Getting to know your neighbors is a long-standing American tradition. Whether you’re on the giving or receiving end, housewarming gifts can go a long ways.
There’s something to say about making a first impression. You should always try to set a friendly tone up front. This will help build and keep a relationship with those living closest to you, no matter how long they will stay.
It may be tough to come up with a good introduction. What better excuse than to mosey your way to their front door than with a gift in hand? If done properly, you’ll not only leave a positive impression with a potential new good friend but also help them embrace their new neighborhood.
Determining a Great Housewarming Gift
Before taking the time to invest in a gift, make sure it’s going to leave a positive impact.
First, consider who you are buying for. Are they a newlywed couple settling into their first home? Or perhaps a growing family of three? Maybe they’re recently retired and enjoying the perks of a downsized dwelling? Whichever the case, it’s essential you keep in mind the recipient.
Taking a walk past a new neighbor’s home is a great way to discover who they are without seeming like a busybody. A quick glance at the yard itself can tell you a lot about their lifestyle.
Do they have some toys left in the front yard? There is probably a child or two inside the home. Some gardening sheers or nice lawn equipment out front? They more than likely have enough time to invest in their green thumb. A sporty SUV or older car adorned with bumper stickers in the driveway? Sounds like they may have a teenager.
Secondly, you should also consider the size and layout of their home. If it’s an apartment, town home, or smaller condo, this person won’t have enough room for a larger, lavish gift. If it is a larger, multi-story home, there’s a strong probability a larger family, potentially even multi-generational, lives there.
Last but certainly not least, be considerate of the timing when you deliver your housewarming gift. Just because you have an opportunity to meet your new neighbor doesn’t mean you should. If you see them on moving day, say “hello.” But consider the stress and strain that moving places on every individual regardless of their lifestyle.
This is especially important for couples with toddlers or infants. Avoid feeding and sleeping times such as after dinner, breakfast, or early mornings. If a person is coming and going from their home, assume they have an agenda and don’t have time for an interruption.
Housewarming Gifts that Represent the Neighborhood
Once you have gathered a few important details about your neighbor, you can assume the role of neighborhood ambassador.
A simple but impactful way to welcome a new person to the area is by creating a “welcome to the neighborhood” guide. After all, it takes years to discover those local haunts near your home. The next time you’re hanging out at your favorite spot, grab a brochure, menu or gift card. Place them in a fancy envelope and hand it off to your new neighbors.
There’s a lot of pride connected to the places people live. Ask your local neighborhood association for a flag, poster, yard sign, or t-shirt representing the local area. Or, hit up your favorite local art gallery or bakery and deliver a taste of the area to your newbie neighbor.
In the end, you’re the expert. So why not showcase the best your area must offer?
Practical Housewarming Gifts
Sometimes, it’s as simple as putting yourself in someone else’s shoes.
Think back to a time when you’ve dealt with the monumental task of moving. What were some of the main things you wish you had?
For example, maybe your new neighbors could use a handy tool set or a higher-quality hammer for setting up your necessities around the house. Or a nice battery powered flashlight to keep on hand when dealing with appliances in your basement.
Your neighbor might not have a leaf blower or lawn mower to keep up the sidewalk. When trying to get settled in, yardwork is not typically a top priority. Consider even taking the extra time to do their lawn or driveway in addition to yours.
If you’re part of a close community, put together a welcome letter with relevant information. This can include trash days, the names of local electricians, recommended handymen, the closest grocery stores, and other helpful tips valuable to living in the area. Top it off with a bouquet of flowers from a local florist with an accompanying handwritten note.
Housewarming Gifts to Enjoy Together
The best way to start a relationship with anyone is to get to know them. If you’ve gathered the impression your neighbor enjoys a glass of wine or two, bring a bottle over to share. Or extend an invitation to come over for a cocktail and some conversation.
A dinner invite might not be especially welcome while they’re moving in. So wait a few weeks for the newbie to settle and invite them over to dinner. Or gather a few folks from the neighborhood and throw a get-together. Bonus points if it’s nice outside for an outdoor barbecue.
Even if you’ve determined that you and the new neighbor have little in common, there’s nothing wrong with inviting them over. Neighbors can prove beneficial for a plethora of reasons, such as the safety and security of having someone to look out for you and your home.
Plus, if you don’t think you have one single thing in common, you’re wrong. You and they both live on the same street or share the same neighborhood. That should be plenty of reason.
Housewarming Gift Basics
You can still create a comfortable, warm welcome — even if walking up and introducing yourself makes you nervous. Leave a note or a gift basket on the front porch welcoming them to the neighborhood. Just a card letting a person know how excited you are that they’ve moved in can make a difference. Plus, it could provide a nice change of pace if the newcomers are being constantly bombarded by neighbors.
A gift basket is an ideal welcome present because you can tailor it to how you see fit. For instance, a basket filled with grab-and-go snacks would be great for a family with young children. Or, one filled with bagels, coffee, and other breakfast items could be ideal for an older, retired couple.
You can throw together a basic gift basket that is attractive to any person who has just moved. By providing simple necessities such as your contact information, a candle, and a bottle or two of your favorite cleaning products can make for the perfect welcoming gift.
Final Thoughts: Housewarming Gifts
There are so many ways to make your new neighbors feel welcome. Just a simple “hello” can set a friendly and welcoming tone. By establishing a strong repertoire with your neighbors, you are granting yourself an even better state of well-being. Having someone you can rely on to keep a look-out for the things you value most provides an additional state of safety and security. Plus, just knowing you have someone there can make someone’s day that much better.
In general, welcoming a new neighbor into the mix encourages a stronger sense of community, improving the quality of life for all.
Do you have any helpful tips or ideas for welcoming new neighbors? We’d love to hear from you! Feel free to join the conversation in the comment section below.