Meeting new people can always be a little intimidating despite whether you're new to the community or have lived in the area for quite some time. In fact, sometimes it can seem like the days of going over to "borrow a cup of sugar" from the neighbours have completely gone; especially when everybody seems glued to their phone screens. However, this doesn't have to be the case! Once you've made the decision to put yourself out there, a few simple gestures can really help jump-start things. We've come up a list of 5 non-awkward and painless ways to meet your neighbours for the socially self-conscious and gifted alike.
Sometimes the simplest approaches are the best and everyone knows that even a little friendliness can go a long way. Next time you see a neighbour in the driveway or walking down the street, just smile and say hi. If you see them in the middle shovelling a snowy driveway, carrying an old dresser to the curb, or bringing the recycling in from the end of the driveway offer them a quick hand. Few things will garner neighbourly goodwill faster than an act of kindness.
If you're just moving in and lugging your coffee table inside, use that as your opening line. "I'm [your name], we're going to be living next-door!" As a quick tip, take it a step further and ask if they know a good place to order pizza after the move. This gives them a chance to show off their knowledge of the area and you get to bond later when you commend their suggestion. This also works well if you've missed the opportunity during the move-in. Using obvious clues like sports equipment they carry or seeing their kids in soccer cleats, you can ask about recommendations for your family; perhaps giving them some recommendations of your own!
Pets and children make exceptionally good conversation starters when meeting new people. In fact, there is some research that suggests strangers are much more likely to smile at, offer help to, and strike up conversations with people who have dogs with them. The best part is that pets can act as a social interaction buffer, allowing people to speaking to the animal as a way to speak with the person accompanying it. Children work in a different capacity in that people love talking about their kids and their life around them. Striking up a conversation with a fellow parent will be extremely easy as you commiserate and laugh about the funny/ weird things your kids do. The best part? You can take it a step further by setting up a play date so you can get together again!
We've all had that experience at least once in our lives where we've had a home with a fridge space that doesn't match our fridge size. These wide gaps usually get used as storage for brooms, mops, and ironing boards. However, because the gaps are usually fairly large, they can easily be used for something more permanent and more visually appealing. If your gap is 4 inches wide or little less wine storage is a terrific option! If you have a little more space and want something a little more versatile, we suggest setting up adjustable shelves that can give you good storage opportunities for books, platters and other items. It's good to note that refrigerator gaps are generally 20 to 24 inches deep, which means that these solutions won't use all the available depth. If you're really looking to squeeze everything out of your space try looking into a pull-out system. There are a wide variety of pull-out shelving options at your disposal ranging from 5½ inches wide (interior measurement) to the more common 10 inch wide shelving. Keep in mind that these systems are best professionally installed and can be expensive.
This is one of the more involved ideas for you to meet your neighbours in a non-awkward setting; however it's usually the most effective. The ingredients to a great party (food, drinks, and music) aren't that difficult, and people love parties, especially when they're not at their house! Slip invitations or flyers under doormats and encourage people to drop by your place or a common area. How much you want to invest is completely up to you and can be a simple as a backyard barbeque. Or, If you're looking to start a tradition of a monthly block party, go all out and try something like a crawfish boil to start an infectious party mood!
Much like how spending time outdoors in your front yard can lead to spontaneous neighbour chats, getting involved in the local community will put you into contact with more faces. Signing up for a nearby cooking class or volunteering with a local charitable group gets you into a position where you come across people in your area who share your passions. At the very least this will get you out of the house, doing something you love. However, odds are you will meet like-minded people that you can connect with in a strong way.
However you end up getting these relationships rolling, you will, at the very least, be investing positive energy in the place where you live. So be confident knowing that you're making your community an even better place to live, all while potentially planting the seeds of a lasting friendship! We hope this list of non-awkward ways to meet your neighbours helps you out; please be sure to follow Marina Homes on Facebook to keep up with our blogs and stay up-to-date with our communities.