Create the neighborhood you want to live in by paying attention to your neighbors.
Apartment living can offer just as much of a community feel as living in a stand-alone home. It’s even easier to get a sense of community in an apartment when, after all, you live closer to your neighbors.
Here are some of the key elements that help to establish a community vibe for you and your apartment neighbors. You can create the neighborhood you want to live in by paying attention to these qualities.
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Comfort and community starts on the inside, which means creating an apartment home where you feel safe and comfortable. As soon as you move in, make an effort to personalize your space and make it your own. Hang your favorite artwork, add fresh flowers or cheery houseplants, and decorate your front door or outdoor space. The faster you feel at home in your apartment, the more you’ll want to explore your apartment community and get involved.
You can personally have a huge impact on the sense of community between your neighbors. All it takes is a smiling face and a simple hello to create bonds that will lead to a rich community sense for everyone.
Don’t wait for neighbors to speak to you first. Become the MVR (Most Valuable Resident) by practicing consistent, friendly behavior. Wave to fellow residents as you drive through the parking lot, say hello to neighbors you pass in the hallway, stop and pet a dog or two and take a moment to play with the kids.
This kind of generosity and kindness is contagious. By making the first move, you’ll naturally build an apartment life that feels close-knit. Try being extra-friendly for a full week and notice the effect it has on you and your neighbors.
Don’t be afraid to settle in, both inside your own apartment and in common areas. Shared spaces are a hot spot for community living. Make the most of areas like the pool, fitness room, clubhouse and dog park. The more you hang out in these spots, the easier it will be to make friends and feel like you belong in your community. Even if you don’t have a dog yourself, you might take a quick walk by the pet area and say hello to the folks walking their dogs, for instance.
Also, get involved in any community-sponsored activities and organizations that bring members together. Your community may sponsor social events that are great for mingling and meeting new faces. The support of neighbors is always needed to make events like these successful. When many participate, the energy can really make a difference to the experience of sharing life together in a community.
If you want to take your apartment’s community feel to the next level, host a party of your own. Plan a simple potluck dessert party in a common space and invite everyone to join in. If you live in a building that doesn’t have much shared space, organize a meet-up event for your neighbors at a local coffee shop. If you have a good turnout, make it a monthly gathering or expand it into a book club or wine tasting group.
When you’ve created a cozy living space in your apartment, enjoyed using community spaces and shared a friendly face with your fellow apartment dwellers, the time will come to relax and enjoy being an important part of the wonderful community you helped create!
Photo Credit: Shutterstock / kurhan