How to be a Good Neighbor

I think part of what makes a home a home is the quality of your neighbors and I’ve been pretty fortunate when it comes to the people who have lived next door (with a few exceptions). I believe there are certain basic social etiquettes to follow when living in close proximity to others.

Introduce Yourself or at Least Say Hi Every Once in a While:  When we moved to Maryland I couldn’t have asked for nicer neighbors. They came over and introduced themselves as we were unloading our moving truck and later brought us lunch! They couldn’t have been nicer. That level of kindness is out of the ordinary but it’s not hard for any of us to walk over when we see our neighbor outside and introduce ourselves or wave hello every once in a while. We don’t have to become best friends with each other but we do have to live in the same community (or apartment building, or dorm) and you never know when a friendly neighbor will save the day.

Be Good Pet Owners:  I have had a neighbor whose dog woke me up every morning around 6am. I think they would let the dog out and then somehow go deaf because that dog would bark incessantly to be let in. Maybe they had the hair dryer on or something, who knows. All I’m saying is be aware of your pets.

Also, please don’t let your dog poop in other’s yards, on the sidewalk or the street and then just leave it there. I had a neighbor who would let their dog out and it would come over to my yard to do its business. Once again, just be aware and care what your pet is doing. Clean up your dog’s poop. This is just common courtesy.

Keep Noise to a Minimum:  This one’s self-explanatory but there are those who might need this spelled out for them. Please don’t crank up the lawn mower, power saw, chainsaw, etc. early in the morning, especially on the weekends. For some, it’s the only time to catch up on sleep or just relax in the morning.

Or, maybe you or someone you know likes to play their music really loud all the time. I get it. There are some songs that are so good that they demand to be played at high volume. Just be considerate of the time of day and please don’t do it all the time.

Perhaps you like to throw big, noisy parties. It’s a nice courtesy to let your closest neighbors know that you will be having guests over and about what time they will be leaving. That way they will have an idea of when to expect a little more peace and quiet. Big celebrations on special occasions are expected but frequent, loud get-togethers put a major toll on relations with your neighbors.

This advice might seem too obvious but I’m sure we could all come up with examples of neighbors who we wish would move. (For a really good and really funny example of not-so-neighborly behavior, go to My co-worker showed me this and it made me laugh out loud.) If you just want to be left alone to do your own thing without anybody telling you what to do or you just can’t muster up the strength to wave hello to your fellow man, go to I’m sure we could find you a house or cabin for you with lots of acreage and not a neighbor in site!  J