Getting along with your neighbours will always lead to a far happier and more harmonious life, especially if you are likely to see them regularly! But it's not just enough to smile and nod occasionally, you need to put in some real work to be a decent neighbour.
We think that by following our tips, you will be a fantastic neighbour and encourage similar behaviour in others, making for a truly happy and considerate home life. Are you ready to get close to your neighbours?
Being a better neighbour can entail so many things, but chief among them is the ability and willingness to resolve any arguments or disputes in person. It could be something as simple as them accidentally putting their rubbish in your external bin, but by taking the initiative and tackling them about it face to face, you avoid the potential for the situation to become aggravated, should you simply leave an easy to misread note.
Being able to look each other in the eye and gesticulate while speaking will allow you to get your point across in a friendly and informal way, which will be appreciated and lead to good relations.
Nothing draws people together like food, drink, and games and getting everyone together to celebrate something or to just have a good time, so why not think about having a good old fashioned street party? Getting your neighbours to join in with the organisation will give you plenty of opportunities to bond and get closer, so don't be shy and knock on the door. You never know, they may have been waiting for a chance to introduce themselves all along and by being a better neighbour, you will be giving them an opportunity.
When you meet a neighbour for the first time, give them your phone number and if possible, write it down for them, with your name, to avoid those awkward 'I see you all the time and it’s too late to admit I don’t remember your name' situations.
You never know when you might need to call a neighbour to let them know about a water leak or an electricity blackout or if something serious has happened and closed the road off, you will be able to give your neighbour fair warning to take an alternative route home and they can return the favour, making you both a better neighbour.
If you do someone a favour, you’ll start to like them. It seems like a strange thing to say, but it’s true, so if you can help your neighbour set up their Wi-Fi or point them towards an amazing local restaurant, your brain will actually make you want to hang out with them more. Isn't that crazy?
On a more altruistic level, think back to when you first moved into the area. What would you have liked to know and what information would have made your transition easier? Share your experience and knowledge and you will be a much better neighbour.
This is a simple tip but it's tried and true. If you plan on entertaining or having your music playing loudly, let your neighbours know ahead of time and keep it to a reasonable volume. The same goes for if you are planning an al fresco shindig, so if there will be music playing in your garden, remember to turn it off when you're done instead of going inside and forgetting about it as your music plays into the wee hours.
Being a better neighbour and letting your nearest co-residents know about any loud and potentially disruptive plans will naturally encourage them to pay you the same courtesy and lead to a respectful and happy friendship.
Leaving your dog alone all day is not only traumatic for them, it can also mean that in their loneliness, they will bark all day, or even worse, all night. Though it's horrendously sad that your dog is unhappy, the situation could more than likely strain relations with your neighbour.
If you can, pop home on your lunch break to see your pet and let it out for some fresh air or, even better, arrange for someone to care for them while you are out during the day. A barking dog is an unhappy dog, so while it's important to be a better neighbour and not drive them mad with the noise, your first priority should be to your animal.
Don't treat the neighbourhood streets as your personal racetrack or park inconsiderately. Always be mindful that there are kids, dogs, walkers and cyclists out on the street, all of which are easy to not see while you're driving.
Be sure to stick to the speed limit, keep the volume on your car stereo down and try to park in front of your own house. By doing all of this, you will be a far better neighbour and known as someone who has a lot of courtesy for those living nearby.
This might sound like a really obvious thing, but something as simple as a friendly smile and a wave to a neighbour when you go out or pass them in the hallway can go a long way towards creating a pleasant atmosphere and a budding friendship!
What would make someone a better neighbour to you? Someone who knows your name, says hello, asks after your family and is quiet and considerate. Have we got that right? If so, you have the list of things that will make you a fantastic neighbour too!
People like nice notes, that's no secret and though you need to resolve disputes in person, simply leaving a happy and thoughtful note will always be appreciated. Perhaps you accepted a parcel for them while they were out, or popped some of their rubbish in your bin, so their lid would shut. Either way, by leaving a nice note, you are being a far better neighbour than most people and allowing for a lovely friendship and happy living arrangement to perpetuate.
If you love having neighbours, take a look at this Ideabook: 5 Terrific Terrace Houses. We think you'll love how gorgeous all of these homes are!