When moving into a new home, it seems there are a million things to do. You’ve got unpacking, decorating, and furniture-building to do, all while trying to settle into a new neighborhood. Amid the moving chaos, don’t forget to carve out some time to get to know your new neighbors—you will be rewarded for doing so.
Getting to know your neighbors goes hand-in-hand with many safety and community benefits. You don’t have to be best friends who run over to each other’s houses all the time, but you should at least be on a first-name basis and have each other’s cell phone numbers. Here are some reasons why it’s imperative to get in good with the Joneses.
1. Give you the lay of the land.
If you’re new to an area, your neighbors can give you all the insider tips. They can tell you where to get the best pizza or where to take your dry-cleaning. It never hurts to have some help from people who know an area better than you do.
2. Help if you get locked out.
Nowadays, any burglar knows the old trick of keeping a key under your doormat. If you’re on friendly terms with your neighbors, they can keep a spare key for you, so you don’t have to risk “hiding” one in a conspicuous place.
3. Watch for packages.
If you don’t want important packages to sit on your porch while you’re at work or gone for the day, you can ask a neighbor to keep an eye out for them. Good neighbors are more than happy to help out with simple tasks to make your life easier, and you can return the favor with treats or dinner.
4. Warn you if there’s trouble.
If your neighbors hear a suspicious noise coming from your house, or if they see a suspicious character lurking about, they’re more likely to warn you if you have a rapport. Exchange cell phone numbers with your neighbors, so you can watch each other’s backs and warn each other of any danger in the neighborhood.
5. Hold down the fort when you’re out of town.
Instead of stressing about all the things that need to be taken care of when you’re getting ready to go out of town, let your neighbors help you out. A trustworthy neighbor can watch your pets, get your mail, trim your yard, or water your plants when you’re out of town, and you can return the kindness when your neighbors take a vacation.
6. Help build a safe community.
When neighbors get to know each other, it builds safer communities. People can more readily identify burglars or con artists if they already know everyone in their neighborhood. In theory, you’re increasing the value of your home when you get to know your neighbors because it means you’re building a safer community.
If you haven’t already, head over to your neighbor’s house and introduce yourself with a plate of cookies. You have nothing to lose and lots of important perks to gain. Don’t underestimate the power of close-knit communities.