Being on bad terms with your neighbor can make life miserable. You go home to relax- why would anyone want to dread seeing the person they live next to? But taking the time to establish good terms with your neighbors has numerous benefits. The community will be friendlier, the neighborhood safer, and the area a nicer and more comfortable place to live. Below are 15 steps you can do towards being a better neighbor:
- Introduce yourself. Whether you’re new in the neighborhood or new residents have just moved in on your block, introduce yourself.
- Consider your neighbors’ lifestyle. Get to know your neighbors – what they do for a living, what their schedules might be like, and so on. Sometimes, you can remedy problems before they even start, for example, if they work nights, quiet mornings will be important for them.
- Be aware of shared walls. If you’re in an apartment, condominium, semi-detached house, or any structure where you and your neighbors share adjacent living spaces, position noisy household appliances such as washing machines and tumble dryers – even TVs and speakers – away from partition walls.
- Control your dog. Keep your dog on a leash if it has a habit of running rampant on your neighbors’ lawn, especially if they have a cat or a dog of their own, and make sure to clean up after it.
- Practice parking etiquette. When you park your vehicle, be sure not to block anyone’s access, or make them have to pull out of a very tight spot.
- Alert your neighbor to parties. If you’re planning a party, be sure to give your neighbors plenty of warning, letting them know when it’s going to start and how long you expect it to go on.
- Keep your garden tidy. Weed your garden regularly, because the presence of weeds in your yard is not only unsightly but can also spread to your neighbor’s yard.
- Control your barbecue, bonfire, or backyard fire. Position it where the smoke and smell will least likely blow onto your neighbor’s property.
- Put garbage out on the right day. Only put your garbage out on the day it’s due for collection. This also keeps you from cleaning up after critters that find your garbage appetizing.
- Communicate with your neighbor. Above all, touch base with your neighbors regularly and keep them in the loop. Keep the channels of communication open by reminding them that if you’re doing anything which disturbs them, they should feel comfortable approaching you about it.
- Be aware of your surroundings, as well as theirs. Even if you’re not in a “neighborhood watch” community, keep your eye on anyone you don’t know acting suspiciously around your neighbor’s property, and if you have built a rapport, hopefully, they will do the same for you.
- Invite them to participate. Invite your neighbors to contribute to your garage sales, or have them over for tea, or offer to babysit their kids/pets while they’re away.
- Share neighborhood news. If you hear any neighborhood news in regards to events, crimes, special garbage pickups, etc., give them a heads-up by sending an email or text.
- Spare 60 seconds. If you have a snowblower or leaf blower and they don’t, spend an extra 60 seconds to clear their walkway.
- Be nice. By being a nice, welcoming neighbor, you will, in turn, be treated the same. It seems really basic, but a lot of people seem to forget.
A little bit of communication and friendliness can go a long way. We are all a part of this community and it just makes sense to try to work together to get along. If faced with your friendliness, your neighbor still sucks, kill them with kindness.