The Secrets to Being A Great Neighbor

We might worry about moving into a new area for many reasons. What will the commute be like, what kind of activities are available, and, most importantly, what are the people like?

Your experience with neighbors can make or break a living situation, so it’s natural to wonder about them. But having good neighbors around you begins right at home—with you.

Here are 17 tips on how to be a great neighbor!

1. Make Prompt Introductions

It all starts with a hello! Make everyone involved feel more at home by stopping by to introduce yourself to your new neighbors. Be friendly and make the introductions for you and your family or anyone who is living with you.

If you want to make a great first impression, bring along a small gift, such as a plate of cookies. Additionally, you can give them your phone number in case they need to contact you about something. 

People who make an effort to be friendly neighbors and follow the right etiquette will settle in much faster and be happier in the long run. On top of that, the neighborhood will be a more comfortable place for everyone who lives there! 

2. Attend Neighborhood Events

Many neighborhoods hold events that can be an excellent opportunity for you to get involved in the local community. While you don’t have to attend every event or neighborhood meeting, it’s a great idea to stay up to date on matters around you.

Plus, local events can be enjoyable for everyone! Grab a plate of food, have a chat with a neighbor you might not see often, and get to know the area you now live in.

3. Determine What Is Appropriate Behavior for Your Neighborhood

Living around other people, no matter the size of your yard, means you need to be considerate. Think about what you consider appropriate behavior from your neighbors.

For instance, some neighbors might take offense to drinking wine or beer outside, using inappropriate language, or showing too much skin in plain view. While it is your property, consider how neighbors may feel about your actions.

4. Be Respectful When Hosting Get-Togethers

One of life’s great joys is having people over to socialize with and enjoy food and drinks. However, these situations are also ripe for issues with noise, parking, and other neighborly considerations.

Try not to let your parties or get-togethers intrude or impose upon your neighbors. You can practice good neighbor etiquette by doing the following:

  • Ask guests to park in your driveway, in front of your house, or down the street where there is space. Don’t let them park in your neighbor’s driveway, or designated parking spot, or block access to their property.
  • If a neighbor asks you to lower the volume on your music or voices, be friendly, apologize for the inconvenience, and do so. Your party playlist volume is not as important as your neighborhood relationships!
  • Obey local ordinance laws and regulations when it comes to noise.
5. Be Trustworthy

A trustworthy neighbor is an excellent neighbor. Sign for their packages when they are out of town, or bring them mail that was accidentally delivered to your address. Show your neighbors that you care about them!

6. Watch Your Noise Level

While you are definitely not expected to be silent from the moment you move into your new home, making too much noise is generally not a good idea.

By following some noise etiquette rules, you can avoid being too loud, such as:

  • Avoid loud home improvement projects past 8 p.m. or before 9 a.m. The sound from a table saw can carry surprisingly far on a still evening breeze, so you should wait until daytime hours to do loud projects.
  • During the evening, try to keep the outside noise to a minimum, including mowing, yelling for your pets, loud cars, etc.
  • Taking the trash bins out is essential to keeping your house and the neighborhood clean, but try to do it before 9 p.m. The clattering and clanking of recycling and waste can wake neighbors up.
7. Be Mindful of Your Pets

If you have some furry friends, it’s important to keep them on a short leash. Not everyone is a pet-lover, so make sure your animals are not roaming freely, and that barking and excess noise is kept at a minimum.

Additionally, ensure that you pick up after your pets when they go to the toilet. The last thing you want is a neighbor stepping in your dog’s sidewalk deposit. It will also help avoid the unmistakable smell of pet poop filling the area!

8. Have Curb Appeal

Taking pride in your home and neighborhood is another way to be a great neighbor. You should work to maintain the exterior of your house, lawn, and gardens to keep everything looking presentable.

Basic exterior maintenance will not only enhance your home’s visual appeal but also keep everything in good working order. You won’t have to worry about broken outside lighting if you maintain your house’s exterior!

Mow your lawn regularly, trim shrubs and trees away from neighbors’ fences, deal with weeds as they grow, and keep your garden spaces clean. Make sure to move bicycles, skateboards, and other kids’ toys inside in the evening, too.

Additionally, seasonal cleaning comes with being a great neighbor. Rake fallen leaves in the fall, shovel snow from the communal sidewalks during the winter, and keep your portion of the neighborhood clean and tidy.

9. Don’t Overload the Bins

If you share any trash or recycling receptacles with the people around you, exercise good rubbish manners and avoid overloading the bins. Your neighbors will also have to fit their week’s worth of trash in there, too!

If there is not enough room, you can save less smelly trash for after the bins have been emptied or make a run to the local dump. Everyone around you will appreciate that you didn’t fill up the last of the dumpster space!

10. Invite Your Neighbors Over

A great way to be an ideal neighbor is to invite the people who live around you over! Have some snacks, and drinks, and chat with your neighbors about the area, sights to see, and their interests. You may find that you have shared interests!

11. Keep Up With Neighbors Online

In an increasingly digital world, it’s essential to be an excellent online neighbor as well. If you connect with your neighbors on Facebook or other social media websites, make sure to treat them with the same deference as in person.

Neighborhood-specific social networking is swiftly becoming a new part of living in an area with apps like Nextdoor, so you should add yourself to the network. Meeting and communicating with those around you is now so easy!

12. Be Civil When Dealing With Conflict

Problems between neighbors will inevitably arise within your community, and the best way to deal with such issues is with respect and without getting defensive. If you and your neighbor disagree, don’t worry. The issue will get handled.

Though you might connect with your neighbors over social media, it’s best to resolve any disputes or issues outside of a screen. Make sure to come to an understanding face-to-face—it’s much more polite, and they will appreciate it!

It’s essential to come to compromises, especially in a communal living situation. Listen to the issue calmly, apologize, and figure out a solution with the neighbor in question. It can usually be worked out quickly.

13. Stay Off the Grapevine

One last aspect of being a great neighbor is staying out of other people’s business and being well away from the community grapevine.

The rumor mill is not a productive place for anyone—you or your neighbors. So, do them a favor and stay out of it! If there is neighborhood news that affects everyone, somebody credible will make sure to tell you.

14. Offer Your Help

Part of being a good neighbor is being friendly! If you see your neighbor struggling to move a piece of furniture or having a hard time with a gardening project, offer to help. It’s good practice to lend a hand, plus one day they may return the favor.

15. Respect Your Neighbor’s Privacy

Depending on the type of building or neighborhood layout you live in, privacy can sometimes seem like a thing of the past. However, it’s best if you make every effort to respect the privacy of your neighbors.

Don’t look into their windows and avoid listening in on conversations. While people-watching can be a fun activity, try not to study your neighbors’ movements too avidly.

16. Be Friendly

Simply being friendly on a daily basis will go a long way to being a great neighbor. When you see your neighbors, don’t be afraid to say hi and have a brief chat with them.

If you notice some new landscaping or lawn decorations that are nice, let your neighbors know!

17. Spread the Holiday Cheer

If your family celebrates the holidays by making baked goods or gift baskets, why not give some to your neighbors? Welcome the people in your community to your family’s festivities and have a good time.

Having a bad relationship with your neighbors can make a living situation unbearable. So it is best to get started off on the right foot and follow some basic practices like the ones mentioned above to make the most of it!

For more helpful tips, check out our blog, where we post new content each week.

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