After moving into a new home, it can be difficult or feel awkward to make friends with your new neighbors. But fear not: The moving experts at Mayflower offer the following tips to help you break the ice and settle into your new community…
Find the “common ground.” One of the easiest ways to meet people in your neighborhood is to find out where they gather and go there. If you’ve moved during the summer and your neighborhood has a pool, take a few hours away from your unpacking duties and literally get your feet wet.
Pay attention to the pattern of neighbors’ activities. Do they sit on their front porches in the evenings? Gather at their mailboxes in the afternoons? Stop to chat while taking their morning walks? Once you notice a pattern, make sure you’re outside during these times so you’re available to meet them. And don’t forget: A nearby market or coffee shop might also be a local hangout.
Use your children. If you have children, it’s often easier to meet neighbors and make new friends. Keep an eye out for parents whose children seem to be close in age to your own, then go introduce yourself and your kids.
Suggest a play date to get the kids (and the adults) acquainted. If school is in session, go to the bus stop to meet other parents. Volunteering at school or joining the parent organization also promises to connect you with other adults interested in similar things.
Knock on doors. Your new neighbors may be interested in meeting you, but might feel like you’re too busy unpacking and settling in to be bothered with an unexpected visit. That’s why you need to take the first step by knocking on their doors.
If you need an excuse other than to just introduce yourself, inquire about trash or lawn service or request suggestions for area restaurants or exercise facilities. Remember to be considerate. If you see a neighbor get home with a carload full of groceries, you might want to wait until later to visit.
Be a good neighbor. One of the best ways to make new friends is to be a good neighbor. On move-in day, be considerate about where you park your car and moving truck so you don’t block a driveway or create other inconveniences. In the days that follow, don’t leave lots of trash sitting by your curb without checking to see when it’ll be picked up.
Expect that some people will drop in to introduce themselves and their timing might not be the best. Be courteous, thank neighbors for coming by and invite them in if possible. It may help to have a few glasses or coffee mugs unpacked so you can entertain these visitors briefly. And don’t forget to promptly send thank-you cards to anyone who drops off a casserole or other welcoming gifts.
Establishing relationships with new neighbors can be invaluable, both when you first move into a new community and long after you’ve settled in. Good luck!