You’ve just moved into your new home, and you can’t wait to experience everything the neighborhood has to offer. Regardless of whether you’re on your own, married to the love of your life, or busy with young kids, we’ve put together a few great ways to introduce yourself to your new neighborhood and settle into your new home.
Think back to when you were in school: making new friends was hard, and it probably took you some time to find comrades you liked. The same thing is true for moving to a new neighborhood. Luckily, you’re an adult this time around, and making new friends doesn’t have to take quite so long. Here are some tips to get you socially acquainted in no time:
Where Should You Begin?
Once you’ve moved into your new home and the boxes are all unpacked, it’s time to turn your attention to getting to know your neighbors. Sure, you probably explored a bit of the area before making the move or buying the house, but now is time to venture out socially.
Start by taking a walk and checking out the homes closest to you. What can you tell about the personality of your neighbors based on their homes? Here are some questions to get you started:
- Do you spot evidence that they have children the same age as yours? Bikes, basketball net, swing set, kiddie pool…etc
- Is anyone out gardening or working that you can introduce yourself to?
- Are there any homes whose design you admire?
- Are they dog-lovers, sports enthusiasts or drive a similar vehicle to yours?
If so, these are great places to start introducing yourself and making friends.
While it can be tough to put yourself out there and be first one to break the ice, it pays off because you’ll have a wealth of community connections in no time. Furthermore, if you procrastinate neighborly introductions, you could send a reclusive, or antisocial vibe that you’ll ultimately regret when you finally do start talking to your neighbors.
Throwing a Gathering
If you’re the type who is all about efficiency, streamline the “meeting new people” process by throwing a gathering and inviting your neighbors. If it’s summer, an outdoor barbecue or cocktail hour is a fantastic idea.
No matter what you choose to do, focus on keeping things simple and straightforward. Forget cooking a huge meal. Instead, have a potluck, hire a caterer, or put out some tasty appetizers to keep people snacking and happy.
Not only does this free you up to spend more time with your guests, but it also allows you to skip worrying about whether that ham you cooked is too dry.
Likewise, you can apply the same theory to the bar cart. Make it easy for guests to mix their own drinks, so you don’t have to play bartender all night. Even if you don’t know anyone at the gathering, put yourself out there and be social.
You might not hit it off with everyone in the room, but you’re sure to have some common interests and hobbies with at least a few of the neighbors you invite.
If you have young kids, make the party kid-friendly and send all the little ones out back to play.
Venturing Out Passed Your Street
- Stop by any yard sales. It’s a great opportunity to chit chat with new neighbors on the weekends. Who knows, you might also score a great deal on something for your new home.
- Tour open houses. Realtors and homeowners love the company. They can give you the inside scoop on your community which will be helpful in orienting you to the neighborhood.
- Visit your local library or chamber of commerce. The professionals that work here will guide you to resources that can usher you into the neighborhood. These are great places to find businesses and services in your area or get info on local events.
- Take a class. Sign up for a workshop at your home improvement store or hobby store to start getting to know others in your community. You could also take a shot at a paint-and-wine class or attend a grand opening at a new restaurant to start mingling with other locals.
- Join Social Media Groups. There are social groups and meet-ups everywhere online. With this in mind, you can target groups with your specific interests, whether it’s cat-lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, or a support group for parents of teens.
Helping Kids Find Friends at Your New Home
If you have kids, it’s likely they’ll have a more difficult time finding friends than you. With this in mind, you may need a plan to help them find new buddies. There are the obvious options such as hitting up the parks and playgrounds, or enrolling your child in an activity. However, we’ve got a few more ideas up our sleeve for you:
Use Social Media
Mommy and/or Daddy groups are an easy way to find your child a friend that is in their age-group and shares similar interests. Just post a brief bio including your best times to meet up and be amazed at the welcoming responses.
While it will be easy enough to locate Facebook groups in your area, it may also be a good idea to check out NextDoor. This neighborhood specific app will help you find recommendations on retailers, handimen, babysitters, dog walkers and more. Additionally, issues like reporting neighborhood related crime or helping to relocated a lost pet with an owner are more ways to benefit from this social app.
Schedule a play date at a park or playground and see if everyone hits it off.
Front Lawn & Street-side Strategies
Rent a Bounce House
This pretty much guarantees your child will make an unforgettable entrance to the neighborhood. Plus, you can chat with the child’s parents while the kids bounce the energy out of themselves.
Who can resist lemonade on a hot day, or hot cocoa when its chilly? This is a great way to help your child step out of his/her shell while starting a conversation with visiting neighbors.
Glow Stick Party in the street
Who wouldn’t want to meet new neighbors who hand out glowsticks and throw a spirited party out on the front lawn? Drag out your loudest speakers and set the mood for neighboring families to stop by and enjoy the glowing fun. Kids will run and play while adults can chit-chat about neighborhoods, schools and nearby parks. Just remember not to let the gathering go too late into the evening. You don’t want your home to be mistaken for a Fraternity house.
Set up a Carnival Game
It could be a ring toss onto recycled bottles, a mini-golf putting challenge or an agility game. If parents are cool with it, your child can assist in giving away mini bags of kettle corn while they introduce themselves. Learn more
Pro-Tip: Get some signs out in the community or a mailer to the neighbors to encourage the neighborhood children to stop by for the event. Your kids can participate in making, posting signs and delivering mailers to mailboxes.
Loving Your New Home
Moving to a new home is an exciting process. Settling in can be difficult, though. Luckily, these tips can help you make the most of your new neighborhood, and find things to love in your new location. Whether you’re throwing a party to meet your neighbors or hosting a playdate for your youngest child, settling into your new home is easier with these suggestions.
Need help moving to your new home? Contact Colonial Van Lines for full-service moving professionals and a free quote today!