While many of us would like to know the people who live next door, the reality is getting to know the neighbours can be hard to do.

With busy schedules and little free time, finding the time to say hello doesn’t typically make the daily to-do list. But making a focused effort to get to know those who live around you can facilitate stronger communities and even open the door to future friendships.

If you don’t yet know your neighbours, make a commitment to get to know them. Once you’ve made the commitment consider:

1. Hosting a block party. If you’re looking to meet all of your neighbours at once, consider hosting a block party. Reach out to your closest neighbours and ask if they’d like to be involved with putting a block party together. If you find you’ll be going at it solo, drop off invitations to each neighbour and invite them over for an old fashioned BBQ.

2. Delivering freshly baked goodies. Dropping off some homemade cookies will go a long way in making a good impression. Some families make a point to deliver something special to each new family that moves in. Others drop goodies off to neighbours one by one until they’ve met them all.

3. Asking to borrow some sugar. The next time you are out of sugar, instead of running to the store, run over to the neighbours. Sometimes we’re afraid of meeting our neighbours because we don’t know what to say. Asking to borrow a kitchen staple can take away the fear and open the door to communication.

4. Spending more time outside. By just being outside in your yard you are likely to meet your neighbours. Say hello when they walk by and make a point to reach out and engage in conversation. In the south, it is common practices for folks to stop by and chat with the neighbours who are sitting out on their porch.

5. Being civic minded. Does your neighborhood have a community group or association? If so, get involved. When you do you’ll meet neighbours who are vested in making your neighborhood a better place to live.

In communities where neighbours know each other, they typically stick together and watch out for each other. As you get to know your neighbours, you’ll be investing in the safety, security and sense of community surrounding your home.