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You never know when an emergency could strike close to home. Get out and meet your neighbors today.
When you see emergency vehicles at your neighbors house, what do you do? You don’t actually know them. You wish you did because you want to be the kind of neighbor that knows everyone and is there to help. Whether it be borrowing a cup of sugar, or running them to the hospital. I want to know my neighbors, and I want them to know me.
That happened here last week. Mark was home and outside playing in the snow with Lincoln. He saw the ambulances come and thought it was at our one neighbor’s home who we do know pretty well. The two homes look very similar, which on our street of old homes is unique. He yelled for me to come out. Thinking I should run over and see what happened.
When we realized it wasn’t the neighbor we knew, we just kind of stood there. Now what? Should we still check on them? See if there was anything we could do as a neighbor? We knew absolutely nothing about this neighbor, yet we felt compelled to do something. So I called our friend who lives right next door and asked if she knew anything. She did, but not much. She’s an older single woman. Her kids all live out of the state. She was sitting up and talking to the Medics.
Since she left in the ambulance there really wasn’t anything we could do. Except wait, and wonder if I could have been a better neighbor. So I turned to my awesome friends, who haven’t moved around as often as I, and asked if they knew their neighbors and what their best tips were for getting to know their neighbors.
Be the first to make contact. When you see someone moving in, don’t wait for them to introduce themselves, go say hi! Offer to help unload the truck, or bring by some dinner. If you are the one moving in, don’t wait for your neighbors to stay hi first. Once the move in has settled, head on over and introduce yourself!
Service. Service is my favorite way to meet new people, but it never has to be a big production. Helping rake leaves, shovel snow, or running their newspaper up to the porch are just a few simple tips we can all do, and will help you meet those neighbors. One day we noticed our neighbor who we’ve not actually met, but know lives alone – yes it would appear most of our neighbors are single women – had newspapers collecting at the bottom of her drive. I sent the kids over to carry them up to her porch. She didn’t answer the door, possibly they didn’t knock either, but now we feel a slight connection to her.
Neighborhood Party! This is probably my favorite idea ever! Once we get warmer temps I think we’ll plan a neighborhood party. We have the backyard for it. It’s a great reason to go knocking on your neighbors doors too!
HeartAttack. Similar to t.p.’ing, but more likely received with more joy on both ends. I love this idea Amber from Busy Creating Memories shared with me. Write nice notes to your neighbor and tape them all over their garage, front door, etc. It could be a welcome to the neighborhood, or “hey we’d love to get to know you more and these are the things we’ve noticed about you”!
Get Outside and Be Seen. This was the 2nd most frequent answer from my friends. Spend time outdoors. Let your neighbors see you. Say hi whenever you can. If your neighbor has kids invite them to play with yours. I know I need to be better with this one!
Bring Cookies. The number one answer given by friends online was to bring cookies! No one turns down a plate of cookies, and you really need no excuse to bring them over. So bake up some cookies, and take them over. Maybe whip up a little “Neighbor Card”, to include your phone number and house number so if they ever want to call or stop by but can’t remember which house you said you lived in – I can’t tell you how many times people tell me where they live, and have it not stick in my brain – they have it handy!
When leaving for book club last night I saw a car parked and lights on at the “ambulance home”, so I think I’ll bake up some cookies and go introduce myself.