"Being friendly feels good emotionally," Eyring tells Well+Good. "It builds collaboration and comes in handy when neighbors need each other or need assistance." For example, a good neighbor will let you know if your pet has broken loose from your yard, or taking your child home if they skin their knees riding their bikes.
- Pamela Eyring, Pamela Eyring is the president and owner of The Protocol School of Washington®, an accredited school focusing on international protocol, business etiquette, and communication skills training.
The reverse is also true: Taking a moment to meet up with your neighbors will help them feel comfortable asking you for a hand if they need it in the future. Like, maybe they're going out of town in a month and need someone to keep their monstera plant alive. And, hey, it always feels good to do someone else a solid.
Before you bring a welcome gift over to your neighbor, Eyring has a few tips for making sure your introduction is kind, culturally sensitive, and the first step toward a fulfilling relationship with the folks next door. Here's your etiquette lesson.
How To Welcome New Neighbors
1. Keep it simple
Even the most simple gift can impress your neighbor. So if you're thinking that you need to be super original in what you give them, think again. "Traditionally, people show hospitality when welcoming through baked goods and flowers. Baked goods such as homemade chocolate chip cookies or a loaf of pumpkin bread are a nice gesture," says Eyring.
Just make sure to skip the nuts when you're baking them a nice dessert since over three million Americans have nut allergies, she says. The recipe below can be adapted to be nut, dairy, and gluten-free—so it's a total winner.
Try this easy-to-make pumpkin bread:
2. Take care with presentation
"Wrapping the treat in pretty cellophane with ribbons makes it even more desirable and shows more time investment. The time you spent can be perceived as a more authentic welcome," says Eyring. If you're not into cellophane, use the inside of a grocery bag instead for a cool, brown paper bag aesthetic.
3. Give something that betters their new home
Let's say your new neighbors have a beautiful back yard, but it could use a few more plants. "Potted flowers such a Dutch garden variety is another great gift. Your new neighbor can display it inside their home and then plant the bulbs outdoors for more blooms," says Eyring. Consider giving them something that will beautify their green space and grow with them.
4. Keep cultural sensitivity in mind
"Gifts that are culturally sensitive are a must," says Eyring. "Don’t bring a bottle of wine as a welcome gift to those who might not consume alcohol." Consider doing a little research beforehand so your gift is appropriate and kind. You want to start on a high note.
5. Welcome your new neighbors with local goodies
Finding a local gift for your new neighbor is a great way to introduce them to their new zip code. Offer them farm fresh eggs or buy a picture frame designed by a local artist. That way, they're getting to know the area in a unique way (and it gives you a great opener.)
6. If your new neighbors have kids, offer something for them, too
So your next door neighbors have kids? Pick them up a little something, too. "For kids, water toys or a tub of colorful chalk make for a fun and inexpensive surprise," says Eyring.
7. Stay in touch
Once the initial introduction has been made, make sure you're keeping the conversation going. "An easy way to make a new neighbor feel welcome is waving from your car or the sidewalk when you cross paths in the neighborhood," says Eyring. You can also drop off a list of some of your go-to dinner spots, or offer them your number in case of emergency.
Really, it's up to you how much energy you want to contribute to this relationship. Sometimes, saying hi will be enough; other times, you may want to establish a friendship with your neighbor. Whatever the case, your warm welcome is complete.
'Welcome To the Neighborhood!' Gifts
This colorful sidewalk chalk will keep the kids busy while your new neighbors are busy unpacking, and that’s a gift in and of itself.
Make their new home smell amazing with this elegant diffusor fit to spruce up any room.
Oh hi! You look like someone who loves free workouts, discounts for cutting-edge wellness brands, and exclusive Well+Good content. Sign up for Well+, our online community of wellness insiders, and unlock your rewards instantly.
Loading More Posts...