- Politics and Social Issues
10 Ways You Can Be a Good Neighbor
Welcome guest writer, Sarah Butland. You'll discover more about at the end of the piece. Sit back and enjoy.
Being a part of a community, not necessarily a just one online but these pertain to social media too, is something we all have in common. Being a neighbor is about getting along, or simply being respectful if you aren’t able to be friends.
It is ok to have a fence between you but is important to have a door in that fence just in case you need a hand. We often get a call from one neighbour to help them move furniture or drive them somewhere. We don’t mind at all as we know someday we’ll need a drive or an emergency sitter and know we can rely on them. As cliché as this is, the other day I was making a cake and ran out of sugar – literally! I needed half a cup of icing sugar and with the nearest grocery store about twenty minutes away I was out of time to drive in. So I walked to my neighbours and asked for some of theirs. I immediately repaid them with a full bag as they, too, were getting low because, again, I knew we’d need them again someday.
Our neighbours on the other side have a very friendly German Sheppard. Friendly until you get it back on its own property after it ran onto ours. I’ve been able to catch that dog, keep it for the day and return it when the owners returned to ensure the dog remained safe and my family did, too.
I encourage you to try one or all of these today with someone you live near and note how it makes you feel! You’ll make new friends in no time and the best thing about it is they live so close you can walk over.
It seems basic but it is maybe so simple it is the first thing we don’t do. Whether you have lived beside a person or family for years or they have just moved in, go over – knock on their door and say hi! Let them know you’re right next door if they need anything. Tell them a bit about your family, ask about their children and pets and listen to their stories as they may have some interesting ones about the other neighbours or history of your own house.
Bake Them Some Cookies
Who doesn’t love cookies or a pie? When you have your oven on for your own baking adventure, double the recipe so you can share. Just leave it anonymously on their doorstep or mailbox if they are not home so you can make their day!
Offer To Split Some Costs
If you’re paying for someone to mow your lawn or plow your driveway see if they will offer a better rate if your neighbour commits to the season, too. With two driveways beside each other the cost for the company is reduced and they could possibly pass on the savings to you.
Invite Them Offer
Having a potluck or bonfire? Invite your neighbours to it. Some go all out with a street party but it can be easier just to have them over for board games or a chat. A little can go a long way, especially with a single neighbour or less outgoing family.
It sounds easy but it’s easier to forget sometimes to lower your volume if you’re in a shared complex. In a duplex or apartment you are sharing walls with your neighbours so loud music or television could interrupt or, maybe worse, wake a little one who is looking to seek revenge.
Control Your Animals
Chickens do cross roads as do dogs and cats. Although we personally don’t mind the occasional visit from our neighbor’s dog, some people do. Due to allergies, protected gardens, their own pets or young kids, some neighbors are not going to appreciate an unexpected visitor they can’t easily deal with.
Garbage has a tendency to be windblown and land somewhere it shouldn’t. Put your garbage in its place and keep your property looking tidy. If a neighbour decides to move they depend on curb appeal not only of their own house but of those in the same community.
Offer a Neighborhood Yard Sale
If you’re planning a yard sale, let others in your community know. This will not only increase your traffic but encourage them to hold their own and take advantage of more people in the area.
Share Your Knowledge
If you hear of something planned for the neighborhood that could cause street closures or other inconveniences ensure those around you know, too!
Schedule Loud Work Mid-day
Not everyone is on the same schedule as you so hiring someone to cut down a dead tree or build a new shed should be done with them in mind. It’s rare that anyone wants to wake to a chainsaw or hammer at 6 AM or try to get to sleep at 10 with loud noises. Of course, it’s hard to please everyone or know all of their schedules, even harder to hire someone and tell them a short time frame to work in but do your best.
All in all, enjoy where you live and the people who surround you and you’ll be a better neighbor for it!
Guest Writer - Sarah Butland
Sarah Butland was born in Ontario, the year was 1982. She now resides in Nova Scotia, Canada with her high school sweetheart and son.
The creator of BananaBoy and author of the Adventures Of Sammy series beginning with Sending You Sammy, her first published children's book, Butland dreams big and starts small. Brain Tales – Volume One and Arm Farm added to her in print collection of books among her blog (www.SarahButland.com), articles for magazines and many other forms of writing.