White Picket Fence
Photo courtesy Shutterstock

Get to Know Your Neighbors

It’s impossible to enjoy a friendly chat over the fence if you don’t know the neighbor who lives there. According to research from Action for Happiness, getting to know the people who live near you helps create a sense of belonging and shared identity and results in community trust and happiness. Whether they just moved in or they’ve lived alongside you for years, consider baking them a fresh batch of cookies, ringing their doorbell and asking for a lunch date upon delivery. Chances are, the happiness will spread from home to home, and you’ll be hosting a neighborhood block party before you know it.

Organize a Dinner Club

Residents of Millwood, Teresa and Ken Schwab meet up with a group of their close-knit neighbors for dinner every couple of months. “There are many social events we attend together as well, but we try to make our dinner club nights special,” Teresa says. In an effort to create a more intimate evening, the group takes turns hosting dinners in their homes and often greet guests with formal place settings, candles, multi-course meals and some special wine selections. If you want to start something similar yourself, Teresa suggests making it a priority, scheduling it far in advance and, of course, following through.

Be a Good Neighbor

The City of Springfield is all about creating great neighborhoods, and it shares many ideas for reaching the goal on its website. The number one thing that it suggests is starting with yourself and being a good neighbor by keeping up with your home. No one wants a messy community! Make sure you are mowing and maintaining your yard often, and also be sure to trim your hedges and trees. Everyone wants to live in a clean, active neighborhood, but this can only happen if everyone pitches in. So don’t be the person who doesn’t! The City also offers multiple ways you can help serve the wider community outside of your neighborhood.