BELONGING

Creative ways to welcome new residents to your neighborhood

By

Caroline Cox

– VOL. 4

The “for sale” sign on your street has come down and the moving trucks have come and gone. When new neighbors have entered the scene, it’s natural to want to help them get acquainted with the area while also giving them time to get used to their new home.

No matter how tight-knit your community is, being proactive about welcoming your new neighbor to the block is a great way to get to know them while helping them feel comfortable and potentially making a new friend. 

Here are just a few creative ways to make your new neighbor feel right at home.

Send a handwritten card

Once the moving trucks have cleared and your new neighbors seem to be settling in, it’s a great time to send them a handwritten card either through the mail or delivered by hand. Along with a message that offers a warm welcome, you can offer helpful insights so they can get to know their new surroundings.

List off a few local spots they might want to frequent, from a great local coffeehouse around the corner to the closest plant shop. You can also let them know about any recurring neighborhood events like meetings and weekly farmer’s markets (and if they’re a Venn Neighbor, show them all the great monthly events in the Venn app!). If they have kids, you can also give them the low-down on the neighborhood playgrounds and parks to boot.

Image of how to welcome new neighbors

Venn Hosts in Tel Aviv welcome new Neighbors to Florentine Village.

Create a thoughtful welcome package

Want to take things a step up from a simple card? Consider creating a small gift basket or box package to drop off at your new neighbor’s doorstep. Add in a few small items like a gift card to the local bakery, a small potted succulent, a tea towel or reusable napkins, a coffee cup, and a scented candle. These seemingly small items can come together as a big gesture that’ll make your neighborhood’s new resident feel warmly welcomed. And your favorite local businesses will surely appreciate the gesture, too. 

Along with a message including a warm welcome, you can offer helpful insights so new neighbors can get to know their new surroundings.

One word of caution: While things like baked goods and alcohol seem thoughtful, it’s best to skip these things for your welcome package if you don’t know your new neighbor’s dietary restrictions or whether they drink or want to keep alcohol in their home.

Do the “stop and chat”

One of the easiest and most effective ways to get to know your new neighbor is with some face time. Even if you feel more comfortable standing a few feet away or masking up, taking the time to meet them in person goes a long way towards making someone feel at home.

The next time you see them out and about (as long as they’re not wrangling a small child or balancing two handfuls of groceries), welcome them to the neighborhood, let them know how long you’ve been there, and offer to answer any questions they have about their new surroundings.

Image of how to welcome new neighbors potluck dinner

This summer, a small group gathered at a welcome potluck picnic for new neighbors and families.

Host a backyard gathering

A new family on the block is a great excuse to throw an outdoor party. After you’ve introduced yourself to your neighbor (and they’ve had a few weeks to settle in), gauge their interest and availability for a casual, laid-back gathering so they can get to know their fellow neighbors and vice versa. 

Consider making the event potluck-style and having everyone bring a dish, or making things easy with a local caterer (who doesn’t love a build-your-own taco bar?). Other than food and friends, make sure you have ample seating, drink options (including alcohol-free if you choose to serve beer, wine, or cocktails), and a little background music to keep things lively.

It can be daunting to familiarize yourself with a new neighborhood, even if you’re just moving a few minutes down the road. By making the first move to welcome your neighbors, puts everyone at ease. And who knows? You may even create a bond that’ll last for years to come.