You finally found your perfect home, had your offer accepted, and made the move. You’ve unpacked, stored away the empty boxes for safekeeping and started to settle in. The hardest part is over.
So, what’s next?
Now that you’re finally feeling at home in your new place, it’s the perfect time to make some friends in the area!
Making friends in your neighborhood, community or even your apartment building can be important to your overall happiness in your new home, but how can you go about it?
Meeting new people doesn’t have to be daunting and breaking the ice may be easier than you think!
Here are some easy ideas to help you meet your new neighbors!
This piece of advice might be the most obvious of the bunch, but you’d be surprised how many people fail to do it.
Don’t wait for others to approach you. Instead, actively go out of your way to strike up conversations. Make small talk when you pass others on the street while walking your dog or go out to get your mail. Get in the habit of being friendly, saying hello and introducing yourself. Do this enough and you’re sure to make a few friends around the neighborhood.
If you happen to see one of your neighbors out doing yard work, walk over and offer to help. Have expertise in a specific trade or run a local business? Offer a discount on your services to those in the neighborhood, or even a free membership or trial!
This tip is definitely cliche, but there’s a reason it’s suggested again and again- it’s a sure crowd pleaser! And you know what they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
A great way to introduce yourself to your neighbors and get a conversation flowing is to bring over some kind of edible goodie to share. You don’t have to be the neighborhood’s next master chef or spend a lot of time making something fancy. Simply bake a batch of Betty Crocker brownies or whip up something seasonal like a pumpkin bread. It’s the gesture that counts.
Not the subtle type? Why not host a casual dinner or cocktail party at your place and invite everyone in the neighborhood. Print out mini invitations to put in their mailboxes or slip under their door, or if you already know some of their names, make a Facebook Event. Also, tell them to bring a friend or two along- the more the merrier!
This doesn’t have to be an elaborately planned event. Order a few pizzas or subs, pick up some bags of chips and wine or beer. Make it easy on yourself and keep it casual with simple drinks and light bites.
Use your interests, skills or hobbies to your advantage and get involved in your new community. Play a sport? Join a local intramural team. Like to read? Look for a book club to join. Want to help out? Search for volunteer opportunities in the area. There should be plenty of activities, events, and clubs that you can participate in to make new friends in the neighborhood.
Meeting new people may not always be easy, but a little effort goes a long way. Initiate conversations and put yourself out there and you’re sure to have new friends in no time!