Just moved into a new place? Things to do to adjust to the neighbourhood…
June 19th, 2018
So, you have finally moved into a new place and things are looking new and different. It’s like school time again, you are not sure how you would fit into the new neighbourhood and yes, you will need some time to get acclimatised. A research of 2000 people by a social enterprise group pointed out that on an average it takes about six months for people to settle in. The study also says that there is a faster way to settle in, and how is that possible? Little things provide an opportunity to blend into new places. These small, yet simple things are the difference between someone settling in quicker vs someone taking longer time to settle.
Let’s observe some of the basic etiquettes and gestures required to help you blend into your neighbourhood –
Entry matters: Your entrance into the neighbourhood will create some ‘’noise’’ with a big truck entering the area carrying all your household goods. And yes, there will be some commotion and a lot of movement while moving the items into your home. Be mindful of the entry, make sure the truck is not parked in a way that blocks the main pathway for this can create inconvenience for your neighbours. Also, make sure that your own vehicle (or that of your friends who have come to help you) does not block the driveway, this can be a huge blow to making your first impression.
Clean surroundings: While you need to use the lawn and kerb to place your boxes and household items, make sure that you do not leave empty cartons and litter around. This will not only give you additional cleaning work (at a later stage) but will also send out a signal to your neighbours that you do not actually care for the cleanliness of your surroundings and the community.
Also, be aware of where to place the trash bin and when it gets cleared by the local municipality, having your trash bin full while other bins are empty might draw undue attention of your neighbours.
Be gracious: On your moving day as you get busy shifting your items into the new house you might have a few friendly neighbours drop in to say ‘hello’. Though you could be very busy running around and getting things in place, be gracious and take a little time to reciprocate. Some neighbours may even offer to assist you, accept it graciously and thank them profusely for their help. In case you are too reserved to accept the help from your neighbours, make sure you smile and politely thank them for offering to help.
Over the next few days, as you keep bumping into your neighbours, always smile and greet them with a hello. All it takes, is these initial little gestures that lead to great bonding with your neighbours.
Many ways to Thank: As you settle in, some people begin to become part of your life even if it is, for a little time. Be thankful for their time and little gestures, and a great way to reciprocate is through action. Let’s say a neighbour came around to hand you a box of cookies or some freshly cooked recipe, always make sure you thank her/him in gesture. A simple ‘’Thank You’’ note makes a huge impression, and yes, notes still work wonders. A step beyond the note would be to share with them something you have cooked or bought. Little gestures of ‘’Thank you’’ go a long way to redefine relationships.
Simple habits work wonders: One of the best way to get to know your neighbours is to cultivate little habits. Early morning (or evening) walks, for example, are a great way to connect with your neighbours and have chats and share views on what’s going on around. Having a dog (if you like pets, that is) and taking it for regular walks will end up giving you a chance to connect with other dog lovers in the neighbourhood.
Extend invitation: Well, one of the easiest ways to invite your neighbours and get to know them is through your housewarming ceremony. In fact, it’s the perfect way to bring in many people to your home and extend them your hospitality. Great bonding can happen through events such as the housewarming and birthday parties.
Seek guidance: Another great way to blend into the neighbourhood and be accepted immediately is to approach a few neighbours and seek guidance on aspects such as – good schools for your kids, commutation options, great food places and outings in the surrounding areas. Seeking their advice not only helps you save time and efforts on getting to know about the social infrastructure status of the neighbourhood but also allows you to blend with the community.
Volunteer for activities: A great way to bond is to volunteer for community service and social activities conducted by your neighbourhood. This not only allows you a chance to meet some interesting people but also provides you the opportunity to be part of some change, however small it can seem.
Blending into the neighbourhood does take time and you will need to be patient at the end of the day. Be careful to not come across as someone who is too desperate and is trying too hard, you do not need to do that. Be gracious in your approach and make yourself approachable and yes smile, it is always disarming and makes others comfortable.