Moving into a new home is exciting in so many ways, but it can also be nerve-wracking; particularly when it comes to meeting the neighbours. For some people, meeting new people and making new friends comes naturally, but for others, the thought alone is daunting.
A neighbourhood, if you’re lucky enough, can be like a second family. Your neighbours can offer you support and camaraderie, and the relationships you build can often develop into lasting friendships, despite all of the moves and relocations that may take place over the years.
It’s time to make the first step and extend the hand of friendship to your new neighbours. Here’s how:
BORROW SOME SUGAR
The simplest way to get to know your neighbours is by knocking on their front door and introducing yourself. If this feels strange or uncomfortable, go with purpose: to borrow something. Asking your neighbour for a cup of sugar may sound cliché, but having a reason to drop by may help to make you feel less awkward or embarrassed, plus it gives you a reason for a short visit – it was a pleasure to meet them at last but you must get back to your baking!
Or if you’re not the baking kind, maybe you need to borrow a ladder or something more practical give you have just moved in.
BAKE A CAKE
With the sugar you borrowed, you might as well go ahead and bake that cake. And when it is finished, drop by on another neighbour and take the cake with you. There’s nothing quite like bonding over food, and sweets go perfectly with a cuppa.
If you’ve moved into a neighbourhood with kids around, chances are some of them will be headed to the same school as yours. A great way for both you and your kids to make new friends with the locals is to set up a carpooling system. Not only will it save on time (and petrol!), sharing the trips to and from school will give your kids a chance to build a bond with their neighbours, and will give you a contact and friend to lean on when you need a favour or two.
WINE AND DINE
Once you’ve established a friendly rapport, why not host a small gathering in your home? It is a great chance to further your relationship and also gives you an opportunity to show off your new place! Keep it casual; cook up something simple or even order takeaway. Pop a few bottles of wine on the table to help get the conversation going and sit back and relax. You might kick off a new tradition of dinner parties where you can take turns hosting.
You’ve started small, time to go all out. Take it upon yourself to organise an old fashioned street party. Hosting a street party is great if you live in a secluded court, but a busy road is no reason to let this one slide: get creative. Set a date, send out invitations to your neighbours and start planning! Nothing brings people – young and old – together quite like a party.
If you’re shy, start small and branch out to the houses directly on either side of yours – you’ve got to start somewhere! Take the plunge and introduce yourself. You never know, one (or all) of your neighbours may just turn out to be some of your best friends.