Although Good Neighbor Day is just around the corner, being a great neighbor is a year-round task! Whether you’re moving to a new area or you’ve just spotted a moving truck up the street, it’s worth taking the time to be an awesome neighbor – so we’ve put together a few tips to help inspire you!
When You’re the New Neighbor
- Take the initiative and go meet your new neighbors when you’re ready! If you haven’t met particular people in your area by the time you’re settled in, take the first step and ring their doorbell.
- Learn your new neighbors’ names. Even if you have to write them down and hang them up on the fridge.
- Consider inviting your neighbors to your housewarming, or, if you’re comfortable with it, offer your new neighbors a tour of your home once you settle in.
- Write handwritten thank-you notes for any welcome gifts (yes, even cookies!) that you may have received from your new neighbors.
- Take walks around your neighborhood to get to know it. That way, people will start to recognize you – and you’ll have more chances to meet your neighbors.
- Get to know your neighbors’ patterns. Do they have a new baby, and so have naptime in the afternoons? Do they work from home and need some extra quiet in the mornings? If you can, try to plan your noisier times around your neighbors’ needs.
- Before you make major exterior changes, consider asking your neighbors their opinions. You might not opt to follow them, but by feeling them out, you can avoid a potentially enemy-making faux pas (or just learn more about the HOA, if your area has one).
When You Have New Neighbors
- Welcome new neighbors by learning their names and exchanging phone numbers. Consider bringing over a treat or some new house necessities when you go.
- Ask your new neighbors questions! You may just find out that you have a hobby or a hometown in common.
- Explain the rules of the neighborhood. For example, if everyone on your block shovels snow expediently, then it can help your new neighbor to know not to sleep in after a snowstorm! Getting to know the “vibe” of a neighborhood can be challenging, so give them a leg up.
- Invite your new neighbor to a neighborhood event. Whether it’s a summer backyard barbecue or a neighborhood association meeting, extending a friendly invitation can help them feel like part of the area!
All the Time
- Give neighbors notice of parties and social events – or even consider inviting them to your gathering!
- Try to attend neighborhood-wide events and get to know your extended community.
- When doing routine activities like walking your dog, plan to spend some time talking with your neighbors.
- Be considerate of your neighbors! If you can, offer to help out with small tasks like unloading groceries or bringing in mail when they’re on vacation.
- If you have a problem with a neighbor, try discussing face to face, rather than with a note. Having a conversation about it can help you to resolve the issue.
- Follow the “unspoken rules” of your neighborhood regarding lawn care, garbage, snow removal, and other issues.
- Make sure your pets are being good neighbors, too! Make sure you clean up after your pets and try to work on any loud noises they may make.
Although what constitutes an excellent neighbor may vary from person to person, common courtesy and kindness go a long way! If you want to be a really great neighbor, try these tips to make your neighborhood a pleasant place to live.