The Commonwealth Blog

Monday, May 20, 2019

How to Be a Good Neighbor

Applying the Golden Rule to the neighborhood goes a long way: Treat your neighbors as you’d like to be treated so everyone feels welcome and happy. Of course, there’re many ways to be a good neighbor, but a few common practices communicate your eagerness to develop long-lasting, positive relationships with new and old folks on the block.

Extend a Welcoming Hand

When families first move to the neighborhood, they probably don’t know many people around them. Be cordial and welcoming by knocking on their door and introducing yourself. You can always bring a fresh batch of cookies or flowers from your garden to extend a warm welcome.

We also recommend exchanging contact information at some point during your neighborly courtship—you never know when you may need someone to take in your mail while you’re on vacation. Be upfront about your willingness to lend a helping hand, and your new neighbors will more than likely do the same for you.

Maintain Curb Appeal  

To be a respectful neighbor, you also need to upkeep your home’s exterior. No one wants to look out their window at trash bins overflowing with waste or a brown, decaying lawn. Do what a good neighbor would do, and clean up after yourself. Maintain the same level of cleanliness as the rest of your neighborhood by routinely mowing your lawn, taking out the trash, and painting over your home’s moldy or worn façade.

Practice Good Manners

Establish respectful relationships with your neighbors by being friendly and maintaining healthy boundaries. Your fence is there for a reason, but you should still know when it’s time to be a pal. If you’re hosting a large party, invite them over. They don’t have to attend, but at least they know they were welcome to participate in the festivities. You should also instruct your guests to park in your driveway or on the street near your home, ensuring they don’t take up too much space. 

Speaking of parties—don’t bother your neighbors by ignoring noise ordinances. Keep it down between the hours of 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. to ensure everyone can enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep without waking up to loud music. The same goes for noise in general: Revving your engines at 7 a.m. probably won’t settle well with your neighbors.

Lastly, practice good manners by returning things you’ve borrowed for yard work or home maintenance projects. If you get into an argument, be mature and shake hands after trying to come to an agreement, instead of gossiping around the block.

Enrich Each Other’s Lives

Follow proper etiquette to help everyone in the neighborhood feel happy and comfortable (yourself included). You’ll be content knowing you are part of a community that looks out for each other by being respectful and kind neighbors.

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