10 Easy Ways You Can Be a Better Neighbor

Loving thy neighbor can be harder than it sounds. But with a few simple practices, you can encourage the growth of friendly, mutually beneficial relationships, and turn your neighborhood into a haven for all.

  1. Good Neighbors

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    How to be better neighbors

    Sometimes it’s easier to love our neighbor in theory than in practice. Little irritations build up over time, and given our fast-paced lives, we find ourselves simply ignoring our neighbors rather than putting effort into establishing good relations. But in reality, taking a little time to build connections with neighbors pays plenty of dividends and staves off a lot of annoyance, drama, and inconvenience. Here are 10 surefire ways to be a good neighbor and reap the benefits of a close-knit community. 

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  2. Be Welcoming, Old Style

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    How to be welcoming with neighbors

    A handwritten note or housewarming gift can bring unexpected joy in this world of virtual interactions. It is also a great way to introduce yourself to a new neighbor and make a good first impression.

    Related: Welcome Home: 10 Great Gifts for the New Homeowner

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  3. Be Friendly, but Read Cues

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    Social boundaries with neighbors

    Particularly if you live next door to someone who's single, say hello and be friendly—but not too friendly. Read your neighbors' cues, and if they don’t seem eager to continue a conversation, show you are trustworthy by honoring their boundaries.

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  4. Be Aware of Your Noise Level

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    Noise levels in your neighborhood

    Coping with neighbors' loud music and chatter can be a number one cause of stress and strife. Give your neighbors a heads-up before you throw a party, and choose a mutually agreeable time to cut the music. 

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  5. Patrol for Packages

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    Neighbors can prevent package theft

    With doorstep theft on the rise, keep an eye on your neighbors' packages. Do you live in an apartment building? Bring your neighbors' deliveries up to their front door. If you own a house, offer to collect your neighbors' packages, mail, or newspapers when they’re traveling.

    Related: 12 Things You Can Do to Protect Yourself from Package Theft

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  6. Touch Base Regularly

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    Warn neighbors about renovations

    A little positive interaction can go a long way toward alleviating tensions and concerns. If you’re planning on throwing a party or starting renovations, inform your neighbors of the days and times when they may be inconvenienced. Find ways to thank them for being accommodating, and return the favor by being flexible in return.

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  7. Think of Others

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    Be considerate of neighbors

    Always consider how your actions may affect your neighbors. Don't let Fido bark incessantly or run around off leash. If you live in an apartment, don't pace around at 2 a.m. when you might disturb the people who live below you. Thoughtfulness and consideration can be easy to overlook, but they help make the world more pleasant.

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  8. Use Group Chat Wisely

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    Use neighborhood apps wisely

    Yes, there are times when group chat and apps like GroupMe can help facilitate neighborhood activities and communication. Just remember that text messages are not the right forum for lengthy conversations, complaints, and jokes that could be misunderstood. For sensitive conversations, pick up the phone, or go knock on your neighbor's door.

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  9. Share Beauty

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    Share flowers with neighbors

    Maintaining your home keeps property values high and contributes to neighborhood spirit. So, tend your garden, pick up trash, and repaint when necessary. While you're at it, cultivate inner beauty, too, by sharing positive vibes, recipes, and flowers.

    Related: 30 Plants for Your Easiest Garden Ever

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  10. Keep Ears and Eyes Open

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    Keep your neighborhood safe

    Be alert for unusual noises and other signs of disturbance, such as persistently barking dogs or doors that are standing open. If children are playing in the street, check to make sure that an adult is present.

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  11. Love Thy Home

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    Improve curb appeal to be a good neighbor

    Our attitude toward our home is a reflection of how we feel about ourselves—and others. When you take pride in your home, you help set the tone for the entire neighborhood. So, roll out the welcome mat, and put a few pots of greenery by the front door. Your home sends a message; make sure it's one of peace and kindness.

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