Neighbourhoods today have evolved in recent years. In the past, neighbours would drop by with homemade goods, help with projects or just stop in for a coffee and a hello. Nowadays, neighbourhoods vary from being social and outgoing to private and introverted. Regardless of the type of community you live in, chances are you ultimately want to keep the peace. The following is a list of ten suggestions for how to be more neighbourly.
Offer to Help
If a neighbour is sick or heading out of town, offer to mow the lawn, watch their pets or grab their mail. This small gesture doesn’t take much and they might offer the same for you in the future.
Obey Parking Laws
Make sure you stick to the speed limit when driving through residential areas and do not block the sidewalk, bus stops, or fire hydrants when parking your car. When parking on the street, look for posted signs indicating regulated parking zones or times. During winter snowfalls, avoid parking along the curb as it can hinder the efforts of snowplows trying to clear the streets of snow (something most Canadians probably already know).
Keep Your Yard Tidy
One way to stay in your neighbour’s good books is to keep your yard free and clear of clutter, garbage or debris. Putting time and effort into making your yard look nice will show people around you that you take pride in your home, and therefore you take pride in your neighbourhood.
Noise acceptability is different pending on where you live and the type of dwelling you live in. A good rule to follow is to watch the time. Maybe don’t mow the lawn at 7:00 am or hang a picture at 10:30 pm. Being mindful of the level of noise you are producing can help establish you as a good neighbour.
Being a good neighbour could mean doing something as simple as introducing yourself. You don’t have to necessarily become best friends, but making introductions and attempting to remember names is the neighbourly thing to do.
Be Responsible for Your Pets
Ensure you have a poop bag with you when out walking the pooch. No one, especially your neighbour, enjoys stepping in the aftermath of your dog’s dinner. If your dog happens to be a barker, do what you can to quiet her. Even if she continues to bark, if your neighbours see you making an effort, it shows you care. If outdoor cats are your thing, be mindful of where they are wandering and relieving themselves. The lady next door might not be enthusiastic about your cat using her veggie garden as a litter box.
Welcome New Neighbours
When someone new moves into the neighbourhood, welcoming them can help them feel more at home and ease. Even if it’s something as small as offering them food while they are unpacking or delivering some fresh-cut flowers from your own garden, a little goes a long way.
Discuss Problems Maturely & In Person
If a problem arises, openly discuss it in person with your neighbour. Don’t resort to notes or calling the police unless absolutely necessary. Sometimes you have to pick your battles. The goal is to keep things pleasant for both sides of the fence.
A wave and a friendly smile when you’re out and about can help in creating a pleasant atmosphere within the neighbourhood. It’s an easy, yet powerful, way to connect with each other without having to delve into deep relationships or conversations.
Plan a Neighbourhood Event
Bring the entire neighbourhood together for a block party or backyard BBQ. Whether it’s for a specific celebration or simply to get to know each other, a neighbourhood event is a great way to break the ice!
There are plenty more ways on how to be a good neighbour, but no matter what you do, remember being on good terms with your neighbours can come in handy. It’s the little things that count!