Once the dust settles in your new home and the moving boxes have made their way to the curb, it’s time to get to know your neighbors. Whether you’re a city dweller sharing walls and halls, or you’re in the suburbs splitting a cul-de-sac, the Moveline team believes there’s a huge value in forming relationships with the people who live around you. You don’t have to become BFFs with everyone on your block, but even a casual relationship with one or two neighbors has its benefits.
A good neighbor can be your best ally when it comes to insight and services that only someone who lives close can offer. Aside from arming you with an inside scoop on your new ‘hood, a trusty neighbor can potentially keep an eye on your home or pets while you’re away, lend you equipment and tools to keep your place in working order and be there for support and assistance in case of an emergency. Make good with your neighbors from the start and they’re apt to be more understanding about occasional noise or your bold aesthetic choices.
In case the Welcoming Committee has yet to knock on your door with a peace offering casserole or six-pack, here are our tips for getting to know the people on the other side of the fence.
Make yourself visible
Keep in mind that your living space isn’t limited to what’s inside your front door. Spending time in your building’s common areas or in your front yard will help make your presence known. This also gives your new neighbors an opportunity to approach you with a proper welcome. Shopping locally and attending neighborhood events ensures you’ll run into the right people, so make it a point to make eye contact and say hello to everyone in your path.
Pull the pet card
An easy way to strike up conversation with a new neighbor is through their pet, but dog owners are notorious for bonding over their furry friends amidst a tangle of twisted leashes without getting to know the person behind the pooch. Be sure to learn your neighbor’s name, as well as that of their dog. If you’re also a pet owner, you should use these run-ins as an opportunity to ask about local dog parks or vets, but if you can take the conversation from pup-talk to personal you may just end up with the friend-and-neighbor of your dreams.
Be a sharer
The old sentiment behind borrowing a cup of sugar isn’t lost on us. There is something satisfying and sweet about being able to call on your neighbor in a time of need, and it can work both ways. Next time you bake a batch of cookies, get too much cilantro in your weekly CSA or bring home more flowers than can fit in those window boxes, consider sharing the love by offering the excess to your neighbors.
Throw a party
If space and other logistics allow, there’s no more tried and true way to entice your neighbors into friendship by inviting them to a party at your home. This isn’t the time to be exclusive – make sure the invitation is open to everyone. Even if they’re not the partying type, any neighbor will appreciate feeling included.
Explore Moveline’s tips for making your new place feel like home, and check out other post-move advice. The dirty work may already be done, but we’re still here for you. And if you’replanning a move that hasn’t taken place yet, don’t go it alone. Let us help. It’s what we’re here for, and it’s free.