It’s PCS season. You are either moving into a new neighborhood or someone new is moving into your neighborhood.
Finding a friendly face can make all the difference in adjusting to a new home. Here are 5 creative ideas on how to welcome your new neighbors.
5 Creative and Useful Ways to Welcome Your New Neighbor
Deliver a Home-Cooked Meal
There’s nothing quite like home-cooked food when you’ve been eating out during a PCS. Think about how long you actually go without a good home-cooked meal when moving. You stop cooking ahead of packing to make sure everything is clean, organized and ready to be boxed up. Then your kitchen gets packed and you find your family eating out until everything is unpacked in your new home. That can be a lot of takeout meals or at least microwaved dinners.
Welcome your new neighbors with something you’ve cooked. It doesn’t need to be a whole meal. You could make lasagna, enchiladas, a pasta dish or a breakfast casserole. A one plate meal makes clean up easy for the new family and they will be grateful to have a home-cooked meal. You could also bake cookies, brownies or sweet bread. Anything homemade will be welcomed over takeout.
Give Them Your Favorite Local Takeout Menus
If you aren’t that ambitious or you just aren’t sure what the family likes to eat, bring them local takeout menus. It can be fun trying new restaurants when moving to a new area, but it also can be intimidating. You don’t want to waste your money on something that turns out not to be good. If you don’t know anyone locally to ask their opinion on restaurants, you just have to try them and find out first-hand.
A list of good restaurants and perhaps restaurants to avoid is a great welcome gift to new neighbors. You likely have some takeout menus in your junk drawer at home so you won’t even have to make a trip out.
Offer to Pick Up Basic Essentials from the Commissary
Unpacking is a daunting task. You have to get most of the boxes out of the kitchen before you can go to the commissary and get groceries in order to make a meal.
Welcome your new neighbors by offering to pick up a few basic things for them when you go to the commissary. A gallon of milk, a loaf of bread, a dozen eggs or some fresh fruit can go a long way in making someone feel at home.
Bringing over a few basics is a good way to make friends and help them settle in. Of course they will have to do a big shopping trip at some point, but bringing over some basics to get them started is really nice.
Share Your Knowledge About the Area
Finding your way around a new city can take a long time. Having a neighbor that knows the area in and out can be great. You can offer suggestions on where to eat, shop, play and explore.
Ask your new neighbors what kind of things they like to do. If they like to be outdoors, perhaps you could share information on good hiking and camping locations or outdoor recreation facilities. If the family has young children, let them know where child-friendly places are. Is there a zoo, aquarium, botanical gardens or children’s museum nearby? Let them know about traffic too. What time is rush hour and are there any roads to avoid at certain times? Valuable information can be as good of a welcome gift as a physical present.
Bring Over a Welcome Basket
If you are a creative and crafty person and want to bring over a gift, Pinterest has plenty of ideas for welcome baskets. There are a lot of clever and puny sayings to go with them as well.
One idea would be to make a movie night basket. You could put together a movie, movie theater tickets or Red Box code for a free movie night along with popcorn. Add a note that says “Just poppin’ in to say welcome to the neighborhood.”
Another idea would be to drop off a house plant with a note that says “We’re so glad the Navy (or whichever branch is applicable) planted you here.”
There are tons of ideas like these available online or perhaps you are clever enough to come up with one of your own.
No matter what you do to welcome your new neighbors, just reaching out to say hi is enough to make them feel happy. Take the first step in making friends and go over and introduce yourself. Who knows, it could be your next best friend moving in.