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Neighbor Etiquette: How to Be a Good Neighbor

Posted in: I'm Moving, Neighborhood Advice


You just moved into your new home – the moving truck is gone, your boxes are unpacked, and you’re starting to feel settled in your new home! But there is still one more thing you need to complete on your moving checklist. It’s time to meet your neighbors!

Not many people enjoy making small talk with strangers, but that awkward conversation is an essential part of the moving process. If you introduce yourself within the first couple weeks of moving in, then you’re setting the tone for your relationship and reputation among the neighborhood. Being friendly from the start, can prevent hostility and bad-feelings down the road.

Moving 101

How To Be A Good Neighbor

  • Introduce Yourself: If neighbors aren’t rushing over with pies and welcoming gifts, don’t take offense. Maybe they want you to break the ice first! Simply knock on the doors of the homes or apartment units nearby, and say a quick hello. Learning your neighbor’s names now, can prevent awkward conversations later on, so go for it!
  • Prevent Problems: Now that you’ve officially met your neighbors, get to know their lifestyles. Knowing that they work nights, might make you more apt to keep it down during the day. Or if they have children, perhaps quiet evenings are more their speed. If you take your neighbors’ lifestyles into consideration (and they take yours into consideration), then you can remedy problems right away. Being upfront and honest from the start is your best bet.
  • Keep it Down: Noise complaints are typically the biggest problems amongst neighbors. Whether you live in a building and share a wall, or your homes are a yard apart…noise can definitely make or break relationships. No one expects you to be quiet all day, everyday. But you should be aware of the amount of noise you’re making on a daily basis. If you’re going to have a large party, then it’s common courtesy to let your neighbors know beforehand. If you’re the one getting annoyed by noise day in and day out, it may be best to have a quick conversation.  Leaving a note on their door isn’t the best option. A face-to-face conversation is your best bet. Oftentimes your neighbors won’t even realize they’re making that much noise, so stop griping and start talking.
  • Keep your Pets Under Control: First, realize that not everyone loves animals. Even if your dog was first in his class at obedience school, it doesn’t mean everyone is going to love your dog right from the start. Be accountable for your animal’s actions, and no one can complain.
  • Follow the Golden Rule: We’ve all heard it before…treat people the way you want to be treated. It’s simple enough, but following this rule can greatly improve your relationships with the people who live around you. Keep the channels of communication open by reminding them that if you’re doing anything which disturbs them, they should feel comfortable approaching you about it.

Remember, your neighbors are people who you will see just about everyday. Start off on the right foot, and you’ll have a much more peaceful living situation in your new home.

BONUS: Do you have a new tenant or homeowner in your neighborhood? Put together this welcome basket, or bring over this personalized champagne gift to truly welcome them to their new digs.


  1. mgauss7

    My neighbor visits daily to borrow (keep) the paper. He put a note for UPS and USPS to leave packages in my home. He comes at night to pick them up. He comes to make copies, use the computer, print things. I am fed up. My wife loves to do things as she feels sorry for him, he is divorced.

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