Practice a little good neighbor etiquette. When you make the effort to be a good neighbor, your neighbors do the same for you—creating a tribe of friendly acquaintances who can keep an eye on your property, jump start your car and even babysit your kids from time to time. Here are a few suggestions on how to be a better neighbor.
- Keep a watchful eye. Pay attention to any suspicious activity around your neighbor’s property (e.g. someone trying to get into their car, strangers headed to the back of their house, etc.) If in doubt, call the police. And give your neighbor a heads up, too!
- Be Considerate. Learn your neighbor’s schedules and avoid any potential disruptions. If they have small children, don’t play loud music or practice your drums early in the evening. If they work third shift, wait until the afternoon to mow your lawn.
- Lend a hand. If one of your neighbors was recently laid up or just released from the hospital, offer to cook them a meal, run errands or bring in their daily paper. They’ll appreciate it and you’ll feel better about helping them out.
- Beware of shared walls. If you live in an apartment or condo, move noise household appliances (TVs, speakers, washer/dryer) away from partition walls. If you live above someone, place rubber mats under your appliances to muffle the sound. And remember, downstairs neighbors can hear you walking around, so kick off your shoes at home.
- Control Fido. During walks. Keep your dog on a leash and off your neighbors’ lawns (especially if they have pets of their own). Always clean up after him and keep any barking to a minimum. Nothing destroys neighborly goodwill faster than a loud dog. If you have trouble controlling your dogs barking, ask your veterinarian for advice.
- Put out your garbage on the proper day. No one wants to see your garbage long than necessary, especially your neighbors. If you happen to miss a week’s collection, bring your cans back onto your property immediately and secure them tightly to contain any smells and discourage raccoons.
- Park with care. Never park a neighbor into a tight space or block their access. Always park in front of your house (not theirs). And avoid door slamming, engine revving and shining your headlights into neighbors’ windows.
- Check in on the elderly. Keep tabs on your elderly neighbors, especially those who are widowed or living alone. They may need help. Also, if they’ve lived there a long time, you’d be surprised what they can tell you about the history of your neighborhood (and even your own home!).