5 tips to make connections in a new neighborhood

So you’ve gotten the furniture just-so, stocked the fridge, unpacked the essential boxes (or, if you’re like me and clutter makes you squirm, ALL the boxes) … technically, you’re all settled in.

But you have no idea who drives the black SUV you see pulling in next door while you’re cooking dinner every night. Or who created that elaborate, Pinterest-worthy wreath on the blue front door.

In a world where we can “friend” someone in an instant, here are some tips—and apps—for forging these connections in your new neighborhood with a little bit of the same ease.

Head outside … and stay there

At prime times, you’ll catch neighbors who are out doing yard work, taking walks, etc., and it’ll feel natural to strike up a conversation. Maybe you’ll even get some tips, used tools or homegrown produce.

Find the cruise director

You’ll know him—or her; it’s the person who knows everyone. And once he or she knows you, you’ll get introduced around.

“Friend” them

Create an account on Nextdoor, a private social network that connects neighbors (if your neighborhood isn’t already on the network, you can add it and get things going). Through the site, neighbors can quickly find lost pets, recommend contractors, organize activities, ask questions, etc.

Find—and frequent—local hot spots

Maybe it’s an old-fashioned ice cream shop. Or a park that hosts free weekday concerts. Find “that spot”—and new friends—using apps like Yelp, MeetUp or GrubWithUs.

Let your kids, or pets, lead the way

Through them, it’ll be easy to meet other parents and pet owners—and you’ll automatically have one thing in common. Play date opportunities abound!