You spotted the moving truck, heard through the grapevine, or simply started seeing a fresh face on the block: someone new has arrived. It’s the neighborly thing to welcome them! Whether you live on a busy city block, a suburban cul-de-sac, or a rural country lane, here are a few of our favorite ideas for greeting a new neighbor.

Introduce yourself

If you notice someone moving in, head on over. Some people may want to be settled in before meeting the locals, so a quick hi will suffice. But others may be ready to welcome the welcome wagon! You won’t know until you say hello.

Offer to lend a hand with unpacking

Let’s face it: no one ever really WANTS to do the heavy lifting associated with moving. So, if you’re feeling strong and generous, pop on over and offer to lend a hand (and a back?!) with unpacking. Who knows, this generous gesture could lead to well-earned post-moving pizza and/or beer. And possibly the beginning of a brand-new friendship.

Send a note 

If physically offering to help new neighbors move in is a bit much (and no shame if it is!), simply dropping off a handwritten card is a sweet gesture. And if it’s accompanied by some fresh flowers or homemade cookies (be sure to make them nut-free, just in case of allergies!), all the better.

Give a gift certificate to your favorite local spot

Consider dropping off a gift certificate to your favorite local haunt. Be it a restaurant, coffee shop, corner market, or even a local hardware store, inviting peeps to embrace their new locale is thoughtful. If they’re feeling out of sorts, or looking to explore a new place, this card could provide a great jumping off point.

Plan a party

There’s no better way to introduce new folks to the ‘hood than planning a get-together. Depending on the season, this could be a backyard BBQ, a progressive dinner party, a holiday gathering, a cocktail or cookie exchange, a wine and cheese tasting, or even a complete block party. Big or small, this neighborly gesture will make anyone new feel at home.

Invite them to neighborhood events

There are many ways to be a good neighbor, but an easy and hospitable way is to invite newbies to local events. Be it a favorite farmers market or flea market or kids’ activities, or even a dog-walking meet-up, extend an invite. Providing new neighbors with information about local events will make them feel like a part of the community. So there’s no pressure, just provide the information — they can make the decision as to what floats their boat. To make new people feel safe and secure in their new and possible unfamiliar places, think about sharing with them the neighborhood evacuation plan or local shelter or evacuation routes.

Stopping by to say hello. Visiting with your kids and basket of cookies. Leaving a note. Lending a hand (or a strong back!). Smile kindnesses like these can go a long way. It also creates more allies in the neighborhood and a stronger community. Plus it could mean one more person to pick up the mail while you’re away.

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about Hannah

Hannah Fairbanks is a freelance writer living in San Francisco with her husband and 2 daughters. When she’s not writing, you might find her reading, packing bento box lunches for her kids, and making sure she gets in at least 10,000 Fitbit steps a day.