When was the last time you met a new neighbor? Whether you’re a newcomer on the block or a long-time resident ready to come out of your shell, getting to know fellow locals can seem intimidating—especially if you’re not the most extroverted person. But, in honor of September’s Neighbor Month, we’re here with some tips on how to get to know your neighbors.
We’ll break down four ideas for introducing yourself to your community. Whether you want to keep it simple with an introductory note or throw a housewarming party, Nextdoor’s experts are here to help you meet your neighbors. Because we believe when you know your neighbors, a wonderful thing can happen, called kindness.
4 ideas for connecting with your neighbors
So, how do you introduce yourself to your new neighbors? The answer will depend on your personality, how long you’ve been in the community, and how much of a splash you want to make.
1. Send a note
Sending a note is a surefire way to make your presence known in the neighborhood—and there are certainly benefits to this method:
- It’s introvert-friendly – If you’re shy, a simple note can help you introduce yourself without the pressure of a face-to-face meeting. While you’ll probably have to smile and wave at some point, a note is a simple way to break the ice.
- It works for long-time residents – If it took you a while to get comfortable in your new digs, you might not have introduced yourself to your new community right away. Sending a note can help you ease the awkwardness of finally taking the plunge
- You can share as much or as little as you want – Maybe you want to list your phone number, email, favorite color, your pet owner status, or plans for a new mailbox in your note— or perhaps you want to stick with your name and a brief intro. A note can be as sparse or as detailed as you’d like.
2. Give a small gift
If a note doesn’t seem like enough, consider sending your neighbors a small gift to make a more notable entrance. While you don’t need to go all-out, a token that reflects your personality or interests can help your neighbors remember you or give them a conversation starter when they run into you at the mailbox.
Consider the following ideas, or use them to inspire your own perfect gift:
- Small plants (if you have a green thumb)
- Painted rocks (if you’re an artist)
- Cookie cutters (if you love to bake)
- Jars of a homemade spice blend (if you’re a home chef)
- A bottle of wine (if you’re a budding sommelier)
- Scented sachets (if you’re a clean home guru)
Don’t forget to attach a small introductory note with your gift—an air of mystery can be fun, but remember that the purpose is to spark a conversation with your neighbors.
3. Invite them to dinner
If you only have a few neighbors—or if you love any excuse to throw a party—consider organizing a small dinner party, neighborhood gathering, or inviting each household over for a meal one at a time.
Welcoming your neighbors into your new home is an excellent way to introduce yourself. Your guests will:
- Get a feel for your personal style
- Learn more about you and find some similar interests
- Get a chance to tell you about themselves
- Give you more details, tips, and information about the community
Whether you organize a potluck, show off your culinary prowess with a home-cooked meal, or order from a favorite local restaurant, having your neighbors over for dinner is an easy way to connect with your community.
4. Participate in Neighbor Month
Speaking of soirees, September is Neighbor Month—an excellent chance to organize a community event or meetup in your area.
Whether you’ve already introduced yourself to your neighbors or you’re waiting for the perfect opportunity, hosting or attending a Neighbor Month event, like the #BigNeighborhoodMeetUp, can help you get to know other locals, meet new friends, and make connections in your neighborhood.
And, if you choose to host an event, remember that it doesn’t have to be an all-out bash. Consider:
- Organizing a local community education event, like a fire safety presentation from your local fire department
- Hosting a casual get-together such as a weekend coffee circle on your front porch, asking your neighbors to contribute snacks, fruit, or mimosa ingredients
- Holding a mini field day with low-stakes games for kids and adults alike—three-legged races, tug-of-war, or scavenger hunts are all big hits for residents of all ages
If you’re unsure what’s going on in your community for Neighbor Month, consult your local Nextdoor group. And, if there’s nothing on the docket yet, you have the power to change that.
Nextdoor: Building connections between neighbors
Figuring out how to meet your neighbors is the first step to truly joining your community. Whether you send a note or a small trinket, invite neighbors over for dinner, or attend a community event, you have countless opportunities to make yourself known in your neighborhood.
Nextdoor is a great place for acquainting yourself with your community. With Nextdoor, you can discover local events, join a local book club, find a new favorite restaurant, chat directly with your neighbors, and build real-world connections.
For newcomers, introverts, extroverts, and lifelong residents alike, Nextdoor can help you find your niche in your neighborhood.
- Country Living. 32 Best Gifts for Neighbors. https://www.countryliving.com/shopping/gifts/g2856/christmas-gifts-for-neighbors/
To connect with your local neighborhood, download the app or login at nextdoor.com.