You have to get yourself out there to become part of your new community – here are the steps you should take.
Surveys say the average American moves 11 times during their lifetime, so 11 new neighborhood situations will pop up. If you’re a social butterfly or simply someone who wants to be aware of the people in your surroundings, here are some tips for getting to know a few people in your newest setting:
Get a City Brochure
Prior to moving day, check your city’s website and download or request a visitor’s brochure. That’ll help you find the places you want to know about – shopping centers, church, movie theater, farmer’s market, parks, home improvement store, etc. All those places are great for meeting people.
If your neighborhood has a homeowner’s association, consider joining it. If you have school-age kids, join the PTA. And here’s a good tip: You’re new in town, so don’t be one of those people who compares where you live now to where you formerly lived. (“Hey, they don’t do things that way in the North where I’m from.” Oh, really…then why don’t you move back to the North.)
Have a Yard Sale
A good plan for meeting your new neighbors is by holding a yard sale, and be smart and reasonable by pricing things to really sell. Conversations are bound to start up, and once the talking has begun and things are getting more comfortable, ask your neighbor about any quirks in the neighborhood. (Mr. Flynn doesn’t like anyone parking in front of his house, and old Mrs. Donaldson gets angry and yells whenever kids run on her lawn.)
Take After-Dinner Walks
Not only is it good exercise, but taking a walk after dinner will undoubtedly have you meeting some of the neighbors, and most will stop what they’re doing for a quick chat. It was Barney Fife who said, “Even the busiest person has five minutes to shoot the breeze,” so compliment a neighbor on their house, car, garden, etc. Everyone likes a compliment.
Plant a Garden
If that’s what you’re into, plant a garden. If a fellow neighbor also has a green thumb, there’s your conversation starter. Even if nobody else has a garden, offer your immediate neighbors some fresh-picked tomatoes or cucumbers once the harvest arrives. Especially tomatoes – you get tons of them every summer, even from one plant. I know.
Hang Around Your Front Yard
Even if it’s just pulling weeds from the front garden or pulling dandelions from the lawn, spend some time in your front yard so neighbors can see you and can stop over for a quick gabfest. Or just sit on your front porch in the morning and enjoy a cup of coffee. The neighborhood walkers are sure to wave, yelling something like, “Nice weather, huh” or “How ‘bout them Cowboys.”
Be an Explorer
Get out and discover not only your own neighborhood, but also the subdivisions and streets that surround you. You might stumble upon an interesting antique shop, a great hardware store, a unique restaurant, a popular coffee café or a secluded nature spot. Happy hunting.