Moving in to a new home can be a hard endeavor. You are deciding which furniture, appliances, and other things to bring along, while trying to part with old stuff you don't need but somehow feel sentimental about.
This is on top of weeks of planning, looking to hire moving services, settling all the house bills and debts, and whether your cat will be okay with the journey. All of this can accumulate to stressful and sometimes, tearful adventure.
Nothing beats the feeling of relief once you have actually achieved your target — done moving into your new home. After doing what's necessary after you have moved in, this would be the time when you just want to take off everything, lie down among the still unpacked boxes and wrapped furniture to catch some Z's.
Before you do that though, there's one last thing you should be doing, if you haven't already. Get to know your neighbors. In Singapore, there's a high chance you will be living in an apartment or condominium, which means you'll be living ever so close to your next door neighbors.
This is all the more reason for you to create a friendship quick, as you might have already disturbed them during your move.
Love thy neighbor
For some, having a neighbor doesn't really mean much. They may think of them as just other people who happens to live nearby. People who have no interest in getting to know their neighbors are like people who go to a party and not partake in any social activities there.
If you happen to be that kind of person, STOP! Building a good relationship with the people next door may prove to be tremendously helpful. You don't have to be BFFs or anything, but a great relationship with your neighbors is almost always beneficial.
Living in high-rises especially puts you in the spot to garner good neighborly relationship. Every noise or smell you make can potentially affect them, so be wary of the things you do. What can help is to be friends as soon as you move in.
Get a head start
Moving houses is a big step for anyone, and usually involves months or even years of planning. If you have been visiting your soon-to-be home, say hello to your soon-to-be neighbors too. This provides you with early insights into the neighborhood or building.
Do it right after
Have you ever seen scenes in movies where the friendly neighbor rings the doorbell and brings a casserole to the new home owner? Well, most of the time that doesn't happen in real life, at least not in Singapore or Malaysia.
But what if we try and reverse that scene and approach the neighbors to say hello instead. If you haven't gotten the chance to meet your neighbors during your visits beforehand, then you should do it right after you have settled down.
Forget the casserole, just ring the doorbell or knock and introduce yourself as the new next-door friend.
Most of the time your neighbor will appreciate your effort, and will welcome you with open arms. However, there will be one or two who may not be so welcoming towards your friendliness. If you have encountered this type of neighbor, then you may have found yourself a rude neighbor.
Stay away from rude ones
Rude neighbors do exist, and they will probably be a bother in one way or the other. What you can do once you have identified which of your neighbors fall into that category is to just be friendly and let them be. The last thing you want is drama and a possible fight scene.
..And try to understand annoying ones
Besides rude neighbors, you might also be living next door to a walking, talking sledgehammer. What you can do before starting to fight fire with fire is to know what is making all the noise, and why.
If your neighbor is noisy but friendly, get to know him and see whether there's a solution to the noise.
Harder cases to solve would be the rude AND noisy ones, which might be impossible to talk to. A high level of patience is needed when you are unfortunate enough to face this kind of hardship.
Try learning about the neighbor from your other neighbors and slowly try to engage him/her. The key is to not resort to anger, no matter how much the noise may bother you.
There are also next-door dwellers who like to gossip about everything and anything. Gossiping always walk hand-in-hand with being nosey, and it can get really annoying at times.
If you fall under the category of people who don't like to gossip and hear the neighborhood gossip, try to stay away from gossiping queens and kings.
However, be careful to not be rude to them, because you will definitely be the next object of gossip later on.
Help them out, man
The beauty of making neighborly friendship is that you are able to help each other out in time of need. But it shouldn't be taken as only a gateway to favors, as it is a two-way street.
Help them out when they are in a pinch, or help them look after their plants when they are go for holiday.
In turn, they would gladly look after your house when you're away, and wouldn't be too bothered to help you with carrying groceries or moving some furniture.
There are many ways for us to help each other out, so start lighten up your hands and get to helping.
A little housewarming goes a long way
Another thing that you can do to garner acquaintance with your neighbors is to organize a good ol' open house. Obviously, organizing an open house might require you a couple of days after you have moved in, so give your new home a nice clean up and shine before setting things up.
If you have introduced yourself to your neighbors beforehand, ringing the doorbell again to invite them or leaving an invitation will not feel too awkward. So you should do this after you have at least meet most of your neighbors.
For the food, it doesn't matter whether you are comfortable in serving local dishes or fancier ones. Just make sure there's enough for your neighbors to enjoy.
Open houses provide excellent time for you to really get to know your neighbors. You may find life-long friendship, a romantic relationship, or even a person that could tutor your child at the very least.
The pros of good neighbor relations outweighs the cons 9 out of 10 times.
Neighbors make the neighborhood
Living in a high-rise where you're practically a wall away from your neighbors means you will be practically living with them to some extent. It would be unwise if you haven’t at least get to know one or two of your neighbors.
For someone who's just moved in, the time is prime for you to introduce yourself to the neighborhood. If you have been living there for a while and still don't know much about your next-door kin, it is never too late. Get to it!