Tips for Connecting with Neighbors

Tips for Connecting with Neighbors

By Diana Elizabeth Steffen

Community is so important to our happiness and longevity! If you’ve watched the series “Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones” on Netflix, you know how important relationships are and how our community extends to our neighbors! 

Neighbors can be casual acquaintances – the ones we can depend on to watch our home, move furniture, or take care of our pets when we are gone – but they can also become great friends with whom we enjoy life regularly!Outdoor Gate to Backyard with DecorWe’ve lived in our neighborhood for 12+ years and we’ve seen a few neighbors come and go, but most of us are going to be lifers! So why not make that effort to get to know our neighbors? Here are some of my tips on how we created friendships with our neighbors. We can’t imagine living anywhere else because we genuinely love our neighbors!

Diana Walking Into House With FlowersWays to meet and get to know your neighbors

I read in a magazine a few ideas that stuck with me on how to get to know your neighbors and I can attest that these do in fact work!

  • Ask to borrow neighbors tools, or offer to let them borrow yours (if you see them struggling to get a task done).
  • Ask neighbors to watch your home for packages when you are away, or watch your pets.
  • Have a neighborhood backyard get-together, make it an open house and casual!
  • Leave your garage door up so they know you are home (if this is safe) and while you are working on your yard.
  • Join the Next Door app, which is a friendly and safe neighborhood site so you can see what is going on within your neighborhood.
  • If a kid is selling lemonade or cookies, support them! 
  • Sit outside in the front yard more often, spend time there and have iced tea. It makes you more accessible to neighbors walking by and you can invite them to sit down for some iced tea and snacks! 
  • Wave to your neighbors even if you don’t know them (yet). This keeps the neighborhood friendly. We do this when we are driving in the car or walking around.
  • Go to neighborhood garage sales – it’s a great way to meet and catch up with your neighbors.
  • Ask neighbors if they want any of your fruits or vegetables you’ve grown. It’s been a huge hit with our peach tree! And we invite neighbors to come by and pick them off themselves!
  • Drop off seasonal gifts to your neighbors. We had two neighbors stop by on Christmas day to give us a card and cookies! It touched our hearts so much, especially to have happened on Christmas!
  • Also remember to accept invitations to neighborhood events, too!

Rockport Club Chairs With Spa Cushions on PatioI think one of the easiest ways we see our neighbors is by being outside a lot! We are always gardening and doing lawn work so when our neighbors drop by, or walk by, we chat! Having a patio outside helps.

If you’re new, introduce yourself first!

When I first moved into my house as the new kid on the block, instead of waiting for neighbors to come to me, I decided to send a card to my neighbors. 

I didn’t know their names so I wrote, “To my new neighbor, (address)” on the envelope and inside and I designed a card that had my photo (I was single at the time) and a Q&A about me like where I moved from (which was down a few blocks), what my favorite local places to eat were, what I did for a living, and my phone number. I welcomed them to stop by anytime since I worked from home.

Neighbors stopped by! They waved, they invited me to backyard parties and came over with gift baskets and flowers – it was so wonderful to get to know my neighbors. A few months later, I got married and we invited our neighbors to our backyard reception and most of them came by!

Diana Holding Bag With FlowersI hope some of these tips inspire you! The best thing is communication. Drop off a gift, leave your name and number, and exchange contact information. Once that happens, it’s easy to notify neighbors if you need their help, if something has happened in the neighborhood, and to check in on them!

Have a great time with your neighbors, it makes home even more enjoyable!

Diana Elizabeth Steffen is a Phoenix-based photographer and blogger at where she shares her home and garden projects with camera in hand!

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