Author Topic: How to be a good new neighbor  (Read 5558 times)

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stitchygreyanonymouse

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How to be a good new neighbor
« on: December 08, 2011, 10:34:43 AM »
So, maybe this should be an E-hell guide to never behaving badly topic, but I can’t find something like it anywhere…

We just bought our first house (yay!). It’s a small secluded street that seems quite friendly, and a couple of the neighbors near us have introduced themselves when we’ve run into each other outside. The next door neighbor gave us yummy treats (do I mail a thank you card, or give it to them/tape it to their door?), etc.

So, my question is, what is the etiquette for moving into a new neighborhood? Do you introduce yourselves to the neighbors? Invite them over once you’re settled? 

I suppose it depends on the neighborhood, but this is small and friendly. Plus, it’s holiday season…

I just want to start off right—growing up, we never really moved, at least no where like this, so I don’t have anything to base it on.

Shoo

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Re: How to be a good new neighbor
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2011, 10:41:06 AM »
Did the treats come on a plate that you need to return?  If so, I'd just take the plate back and offer up sincere thanks again for the delicious treats.  I don't think you need to write a formal thank you note for this.

Introduce yourselves as you encounter new people.  If you want to have a little gathering in your new home to meet the neighbors, I think that would be lovely.  Handwritten invitations would be perfect for such an occasion.  But I'd wait until after the busy holidays.

jellyjar

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Re: How to be a good new neighbor
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2011, 10:45:49 AM »
I don't think a thank you note could hurt.  If it was on a plate you think you might need to return, traditionally what I was taught is that you provide some sort of simple yummy treat back to them.  :)  I like it that there are still neighborhoods where people welcome newcomers this way. 

Isisnin

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Re: How to be a good new neighbor
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2011, 10:46:58 AM »
Introducing yourself as you see them is fine.  Even knocking on the door of immediate neighbors. 

I can be very shy and to this day am embarrassed that I did not go over and introduce myself to the new neighbors that moved in directly across the way.   

So introducing yourself would be an appreciated gesture.

violinp

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Re: How to be a good new neighbor
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2011, 11:06:42 AM »
When my parents moved into the neighborhood we now live in *mumblemumble* years ago, they took up walking around the neighborhood and would introduce themselves as they walked around. I POD other posters as well.
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NotTheNarcissist

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Re: How to be a good new neighbor
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2011, 03:50:45 PM »
So, my question is, what is the etiquette for moving into a new neighborhood? Do you introduce yourselves to the neighbors? Invite them over once you’re settled?

I think introducing yourselves is a great idea. If you do take a plate of goodies or sweet bread, I'm sure the neighbors will appreciate your thoughtfulness.

On the 'invite them over' front... only if you feel you have the time and finances. If you do, then I say go for it. It's a nice gesture as well.

I want to clarify that neither of the 2 gestures are 'required' or even 'expected'  IMHO. I am like you in that I want to meet the neighbors and start off on a positive note so I would likely do the first one with a plate of goodies but not the 2nd as I don't have free time for the kind of get together I would want to host.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: How to be a good new neighbor
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2011, 04:26:29 PM »
I've gotten to know my neighbours better since I started gardening.  I have a large herb bed out front and encourage the neighbours to use them, too.  And when I have a surplus of veggies, I go visiting.

(Don't worry - it's not zucchini.  I can't seem to grow the darn things!)
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sevenday

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Re: How to be a good new neighbor
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2011, 04:41:49 PM »
In the specific case of the plate of goodies - if it's a nice plate (i.e. not plastic or paper) reciprocating with some small yummy treat wouldn't go amiss, though it wouldn't be bad to simply return the plate with a thank-you card.  "The (whatever) was lovely! Thank you for welcoming us to the neighborhood, we really appreciate it."  You could include a suggestion to get together after the holidays (at this point, most people have already got plans for various gatherings) when it's not so busy and they don't feel stressed.  Suggest coffee at a local shop maybe.  Invite them to call you if you want. 

As for general meet the neighbors - a garden, a regular walk route, etc, usually introduces you to the neighbors that are outgoing and would greet you when outside.  If there is a particular person you want to meet but they're more introverted/not visible, a note at the door saying "Hi, we are the family at XXX Yth street. We've just moved in and we want to introduce ourselves to our neighbors.  Feel free to drop by this weekend and say hello!"  When I was moving into my trailer, the neighbors to either side came over to help move things and keep an eye on my kitties while things were chaotic.  Both invited me to ask them for help if it was needed. As it turned out, a year later, my car refused to start and I needed to be at a medical appointment in 20 minutes.  A frantic door knock on my neighbor's door got me a ride to the appointment.  By the time I was done with the appt, my dad was back from work and was able to pick me up and arrange for car repairs.  I went over the next day with a plate of cookies and thanked her profusely for her help.

stitchygreyanonymouse

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Re: How to be a good new neighbor
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2011, 12:28:42 PM »
Thanks, everyone.

The goodies were from a local bakery, in a paper box, but we’ll give them a thank you card and continue introducing ourselves as we run into people, I think. We take our dog for walks around the neighborhood, and once the winter lets up, I’m sure we’ll see more people.

*I’m* not very outgoing, even though my SO is, so I don’t think I’ll go knocking on doors, but I wanted to make sure that wasn’t some sort of expected etiquette!

TootsNYC

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Re: How to be a good new neighbor
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2011, 09:49:54 PM »
Don't tape the thank-you note to their door.
Don't slip it into the mailbox (that's a violation of postal laws).

Personally, I think if you thanked them when they handed you the box of goodies, a card would be overkill. It's a casual sort of present, and they were thanked in person. I know that I would think it was weird, to get a written card that says the same things you just said (more in depth, probably) in person.

Correspondence, to me, is a SUBSTITUTE for the actual presence of a person.

I would just be friendly. And when a natural opportunity arises for you to give them something (Mom send Christmas oranges and you can't get them all, or something; you decide to bake cookies so you double the recipe and give them some), then you should do so.