So you’re all settled into your brand new house. Did moving day seem sort of anticlimactic? Were you expecting neighbors to walk over and introduce themselves, maybe bring a plate of cookies to share like friendly television neighbors always do? If you’ve already met your neighbors, consider yourself lucky! We live in a time where people are more likely to keep to themselves and mind their own business. But it’s actually important to get to know your neighbors in order to build a strong, safe community. If no one has taken the initiative to come over and meet the newbie, why not take it on yourself? Here’s how.

Start a Pay It Forward Chain

A small, kind gesture is a great way to introduce yourself. Leave a goodie bag or a basket of homemade cookies on your neighbor’s front step with a note asking them to pay the gesture forward. You could even offer to mow their lawn—though you should approach this one cautiously as some people might take offense at the notion that their lawn isn’t tidy enough.

Offer Your Help

Don’t wait for someone to need something before offering to help. Walk over, introduce yourself, and let them know you’re around if they ever need anything. Ask about things like carpools or school drop-off and pickup. If you have elderly neighbors, offer to help with chores like putting the trash can out or weeding the flower beds, simple maintenance items that might not be so easy for them anymore.

Throw a Block Party

A great idea for getting neighbors together is to host a family-friendly block party. Print out a simple invitation and take it around to your neighbors’ homes, letting them know you’ll be grilling up burgers and hot dogs on a specific date and time. Make it a fun potluck or BYOB event where everyone chips in, or provide it all yourself as a gift for your new neighbors. If it’s warm out, set out a kiddie pool or slip and slide. Maybe even rent a small bounce castle if there are lots of kids on the block. Just make it a fun, casual event where people can get together and reconnect.

Just Say Hi

Sometimes a simple smile and hello can brighten someone’s day instantly. When you’re out walking or working in the yard, wave to those who pass by and offer a greeting and a smile. Simple, friendly gestures like this can open the door for conversation and lead to great friendships.

What other ways have you found to get to know your new neighbors? Tell us your great ideas in the comments section!

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