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What to do and not to do in your new neighborhood

Grow comfortable in your new neighborhood with these moving tips on what to do and what not to do when getting settled.

When you change your address, your whole environment may be reshaped. You might move somewhere with an unfamiliar climate or a regional accent that you don't have. Personalities also play into moving as you become acquainted with new neighbors and the atmosphere in the area. It will take a bit of time to feel out your new surroundings and grasp the culture of the community. However, first impressions are very important. Before moving, take a look at these tips to steer clear of awkward interactions and show neighbors that you're respectful. 

Try...

  • Hosting a housewarming party:  It could be great fun to throw yourself a party to meet your neighbors and celebrate a successful move. Be sure to invite everyone in the neighborhood. You can get a head start on relationship building by inviting people in person. However, placing invitations in everyone's mailboxes is also effective.
  • Saying "hi" or waving regularly: It's important to eventually introduce yourself and learn neighbors' names, but logistically you may not have the time straight away. Even if your schedule doesn't allow for small talk, Say "hello" or acknowledge neighbors with a friendly gesture when you see each other. If you ask how a neighbor is doing one day, it may spark a conversation that leads you to find several things you two have in common.
  • Being helpful: Offer to do small favors for neighbors if the opportunity arises. Saying you're willing to take care of pets or collect their mail when they go out of town is a nice gesture. Other ways to lend a helping hand include carrying groceries, lending a cup of sugar or a few eggs, and bringing their recycling out to the curb.
  • Showing respect: It's important to show respect for people and their property. Keep noise to a reasonable level, particularly late at night. Find out the local noise ordinances but also observe if there are young children or senior citizens nearby who may be more easily disturbed.

Avoid...

  • Blocking driveways: Check with neighbors that you are parked in a good location before you begin unloading the moving truck. You don't want to block any driveways and prevent neighbors from leaving. You might not be directly next to the truck while you move furniture and boxes to the correct rooms so don't assume you'll be around at any moment that someone needs the truck moved. It also might be helpful to give your cell phone number to the people potentially affected by the moving truck so they can contact you regarding any issues.
  • Inappropriate trash and recycling disposal: Before moving, find out how your new neighborhood handles trash and recycling. There may be a service that empties cans once a week or you could be expected to bring your own garbage to the town dump. You'll have a lot of boxes and other packing materials to dispose of right off the bat so this isn't something you should delay looking into. Make sure you aren't creating unsightly piles of trash that may irritate neighbors. Also, don't use their garbage cans for your moving waste without asking first.
  • Walking across property: When you're carrying boxes and furniture into your new home, make sure you aren't disturbing the neighbor's property. It will likely be an uncomfortable first impression if you tread on someone's garden or unintentionally tear up part of their front lawn.

Moving brings about change in most aspects of life, from education and work to weekend activities. With your new home comes a fresh environment full of the unknown. Take the time to start relationships with neighbors off smoothly to ease your transition and create lasting friendships.

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