Its summertime and that means there is a fleet of U-Haul trailers crisscrossing cities all over America helping families make big changes and move into new homes. Whether you dread the moment a “For Sale” sign goes up or look forward to meeting someone new, how you welcome new neighbors can set the tone of your relationship down the road. There’s no one way to do it but here are 5 tips to lay a firm foundation for future relationships!
Move In Day Care Package
If you’re like me, you like to greet a new neighbor fairly quickly to start the relationship off right! Pull together a move in day care package including:
- a couple rolls of toilet paper
- a roll of paper towels
- bottled water
- some paper plates and plastic utensils
- a hand towel or a dishcloth (optional).
We all know it takes a little time to find your bearings and unearth all these essentials when you move into a new house. To have a new neighbor greet you with these items can really relieve the stress of a big day. Plus, these sorts of items are usually easily found in your own cupboards or can be purchased without a lot of expense.
Baked Goods are Always Good!
Once your new neighbor has settled in a bit more, I like to take over a food item as a “Welcome” gift. I’ve gone as far as making a pie but I also think making cookies or dressing up a pan of high-quality box mix brownies (like Ghirardelli’s) can be just as nice. I always like to give food items in disposable bake-ware so the recipient doesn’t have to return it (and I don’t risk losing a favorite dish). You can pick up foil pans at the grocery store and dress them up with a label and ribbon or you can buy cute disposable paper and foil bake-ware like this on Amazon.
Don’t forget a note
With a welcome gift, I always include a card that I sign with my name, my husband’s name and usually our kids’ names too and include our cell phone numbers and our address. In fact, here’s a free printable for you to use! Once again, this is a great way to show you’re committed to really forming a relationship with this new family. You can also add some fun neighborhood tips like the day of garbage pick up or the best cup of coffee within walking distance.
Its all in a name
Whatever you do, your goal in these first interactions should be to remember your neighbors’ names. That goes a long way in showing someone you care. Don’t feel silly if you have to write it down somewhere until you commit it to memory. Make sure you reintroduce yourself if you run into them at the mailbox or somewhere else in the neighborhood – probably for a couple months. It’s going to take them a while to remember who’s who in their new community. They have several new households to learn and you only have one.
Be proactive to avoid problems!
Although it’s great to want to welcome neighbors out of the sheer goodness of your heart, I have to admit that it can also help smooth the way for the inevitable neighborly disputes and misunderstandings down the line. We have a rental house next door to us that tends to cycle through tenets pretty regularly. I’ve had some neighbors I’ve really gone out of my way to get to know and others that the welcome just slipped through the cracks in our busy life. I bet you can guess which ones we ended up having more trouble with down the line. The truth is, when you live in close proximity to someone, something unpleasant is going to come up – barking dogs, stinky garbage, late night parties – and if you can show that you are a real person with good intentions before you have to talk to them about a problem, it will make that inevitable conversation so much smoother.
So, there are some suggestions for you to consider when that moving truck pulls down your street. I’d love to hear how you greet your neighbors! Or do you have a story of being warmly welcomed yourself? Comment below!
And don’t forget to check out my YouTube video about welcoming new neighbors!
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