12 Easy Ways to Win Over Your Neighbors

By Mikey Rox on 2 April 2018 0 comments

Relationships with our neighbors aren't what they used to be. Growing up, everybody knew each other. Nowadays, we barely acknowledge the people who live next door to us, let alone folks up the block. I try to engage with my neighbors, perhaps to their chagrin, because I enjoy meeting new people — especially ones I'm going to see on a regular basis. If you like to be neighborly, too, put yourself out there, say hi, because until they move or you do, you're stuck with them. So you might as well be friendly, right?

1. Introduce yourself

When you move into a new neighborhood, knock on your neighbor's door to introduce yourself. Taking a minute or two to let your neighbors know who you are and where you're from gives them a good impression of you from the moment you arrive. Conversely, if you've been in your home for a while and you notice new neighbors moving in, feel free to pop by and introduce yourself — and maybe bring a sweet treat with you.

2. Be helpful

My neighbors and I help each other out in little ways, like dropping off incorrectly delivered mail, clearing paths on the sidewalk in front of each others' homes when the snow arrives, and taking trash cans to the curb and back. We remove random litter that may be in our yards, and we accept packages that require signatures when one of us isn't home. These small gestures have a significant impact on our relationship with one another while also building trust and appreciation.

If you haven't yet established these same helpful routines, it's never too late to start.

3. Invite them over for dinner

If you feel comfortable enough inviting new neighbors over for dinner or maybe just wine and conversation, go for it. If you're too shy for the one-on-one approach, wait until you're hosting a larger gathering of friends and neighbors, like a backyard BBQ, to include them. There's no wrong way to let your neighbors know they're welcome at your home, so pursue whatever avenue makes you most comfortable. (See also: Throw an Awesome Potluck Dinner With These 6 Easy Tricks)

4. Keep your trash contained

Don't let your trash pile up to the point that it stinks while drawing vermin. Handle your garbage on a regular basis by putting it out every pickup cycle. If you have lidded cans, you can maybe skip a cycle in the cooler months, but trash should be dealt with efficiently during warmer months. Nobody wants the smell of hot trash wafting through their open windows while they're trying to relax and enjoy the breeze.

5. Park with consideration

If you and your neighbors share street parking, be courteous enough to leave the spot in front of their home open for them, even when you have company. Ask your guests to park somewhere else that doesn't inconvenience your neighbors. Also, leave minimal space between vehicles to maximize the total space provided for parking. There's nothing more annoying than coming home at night and seeing three cars haphazardly parked when there should be enough space for four cars. You won't win me over with that.

6. Take care of your property

Keep your yard tidy, your landscape trimmed, and the exterior of your home clean and presentable. Nobody wants to look at your junk lying out where everybody can see it, and letting your property fall into disrepair also could affect your property's value and that of your neighbors. You can bet they won't take too kindly to that when general upkeep requires only occasional attention. If you lack storage space, invest in a shed.

7. Offer to help when needed

If you know your neighbors are going out of town, offer to keep an eye on their home and collect their mail if they're going away for more than a week. If they have a dog and you're inclined to watch it while they're away, offer that as well. This, in particular, might be the start of a mutually beneficial trade-off where you can rely on each other to help with each other's pets if you also have one. Potentially a major money-saving opportunity considering how much it costs to board animals these days.

It also won't hurt to do a general check-in from time to time.

"You don't have to go over for coffee on a daily basis, but checking in with them on a periodical basis will go a long way toward having a good relationship," says Justin Lavelle, chief communications officer at online background check platform BeenVerified.com. "It can be as simple as having a conversation over the fence. If you are in communication, they might be more likely to share if they are dealing with health, family, or other issues, giving you the opportunity to offer help if needed."

8. Don't be too loud

If you're enjoying your outdoor space with your friends and family, keep the noise at a reasonable level and take the party inside after 10 p.m. Nobody should be shouting and your music shouldn't be blasting, either. They might have to work early in the morning, or have a baby who needs to sleep. (See also: 10 Ways You're Being a Terrible Neighbor)

9. Inform them of upcoming construction projects

If you're about to start a construction project that will affect your neighbors — like debris out in the open, parking spaces being occupied, or early morning equipment noise — give them as much notice as possible. It's the right thing to do. You may not be able to avoid annoying them altogether, but they'll understand a lot more if you made an effort to communicate what's going to happen and the potential repercussions of the project.

10. Make nice regarding your short-term rentals

If you engage in short-term rentals via Airbnb or a similar service, it's extremely wise to have your neighbors on your side. Let them know what you're doing, ease their mind by telling them how involved you will be throughout the entire process, and ask them to call you if there are any problems, so you can deal with them promptly in order to keep the peace. Your guests are your responsibility, and if you're doing your job correctly, your neighbors won't even know they're there. (See also: 13 Things I Learned From Renting Out My Home on Airbnb)

11. Mind your pets

Don't leave your yappy dog outside unattended, especially in the morning or late at night. And don't let your cat roam the neighborhood so it can relieve itself all over your neighbor's garden. Clean up after them, and do what you can to make sure they're trained, friendly, and not a danger to other animals or kids. Your pets are your pets, and they shouldn't affect your neighbors whatsoever.

12. Notice your neighbors' home improvements

If your neighbors have recently put in time and money to improve their home, notice it. Tell them how great it looks. They'd like to know that their hard work has paid off and that the neighborhood appreciates it. You don't have to make a special stop to do it; just mention it in passing. You'll stand out favorably from the other neighbors who are too self-involved to care. (See also: 25 Reasons Why It's Good to Know Your Neighbors)

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