Get to know your neighbors. Now is the time to introduce yourself. Even if you’ve lived in your home for a while, this first introduction doesn’t need to be awkward or a big production. Simply smile and say, “Hey, I’ve been meaning to introduce myself…”
Hang out on your porch or in your front yard. It’s hard to get to know your neighbors if you don’t ever see them. Just by being out in front of your house you can give off a welcoming vibe that encourages interaction. Smile and say hello.
Create a block directory, or start looking for potential street Captains. If you don’t yet know your neighbors, this is the perfect way to get started. It doesn’t need to be fancy. Just drop off a sign-up sheet in everyone’s mailbox and, once they return it to you, you can email the final version to everyone. Street captains will help distribute a flyer, for a pot luck or a yard sale.
Be respectful of your neighbors. Don’t be that guy. Clean up after your dog and keep him leashed when out walking. Be aware of any disturbing noise levels that you are creating. Maintain your property and respect property boundaries.
Create a formalized tool-sharing program. Consider establishing a more formal tool-sharing program to get everyone involved. Tools are one of those things that you generally only use once in a while, so why not share them when they’re not in use? Local Tools is an online lending library management system that can get you started.
Welcome new families by giving them a welcome basket. Create a flyer with local contacts and businesses. Ask neighbors to donate something simple, baked goods, flowers, gift certificates from local businesses. Menus from a few local restaurants.
Celebrate Neighborhoodday in April. Check out this website: www.neighborhoodday.org. Neighborday is the last Saturday of April, start bringing it up at your meetings in January so people can get excited about it.
Start a neighborhood book club. If you have like minded neighbors, consider a book club.
Garden Walk- Plant a pollinator garden and invite neighbors to stop in when they are passing by. Do a seed swop in the Fall. If you have fruit trees, let neighbors pick the fruit.
Shovel your neighbor’s sidewalk when it snows, If you have elderly neighbors. Consider doing this in the winter. Or mow the grass one day if your neighbor has an illness or a new baby. Plus, you never know who will return the favor.
Support School events. There is a reason the most successful schools are the ones where parents are actively engaged. Good schools have successful, if informal, partnerships between the administration, the parents and the community-at-large. Even if you don’t have kids at the school, it’s important to remember that the local school is also a member of the community, and can greatly impact the neighborhood, positively or negatively. Neighborhood businesses frequently host fundraisers to benefit the local schools. If you can attend an event, you’re helping the school as well as getting to know your neighbors at a fun community event.
Address concerns or issues directly with your neighbor. Don’t let a problem fester and escalate. And, don’t immediately call to report a problem to the city without first trying to work it out with your neighbor directly.
Shop locally. You will not only see and interact with your neighbors at the local businesses and along the way, but you will also get to know your other neighbors—the local business owners and employees.
Support our youngest entrepreneurs by buying the neighbor kids’ lemonade. Buy whatever kids are selling on card tables in their front yards. Stop by at the various church breakfast fundraiser events.
Share your skills. Are you tech savvy? Perhaps you can sew or like to tinker with cars. Your neighbors would love for you to share these skills with them, either by teaching them or just helping on a one-time basis. Skill-sharing banks are popping up in neighborhoods across the country.
Talk to other parents at the park. The neighborhood park is where you get the best scoop! If you have kids, the neighborhood playground can offer a wealth of info.
Let your neighbors know when you will be out of town and ask them to contact you or the police if anything is suspicious. You don’t need a formalized neighborhood watch program to keep the neighborhood safe.
Welcome new little ones to the neighborhood. Decorate the families’ front porch with pink or blue ribbons. A small gesture, but a way of simultaneously announcing to everyone the baby’s birth and welcoming the baby into our community.
Share small neighborhood gifts at holiday times. It’s rare that anyone gets anything fun in the mail these days. Why not surprise your neighbor with a holiday treat? Keep it simple…baked goods, seasoned popcorn, small plants or even a bottle of wine will be welcomed by most.
Drive like your kids live here…because they do!. We all like to live in vibrant, bustling neighborhoods, but this means people, especially kids, need to feel safe when walking or biking around.
Connect online to connect offline. Websites like Next Door have created whole new online neighborhoods, but it’s important to remember to not use these sites in place of actually getting to know our neighbors in real life. So, go ahead and create that neighborhood Facebook group page. But, be sure to use it to encourage offline interaction, too.
Take an Evening Stroll. Invite a neighbor to join for an evening stroll around the neighborhood, you will be surprised at how many people you will bump into to.