Moving into a new home is exciting – moving into a new neighbourhood should be too! We often forget to think about the neighbours who we are signing up to live next to. In this day and age, many of us are busy and some of us barely even know our neighbours! Perhaps you grew up with close knit neighbours who shared in a community garage sale or block party? Or maybe you’ve recently had neighbours who became more like friends… or family even. If you’ve had a great neighbour experience, you’ll already know how much better life can be when we take the time to befriend our neighbours. As you look ahead to move to a new home AND neighbourhood, take some time to consider these tips and ideas.
Why get to know the neighbours:
• If you have children, you’ll want to get to know if there are other families with similar-aged children around to play. Having friends to socialize with in the area is an amazing gift!
• Safety and security is always top of mind. Neighbours who are friendly are most likely to keep an eye on each other’s properties – especially when travel is involved. It’s always nice to have someone handy to call to check on things when you aren’t able to be there yourself. (Even if it is just to pick up that package from Amazon off of your doorstep!)
Tip #1 – The Pre-Move Pop-In. Before signing off on a new home, you might want to consider a friendly visit to a neighbour in the area. Meeting those who will live nearest to you may help you make the final decision about the area. This also lays the groundwork in getting to know your new neighbours from the get-go. Who knows… they may even help lug boxes when they see you move in rather than peek from behind the blinds!
Tip #2 – The Reverse Welcome Wagon. There’s always lots to do when you move into a new home, but taking time to meet the neighbours (or re-visit them) to say hello is always a great idea. Traditionally in the past, neighbours would welcome the new people… and sometimes even with a gift. This rarely happens anymore, but why not take matters into your own hands? Take your new neighbours a token of good will… a plant, baking, gift card for a coffee… or even just a cute notecard with your contact info should they need or want to get ahold of you.
Tip #3 – The Mingler. Inviting new neighbours over for a get-together may (or may not) feel awkward in the beginning. So why not host a small get together with a few close friends and invite some of the new neighbours to join. Having others takes the pressure off for you and the neighbours and invites them with more of a communal feeling. Keep it simple, order pizza, barbecue in the back yard, or invite everyone to join potluck style. Depending on your yard, you might even want to set up in the front to be extra inviting… hang some fun lights and balloons to signal that all are welcome to come say hello. As always, kids make great ice-breakers!