6 Tips for Being a Good Neighbor
6 Tips for Being a Good Neighbor
Yesterday was National Good Neighbor Day, but the truth is that every day should be "Try to Be a Good Neighbor Day." Are you a good neighbor? If you’re unsure, here are six tips to get you started.
Maintain Your Home
Do regular maintenance—inside and out—to keep your home safe but also to keep it looking attractive. Install working smoke detectors. Paint your home when necessary. Mow your lawn and shovel your sidewalks. Keep trash and clutter out of sight. Pick up after your dog.
But not only should you make an effort to keep your home clean and well maintained (inside and out), but you also want to protect your neighbors from things on your property that could potentially harm them. If you have a dog or a pool, make sure your yard is fenced and do everything necessary to discourage uninvited visitors who could get hurt.
Be Seen, But Not Heard
No one likes a noisy neighbor. Do you play your music at top volume? Hold parties that last all night? Leave your dog outside to bark all day? Mow your lawn at 6 a.m. on a Sunday? Remember that not everyone keeps the same schedule as you do, so use some common sense. Keep noise to a minimum. If you’re throwing a party that’s likely to be loud, invite everyone within earshot. And try to be extra considerate if you know a nearby neighbor has a newborn or is recuperating from an illness.
Get to Know Your Neighbors
It’s much easier to resolve disputes with neighbors if you have a friendly, cordial relationship with those around you. Plus, you may realize that you have things in common and make a life-long friend.
Keep Your Eyes Open
Once you know your neighbors, then you’ll also know if something seems out of place in the neighborhood. Are unfamiliar people carrying expensive electronics out of one neighbor’s house? Have several days passed since your elderly neighbor last collected his newspaper? The benefit of keeping an eye out for unusual behavior in the neighborhood is that others will do the same for you.
Lend a Hand
It never hurts to follow the Golden Rule: Do to others what you would like them to do for you. Treat your neighbors with respect or, better yet, try to go the extra mile. Shovel your neighbor’s driveway. Offer to drive an elderly neighbor to the grocery store. Volunteer to collect mail while a neighbor’s on vacation. The more often you lend a helping hand, the more likely that your neighbors will do the same for you when you need a little assistance.
Volunteer in Your Community
Don’t just limit your neighborly actions to your block or street. Remember that everyone who lives in a community has the ability to help make it a better place. Think about your passion and find a way to do it on a volunteer basis in your town. Like to garden? Join the village landscaping committee. An avid reader? Volunteer at your local library. Enjoy working with kids? Consider becoming a scout leader. Whatever your passion there’s sure to be a niche for you in the local community.
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