Spring and summer are a great time to get outside. Green abounds, flowers blossom and colorful sunsets mark the close of days well spent. It’s also a perfect opportunity to create a stronger sense of community, connection and friendship with those who live around you.
This month in the Journal, we’re focused on getting out and meeting your neighbors. Whether you’ve lived in your home for years or recently relocated, now is a perfect time to get to know the folks who dwell alongside you.
Here’s our challenge to you: get out and meet your neighbors! We’ve created a handy printable to help you track your progress. Simply fill in the names of any neighbors you know already and set a goal to connect with the rest. Download your copy here.
While this challenge may seem daunting to some, we’re firm believers that the secret lies in simply showing up and making yourself available. To help you get started, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite ideas for making easy introductions (or reintroductions) that your neighbors will welcome.
Pick a lovely bunch. The warm weather months bring an abundance of beautiful blooms. If your garden is overflowing with flowers, why not snip a few blossoms and share your bounty with a neighbor? For an easy and impressive presentation, place freshly cut flowers in a glass Mason Jar. Tie a ribbon around the mouth of the jar and deliver your bouquet with joy.
Pass the neighborhood plate. Cookies are an easy way to anyone’s heart and a welcome gift when it comes to neighboring—what’s even cooler is this Neighborhood Giving Plate. Designed to be passed from house to house, this is a gift that will keep giving and connecting neighbors for years to come. Whip up a batch of your favorite treats, pile them high and deliver with a smile! And for a chocolate chip cookie that’s sure to please a crowd, check out this recipe from Joanna Gaines' Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering.
Catch a flick together. Host a backyard movie night and watch your favorite flick under the stars. Set the mood by hanging twinkly lights; putting out a mix of blankets, pillows and chairs; and hanging a large white sheet or a projector screen. We opted for this inexpensive outdoor movie screen.
Spread kindness. Chores can mount up during the waning days of winter: leaf pickup, mowing and cleaning out flower beds. If you have a neighbor who's single or elderly, those spring cleaning jobs are likely to come with a sense of stress. Why not offer to pitch in? Or better yet, just get to work and surprise them with the finished product!
Gather around the table. Taking time to break bread together is always a good idea but we recently came across something that we think is downright genius. The Turquoise Table was originally dreamed up by Kristin Schell and the premise behind it is simple: get a picnic table, paint it turquoise, put it in your front yard, and offer an open invite to friends and neighbors to come and sit. Bonus points for making a regular habit out of hanging there with cool drinks and treats. To help get things started, invite neighbors to a casual potluck around the table. Once there, extend an open invite to return any time. You may create some of your most cherished memories around that table, so go for it!
Have other ideas for easy ways to get to know your neighbors better? We’d love to hear them! Comment below and let us know.
And remember to download The Love Your Neighbor Challenge printable for free!