I have been amazingly lucky that I have always lived in places with great people. They are kind, and they make you feel at home. It was a characteristic we sought out the last time we moved – we decided on the neighborhood where everyone was outside and neighbors were stopped in cars talking to each other. When we moved in, various neighbors stopped by to introduce themselves, and it made a huge difference to us.

A small welcome gift can make new neighbors feel so welcome, even if it's "just" a packet of menus for local restaurants. How do you make new neighbors feel welcome?

It’s the kind of neighbor I want to be. When you’re moving, there’s enough stress as it is, and knowing that there are people who’ve got your back makes it just a little bit less stressful, and that makes a huge difference.

Some of my all time favorite welcome to the neighborhood type greetings?

  • A list of local babysitters
  • Offers to have my kids play with similar age kids who live down the street while I unpack
  • A glass of cold tea and an offer to unpack a box or two with me
  • A list of peditricians/dentists/vets/etc in the area
  • A plate of brownies
  • A packet with a bundle of menus from local restaurants

There are so many easy ways to make people feel welcome, and many are low to no cost. Personally, I tend to make scones and bring them to new neighbors, along with that list of local service providers we like. It’s always been appreciated, and it’s an easy thing for me to do.

We will be moving into a new home in a little over a month, and once again it will be our turn to be the new neighbors. Since it’s a local move, I already have friends who have offered to help. Some will take boxes from one house to another. Others offered to watch my kids after summer school is over so I don’t have them underfoot. More will be there to help me pack everything up, and I’ve already gotten the scoop on the neighborhood from several people – including several potential babysitters.

I’m looking forward to the chance to make more friends and to be in a permanent home again. Whether my neighbors do anything for me or not isn’t my main concern. It’s a “nice to have” kind of feeling, but so often we’re busy or forget or the timing isn’t good. And I get that and respect it.

So how about you? What kind of a neighbor are you? And if you’re moving near me… let me know. I’ll stop by with a batch of scones!


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