We’ve all been the newbie at some point in our lives, and it can be overwhelming to try to get involved in a new community after moving. If you have a new neighbor, take it upon yourself to welcome them to your neighborhood and help them feel comfortable in their new surroundings. It’s something I know we would have all appreciated in previous moves in the past.
Take the Initiative
If you see someone moving in, it’s up to you to take initiative and introduce yourself. Don’t expect them to come to you. They’re dealing with a host of tasks, the biggest of those being unpacking so they likely won’t immediately be running out to make connections. A knock and a simple hello will help them feel more comfortable in their new neighborhood. After the initial introduction, they may find it easier to approach you and the rest of the surrounding neighbors.
Help Them Unload
If you happen to see them unloading a U-Haul or their own car, be a helpful neighbor from the get go and go ask whether or not you can help out. Ask some other neighbors you’re friendly with to help you and ensure their unpacking is done in a few hours instead of a few days. This heartfelt help will be most appreciated and definitely give your new neighbors a great insider’s look at how wonderful and generous their new community is.
Take Some Treats
Always be considerate of allergies. Since you don’t know them or the allergies they may face, steer clear of the common food allergies. Nuts are a commonly reported allergy, so leave those out of the cookies you bake to take over. If you’re unsure about baked goods, a nice platter of fresh fruit is a welcome addition to any home. It’s not the treat that counts, it’s the thought behind it.
Host a Dinner
What better way to welcome your new neighbors than to host a good old fashioned welcoming dinner? You can choose to invite other neighbors or keep it a small affair. Either way, it will provide a more intimate setting for you to get to know each other and discover the things you may have in common. If cooking a dinner for more sounds like too much work with your already busy schedule, don’t shirk the idea. Simply order dinner from your favorite restaurant and have it delivered through a company like Grubhub.com. This is a good way to introduce them to your favorite places, and after dinner you can provide them with a collection of takeout menus to places that you enjoy.
A Welcoming Gift
A welcome to the neighborhood gift will no doubt inspire a smile and put you on great footing with your new neighbor. Grab a unique gift that will add to their décor and ease the stress of settling into a foreign place. If you’re unsure what to take, stick to the tried and true bouquet that will provide a burst of energy and life to their new home, even when they’re surrounded by boxes filled with things needing to be unpacked.
Explain the Neighborhood Watch
Everyone wants to feel safe in their neighborhood, and if you’ve got a neighborhood watch program set up, make sure you share the details with the new arrival to your community. You can explain the necessary details including when you hold meetings, the protocol behind the watch, and who to call should they see anything. Everyone will feel a lot safer and they can provide another set of eyes that will make sure your family and belongings stay safe and protected.
Your new neighbors may be very private people, and if they don’t jump at the chance to acquiesce to your invitation requests, don’t shun them. Simply smile when you see them, send a friendly wave, and respect their boundaries. It’s better to have an amicable neighbor than one who has been offended. Don’t impose on their time, and allow them to come to you if you feel resistance when you attempt to get them involved in the community.
If you’ve recently had some new neighbors move to town, do your best to welcome them into your community and be the best neighbor you can be.