Moving house is pretty hectic. You spend months planning to get to the big day, listing things, organising, packing, cleaning, redirecting mail etc. It’s a huge life event. And when you arrive in your new home, it’s a wonderful beginning and you’re set to enjoy everything that comes with a fresh start.
But one of the hardest things about a fresh start in a new home and a new neighbourhood is meeting new people. Perhaps in your old street, you were kind of a big deal – maybe you were known in your local pub, maybe your barista knew what you wanted before you ordered, maybe your next door neighbour would wheel your bins in for you without even asking. And so now, here you are, in your new home, with very few of the familiar local faces around you.
So how do you go about fitting into a new neighbourhood? Here at The Moving Guys, we’ve helped a great deal of people move into their new homes, so we’ve compiled a few of the best tips to help you establish yourself with the neighbours after you move in:
1) Introduce yourself
There’s no better way to break the ice than to knock on the door and say hello. Sure, it might not come naturally in this day and age, but when it comes to a safe a friendly community, offline meet-and-greets is where it’s at. So head on over and say hi. You don’t need to feign some kind of excuse like “have you got any milk?” just be yourself and let them know you’re new in town.
2) Throw a ‘moving in’ garage sale
Most people sell on their unwanted furniture when they’re moving out in order to get rid of the things they no longer want. But imagine moving into a new neighbourhood and organising a garage sale when you first arrive – you still get to sell the things you no longer need, but it’s also a great opportunity to meet some of the locals.
3) Ask questions
The best way to make new friends in a new place is by making people feel like they’re important to you. And a really simple way to make that happen is to ask questions. It’s all too easy to Google the answer to every question you have when you move to a new place, but you’ll find that if you ditch the internet and ask real people their opinions and recommendations, they’ll be invested in your happiness a little more and you’ll feel like a local in no time.
4) Turn up
If you move into your new place and find out there’s local events happening, make sure you turn up. Farmers’ market on at the weekend? Get on down there and start chatting to the people you meet. Local prep-school holding a fundraiser? Show up and buy some raffle tickets. You’ll be surprised by how quickly people will start to recognise you and treat you like one of their own.
5) Take the plunge and invite them over
Chances are, when you move into your new property, most of the neighbours will have either known the old tenants and want to see what you’ve done with the place, or never had anything to do with the original occupants, so want to find out what the house is like on the inside and how it compares to their own. It’s a fact – the term ‘nosey neighbour’ wasn’t pulled out of thin air. So leverage that fact, be proactive and invite them over for dinner, a barbeque or informal drinks. After an hour or so, you’ll find you’ve broken the ice, and in no time at all you’ll be settled in your new home, with a local neighbourhood watering hole that’s as friendly as Cheers.