Okay. So, you want to get out into your neighborhood and get to know your neighbors. Or, you want to find a way to hang out in your front yard and beyond without looking like some kind of creeper.
But, you still feel a little uncomfortable just walking out there and hoping you find somebody to talk to. Well, we have 8 solutions to your problem. 8 normal reasons for you to be in your front yard that won't feel awkward. Some are relaxing and others are a bit more work-related. Sorry about that. But that's why we have 8 different excuses for you to choose from.
1. Porch Sitting
Last week, we shared what we have found to be the most effective tools for engaging in conversations with our neighbors. If you haven't read that article yet, check out Top 2 Missional Tools That Start a Conversation Every Time, because they are PERFECT for porch sitting.
This one is super simple. It's relaxing to just take a book or some tunes out onto your front porch. Take a little snack and a drink with you and kick back. Our television faces the front window of our house. So, sometimes we will turn on a game, open the window, and watch from outside. This has caused more than a few passersby to stop and hang out for a bit.
What makes this better than sitting on your couch is that you get to see what is going on around your neighborhood. You can greet your neighbors, meet your mail carrier, and just get a better idea of the rhythms of your street.
We know what you're thinking. My BBQ is in my back yard, so this isn't really helpful. And maybe you're right. But, it probably has wheels, doesn't it?
And even if you can't move the grill to the front yard, that doesn't mean you can't bring the food out.
The whole neighborhood can smell that you're grilling up the juiciest steak of all time. In fact, they're probably hoping you'll bring it out front. Grilling meat is a great invitation to your neighbors, because the smell is unmistakable. So, take advantage of that and make sure everyone knows they are welcome to join you.
3. Wash or Work on Your Car
We realize this one doesn't sound as fun as the first two, but it's kind of hard to do anything with your car without at least opening your garage door. Plus, it's easy to turn this into something the neighbors can expect on a regular basis.
Make a habit of washing your car every Saturday at the same time. And, if you have the time and patience, wax and detail it while you're at it.
You might not find people eager to jump in and help out. But, everyone will see you out there. And, that could open doors for conversation.
4. Play with Your Kids
Face it. If you have kids and you want to keep your sanity, you're going to have to take them outside anyway. So, why not in the front yard?
And if you don't have kids, then either consider having some or you can jump straight down to #5.
Kids are a great way to connect with your neighbors. And that's true whether they have kids themselves or not.
Our kids are the main reason we spend as much time in our front yard as we do. They ride bikes and scooters. They play tag. They run up to anybody they see and say hello. And sometimes they make so much noise that everyone from miles around knows we're outside. It is a universal invitation to all the other kids in the area, and that means we get to hang with their parents too.
BONUS: If your neighbors have kids, you will become an instant friend by giving them a little bit of your time. Parents love when other adults give their kids a little attention.
5. Walk Your Dog
You might have to find, borrow, or buy a dog for this one, but it will be worth it.
In our neighborhood, people walk down our street with a dog no less than 50 times every day. That's 50 people I could have an excuse to talk to just because we made similar pet decisions. Plus, who doesn't want to say hello to a cute little puppy.
I do have to put a disclaimer on this one. Some of us are just not in the right life stage to add a dog to the mix (I guess the same could be said of #4). We recently tried to add a dog to our family of 5, and things did not go so well. Dogs are a lot of work. But, if you can put in the time at the beginning, the rewards can be huge.
6. Work in the Yard
Sorry. I had to sneak another work-related one in here. But you know it's true.
Sometimes you can spend hours...even an entire day working in your front yard. It might not be glamorous or super enjoyable. But, it will get you some face time with the neighbors.
So grab your gloves and some hedge trimmers, and get to work.
7. Play with Your Toys (Get a Hobby)
Back to the good stuff.
You know that R/C car you have in the garage? Or those roller blades from 1999? Get them out. Heck. Grab a Frisbee or a ball. Whatever you have. Take it out in the front yard and start playing. Have some fun. It's contagious and people will want to join you.
Or maybe you can put a basketball hoop in your driveway. The possibilities are endless. You just have to get out there and do it.
And, if you're looking for a hobby, we have a special download for you. We've put together some of our favorite hobbies that will help you engage with your neighbors.
8. Take a Stroll
Don't want to put any thought into it? Want to just keep it simple? Or maybe there is a store or coffee shop nearby. Go for a walk.
And while you're walking, pay attention to your surroundings. Look for people to talk to. See if you can come up with more reasons to be out in the neighborhood.
Now, Pick One and Do It
It's up to you. This is only a small snippet of all the possibilities. But now you need to choose something. What is your excuse going to be? Your excuse to get out and engage with your neighbors?
If you're still struggling for ideas, then download the free PDF we made for you!
Then, come back and tell us how it went. Everyone loves a good story, right?