When I was a “youngen,” during an era when children actually played outside, I always waved to anyone who was walking their dog, tending their garden, or simply enjoying a stroll around the neighborhood. I knew all the neighborhood kids, and my parents knew the adults. There were some conflicts over property lines, loud dogs, and block parties, but for the most part we all got along. However, now it seems that neighbor relations are limited to what you can learn by peaking through the blinds, and new neighbors are mysterious strangers. It doesn’t have to be this way. Here are 6 ways to greet your new neighbors, and create a more friendly atmosphere.
1. Send a card. The great thing about new neighbors is that you always know when they’ve arrived. The big moving truck parked for hours, or days is sure sign you have a new neighbor. The other great thing is that you know their address. If you are shy, send a card welcoming them to the neighborhood, and let them know you are there for them. They will remember it.
2. Order them pizza and deliver it. Moving is one of the most stressful events for families. The kitchen may not have the appliances installed for a few days, and the cookware my be hidden among the towers of boxes. Do them a favor and make them dinner, with paper plates and all. They won’t have to clean anything up and they will appreciate it. Trust me.
3. Bake them something. This might be cliche, but everyone loves freshly baked goods. Avoid nuts to make sure your new neighbors won’t be allergic to your gift. Don’t serve them on anything that needs to be returned. That can be an added hassle for them. You can never go wrong with cookies.
4. Meet them! I know we live in an age of digital communication, but there isn’t anything wrong a classic handshake. Walk on over and have a good ol’ fashioned conversation. They might be busy so keep it short. Let them know they can borrow anything they need. Save the gossip for later.
5. Mow their lawn. I can’t keep count of the number of new neighbors we’ve had that delay mowing their lawn. It doesn’t bug me. They may be first time home owners who have never owned a lawnmower. They may be busy unpacking and adjusting. Either way, give them a helping hand and mow the lawn, or pay for a neighborhood kid to mow it for them(if you can still find entrepreneurial kids). It will be a weight off their shoulders and it certainly will not go unnoticed.
6. Invite them to dinner. People bond over food. It has been that way for centuries, if not millennia. You can invite some of the other neighbors as well so the new neighbors get a chance to make plenty of new friends. Make sure to ask them what they like to eat. You want them to feel welcomed.