Neighborhoods are not created equal. Different hoods have different personalities. Some have people who would rather keep to themselves, while others are more open to social events like street parties and barbeques. That notwithstanding, there are basic etiquette guidelines for being a good neighbor that applies across all neighborhoods. Here are some of those tips that will ensure that you live in peace and harmony with your neighbors:
Introducing yourself to new neighbors could make them feel like they are part of a loving neighborhood family. Introduce yourself to new neighbors as soon as you can. You could deliver a few treats like cookies or bread as you introduce yourself. Flowers are also a great introduction gift.Get some from the store or cut some fresh ones from your garden. You could also offer to have their kids over on their moving day or invite them for a much welcome dinner on their tiresome moving day. Give your new neighbors a list of essential service providers in the area and their phone numbers. These could be anything from schools, dentists, dry cleaners, day-cares, etc.
Keep the noise down
No one is asking you to be a quiet mouse around your house. However, it is necessary to respect common boundaries regarding making too much noise. The level of acceptable noise depends on where you live and the characteristics of your neighbors. In a neighborhood with young families, you are expected to keep it down a little more than would be the case in an apartment with twenty-somethings. If you reside in an apartment building, you need to know that no one appreciates you hollering at people across the block.
You may be irritating others who are sleeping or trying to focus on other things. Hammering nails on shared walls past eight pm is a no! no! Mowing the lawn should not be the first item on your to-do list at 7 am. It can always wait until 10 or 11 am. Avoid honking your horn when you pull into the driveway at odd hours when most people are asleep. Avoid any unwanted noise like revving car engines and loud voices anytime from 9 pm. All these should wait for the morning when people are not enjoying their sound sleep.
If you are planning a party that you suspect will be a bit of a nuisance to your neighbors, it is good practice to notify them in advance.Let them know when the party will start and how long it will go on. You could also ask them to contact you when they need you to turn it down a little. Be sure to extend the same grace when your neighbors have parties.
Maintain your curb appeal
You cannot have your house being the ugly one on your street. Like a good neighbor, you need to maintain your curb appeal to avoid dragging down the value of homes in your neighborhood. Ensure that your garden is good to look at by weeding it out. The weeds could spread to your neighbors’ garden leading to strained neighbor relationships. Ensure that your lawn is mowed in time and is always tidy.
Try to remove unnecessary equipment like skateboards, bicycles, and toys from the front yard. They are unsightly and make the neighborhood look drab. If your house paint has seen better days, be prompt in adding a fresh layer of paint. Also, remove mold from the walls.
Be considerate with your parties
If you are a party animal, try not to impose on your neighbors. Avoid having parties every weekend as that may be rude to your neighbors, especially if your parties involve blasting off to music with huge speakers. That does not mean that you should never have your beloved parties.
You can have them as long as you remain respectful. If a neighbor drops by or calls asking you to pipe down, apologize and turn the music down a notch. Ensure that you tell your neighbors when you are planning for a loud social event so that the noise does not catch them by surprise when they have other things to attend to on that day.
Ensure that your party guests are parking in front of your house or the driveway. It is rude for them to park in your neighbors’ spots or block their driveways. If it is not an intimate party with only close friends, you could invite your neighbors. It presents an excellent opportunity to get to know each other better and create stronger neighbor relationships.
Contain your pets
Your dog or cat may be the best thing in your life but you need to understand that not everyone is a pet lover. And even if your neighbors may be pet lovers, they may not appreciate cleaning up after yours. If your dogs tend to go rampant on your neighbor’s lawn, try to always have them on a leash. Noisy dogs could also be an unwelcome nuisance to your neighbors.
Your yappy dog could wake your neighbor’s newborn who is trying to catch some sleep. Ensure that your pets have the basic training from your local vet or an animal training facility.
Be a generous neighbor
If you notice that a neighbor is going through it, try to make their lives easier. You can offer to make some comfort food and take it to them when they are ill. Offer assistance if you are in a position to and if it will not cost you too much. When your neighbors are not around, you could offer to babysit their pets or check their house to ensure that no unwanted persons are lurking around their premises.
You could offer to show new neighbors around the place.Offer to pick their trash when you are collecting yours. Also, try to compliment where necessary, like when they have nice things.
Neighbors play a significant role in our communities. They are our first support system in case of any problems. Good neighbors are respectful and look out for each other. Quite often, we do not get to choose our neighbors. In other words, there is no guarantee that all your neighbors will be fantastic. Nevertheless, you should play your part in being a good neighbor!