Welcoming New Neighbors as a Family: 20 Easy Ideas!
The Bible talks a lot about loving our neighbors (Galatians 5:14), welcoming strangers (Hebrews 13:2) and treating them as our own (Leviticus 19:34), and so on. As you know, as Christians we are to follow God’s commands, and although sometimes that can be really difficult, today I’m going to talk about a really fun opportunity to follow Jesus’ example and sharing God’s love: Welcoming new neighbors! Moving to a new area is stressful and can be scary. We have an amazing opportunity to help ease that burden for the newest members of our community. This is also a great way to teach children to be a productive member of society and to be thoughtful and considerate of those around them! Having been inspired by Sasha Gray’s post in the Friends On Purpose Project, I’m going to share 21 easy ideas for welcoming new neighbors as a family, and many of these ideas allow for even the littlest members of your family to help out!
Ways of Welcoming!
- Bring them food – Who doesn’t love one less thing to worry about when they are super busy dealing with a new life event?! If you aren’t sure what to bring, don’t worry–it really is the thought that counts. You could also get a gift card to the best local pizza or other takeout place!
- Bring or send flowers – Flowers are a great way to bring a little “pop” into the midst of the unpacking chaos.
- Offer to take some of their boxes or trash – Some trash and recycling companies are more strict than others, and it can be a big help to divvy up all of that moving trash between neighbors rather than make special arrangements. (I would’ve never thought of this if Jessica Baker from My Spectrum Life hadn’t shared it on that Friends On Purpose Project post I mentioned above!)
- Invite them to a party – Do you have any holidays, birthdays, or events coming up? Ask them to join you! If you are hosting something in your home, it could be a great way for the neighbors to meet some new people.
- Invite them to go for a walk – Welcoming new neighbors can be as simple as just getting to know them, and this is a great way to spend some time doing just that, while also showing them around the neighborhood! It is also a great option if they have kids as well!
- Offer to help unload/unpack – Offer to grab a box or help get their essentials out and ready to go–they may not feel comfortable taking you up on this or putting you to work, but they will remember the gesture!
- Check up on them – They may be bombarded those first few weeks and then left alone. Make sure that you continue reaching out and building that relationship!
- Give them the low down on the area – Share your wealth of knowledge on the schools, food, surrounding towns, stores, salons, daycares, babysitters, auto shops, fun places for kids–anything you can think of that will help them better navigate this new area! I’m sure they will really appreciate the tips.
- Make cards – Have your little ones play their part in welcoming new neighbors by letting them make some “Welcome” cards for the children (if they have any) and the family as a whole. I am sure the little ones will feel so important having something of their own from the neighbors–how special would that make the experience for them! Especially if they are sad having left all of their friends or family.
- Offer to do their food shopping – What a huge gesture, especially during that first week when they are exhausted from moving and unpacking, and even more so if they have little ones running around!
- Offer to babysit – If you have built a good rapport, consider offering to have their little ones come hang out with yours while they get some stuff done. They may not feel comfortable just yet, but it is a nice gesture, especially if you regularly watch kids out of your home (which may make them more comfortable and inclined to say yes)!
- Set up a meal train – Meal trains are perfect for welcoming new neighbors! Use a website like MealTrain.com to rally the neighbors provide a week of meals while the new family gets settled. You can always ask for preferences, allergies, etc. ahead of time to make sure it is something that will be more helpful than stressful. This one is an amazing way for the seasoned neighbors to welcome future new neighbors as well, like a neighborly tradition!
- Bake them something – Everyone loves getting baked goods! I highly doubt they will be baking any cookies that first week, and I am willing to bet it’d be a welcome surprise!
- Shovel or mow – Depending on the season, shoveling snow or mowing the lawn for a new neighbor is a great way to make them feel part of the community. Our neighbors already do that for each other, so to make sure they are included would be such a thoughtful use of the energy it takes to do one more house!
- Offer to help garden – Bring a potted plant and offer to help with their garden! This would be especially useful for a family who never had to maintain a garden before and doesn’t know where to start.
- Invite them over – Make a special brunch, lunch, dinner, whatever! Invite them into your home and break bread with them. Open the door to deeper discussions and get to know each other better.
- Host a BBQ – If you are able, and the season is right, host a neighborhood BBQ! It is an amazing, pressure free way for the new neighbors to meet everyone and experience the love and community you all share.
- Offer to help organize – This would be helpful for families who unpacked everything quickly but are now stuck living in their new home with no rhyme or reason, and no time to take on such a big task. Offer to help lighten that load!
- Bring a housewarming gift – Bring over a small set of coasters or a huge basket of cleaning supplies and paper products–either will be appreciated!
- Just go – The best thing that you could do is the most simple. Just go introduce yourself. See how they are doing, offer your time, and leave your number in case they need anything else. That is honestly enough!
How have you welcomed your new neighbors in the past? Did you find any new ideas for the future? Think big here–neighbors aren’t just those that live on your street! Make sure you are staying aware and taking notice of the new families in your community. We are called to welcome!