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. Creating friendships with new neighbors is beneficial in several ways, including the fact that you’ll be able to watch out for the security of each other’s homes. Here are 10 helpful tips for helping your new neighbors to feel welcome.
- Introduce yourself. A day or two after your new neighbors 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.
- 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.
- 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.You can also provide them with a national safety directory where they can find national crime prevention resources, disaster relief guides, safety tips for all ages, and burglary prevention tips.
- Don’t forget the fun. You could put together a packet that has takeout menus for your favorite restaurants, information for the local gym, library locations, and addresses to theaters.
- 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 city.
- Respect privacy. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, your new neighbors just aren’t very friendly. If you don’t have much in common or your neighbors are private people, show kindness, but then respect their privacy and simply smile when you meet each other on the sidewalk.
Moving to a new city and into a new neighborhood can be uncomfortable and scary. When you greet new people with warm smiles and a friendly attitude, it can make the transition much easier. How have you been introduced to a new neighborhood? What things have you done to make a new neighbor feel welcome?
About the author: Elli Bishop is the community manager of SafeWise. She writes for The SafeWise Report and enjoys researching new ways to keep families safe and sound in their homes. You can follow SafeWise on Google+, Facebook, or Twitter!