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Want to be a good neighbor? Follow these 7 good-neighbor guidelines

What’s one of the most sought-after characteristics of a good neighborhood? Great neighbors. Many of us have seen the value in great neighbors during the COVID-19 pandemic. The first step in having great neighbors is to be a great neighbor yourself. While there are new rules to being a good neighbor in this day and age, there are some things that will never change, like respecting noise levels, or keeping up your curb appeal.

Here are a few neighborly guidelines to follow:

1. Get to Know Your Neighbors. It’s always a good idea to introduce yourself to a new neighbor when they move in, but health guidelines have made this a little trickier. But just because we’re distancing from each other doesn’t mean we need to be socially distant. Consider dropping off flowers or baked goods to your new neighbor and including an introduction note. Or, if you see them outside watering their plants or checking the mail, you could introduce yourself from a distance. Always greet them in passing with a wave or a friendly hello.

2. Help Out Neighbors in Need. If you know of a neighbor with underlying medical issues or at increased risk to severe illness from COVID-19, reach out to them before making a trip to the pharmacy or grocery store to see if they need you to pick up a few things for them. Even little items can make a huge difference to those who feel isolated or forgotten about during this time.

3. Practice Good Hygiene in Common Areas. If you live in an apartment building or condominium, try to be contentious of washing your hands before you go out and sanitizing doorknobs or buttons when possible. You should also think twice about who you invite into your building- such as a friend with cold like symptoms or someone who has recently visited a COVID-19 hotspot. Be sure to follow all community guidelines.

4. When Hosting Others, Be Respectful: Whether you’re having family over for a cookout, or friends over to watch the game—always be mindful and respectful to your neighbors. Keep noise at a reasonable level and mind where your guests' park. If you think it’s necessary, give your neighbors a heads up that you will be hosting an event.

5. Keep up Curb Appeal: An ugly yard is an eyesore, and worst of all, it can bring down property values for everyone. Do your part by mowing your lawn, keeping clutter and debris out of the yard, and maintaining your landscaping regularly.  4. Resolve Issues Calmly: Sometimes you might take issue with your neighbor. Whether it’s their dog barking late at night, they’re mowing their grass too early in the morning, or they’re installing a fence that you don’t like—it happens. In these instances, it’s important to deal with the issue tactfully. Try resolving the issue in-person (while maintaining a distance), through a polite conversation. Always take the direct approach, rather than being passive-aggressive.

6. Follow Neighborhood Rules: Drive the speed limit, pick up after your dog, follow trash and recycling schedules, parking restrictions, and community health guidelines. Always follow city ordinances, especially those regarding noise. There’s nothing worse than being kept up all night by a noisy neighbor.

7. Keep a Watchful Eye: Whether you’re part of a neighborhood watch or not, be on the lookout for suspicious activity in your neighborhood. Keep an eye on neighbors’ homes when they go out of town, especially. Go the extra mile by tending to their yard or mail while they’re away if needed.


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