Today is ‘Good Neighbour Day’, and it is a perfect opportunity to show some kindness to your neighbours and perhaps get to know the people in your community a little better. Being on good terms with your neighbours has more benefits than just making new friends, it makes communities safer, neighbourhoods friendlier and creates a more comfortable environment for everyone. Whether you just moved into a new home, or want to welcome some newcomers, here’s some tips for being a great neighbour:
- Introduce yourself: do you remember what it was like when you moved into your neighbourhood? It can be intimidating for new homeowners, especially single buyers and those with kids to not know anyone in their community. Take the first step and say hello.
- Be considerate of the lifestyles of others: familiarize with the work schedules of your neighbours (especially if you have shared walls). For example, those who work night shifts will appreciate quieter mornings.
- Be in control of your pets: follow City bylaws and ensure your animals are leashed up when out of your yard, and clean up after them.
- Parking etiquette: ensure the residents of your home are only parked in their designated spots, and never blocking the driveways of your neighbours. If you’re planning a get-together when you need additional parking spaces, give a head’s up to your next door neighbours.
- Give the head’s up: this goes with the last tip, but alert your neighbours before you have parties so that the increased noise isn’t a surprise to them. It’s always good to be cautious of the time and noise level at night as well.
- Keep your yard maintained: an unkept yard isn’t just an eyesore for your neighbours, it can also attract pests and decrease property value on your street.
- Communication is key: keep your neighbours in the loop on when you’ll be leaving town, and when events are coming up, etc. This will allow everyone to keep an eye on each other’s homes and keep the area safer. It also creates a stronger sense of community.
- Offer to help out: if you know your neighbours are going out of town, offer to feed their pets or water their flowers. Perhaps you have an older child who can babysit for them? Invite them to take part in your upcoming garage sale, and offer to invite them over for a coffee once in awhile.
- Spread good karma: when it’s snowing, take the few extra steps and shovel their walkway when you can, or offer to help them when building a deck or fence. If you have the time and the ability, lend a helping hand.
Are there some new faces moving into your community? If so, how do you go about welcoming new neighbours?