to come to you.