Today is World Kindness Day, and who better to show some kindness to, than your new neighbours? 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. Here’s some tips for welcoming new neighbours:
- 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.
- Help them move in: moving is hard work, why not start off on a good foot by getting a few people from the community together to help your new neighbours move in? The work will get done quicker, and you’ll have more time to get to know the new folks on the block.
- Share neighbourhood safety information: give your new neighbours a list of of all the neighbourhood contacts they need to ensure a safe homecoming for their family: block parents, community centres, first responders, etc.
- Connect them with local opportunities: let your new neighbours know about community associations, organizations, volunteer opportunities, sports teams, etc. Remember, they are new to your area, so you’ll want to keep them in the know on how to get involved and meet more people.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Is someone spreading kindness in your neighbourhood, or do you have an especially great neighbour in your community? Tell us about it on Twitter.