Everyone appreciates good neighbors.
Especially the ones that bring you a plate of cookies or home baked bread when you move into the neighborhood, who ask about your sick aunt, or who simply talk to you and say “Hello!”
We all know of the the other neighbors who are just the opposite as well. They strive to even look towards you when you get out of the car, avoiding any type of humanly contact as possible, and heaven forbid your dog poops on their lawn. The effort that they make to avoid us could just as easily be transformed into goodness, but we need to be the bigger person in this situation, we can all help to make that relationship not-so-awkward.
So, that being said, I’ll be the first to admit that I know that I can be a better neighbor. Here are some ideas that will help us all be better neighbors and bring about world peace one day.
1. First and foremost, introduce yourself. Start small. If you’re new to the neighborhood, or even if you’ve lived there 10 years, it’s simple manners. Besides, it doesn’t have to be a huge gesture or anything, (or if you’re the ambitious type, you could knock it out of the park with a homemade pie) but it does take the awkwardness out of not knowing their names when you might need a favor – like a tool, or a shovel, or something.
2. Serve them. If you want to be an awesome neighbor, try these suggestions and see if they don’t return the favor. I know I did.
- Shovel/snow blow their driveway. This is especially nice when you have a snow blower and they don’t. When I wake up and realize that it’s snowed 6 inches overnight, the first thing we think is, “Ugh, great. Gotta shovel the driveway before the tire tracks pack the snow in and it stays like that for the rest of the winter.” But, much to my excitement, surprise, and sheer amazement, my driveway has already been shoveled?! What? Who? Why? At that moment, I suddenly feel a huge wave of gratitude rush over me. “Wow.” I thought to myself, that’s almost equivalent to waking up on Christmas morning.
- Mow their lawn. This is especially easy if they don’t have a fence that separates your yards. So take an extra 20 minutes, get some more exercise, and do them a favor.
- Rake their leaves. Now this is a real favor. There isn’t really an easy way to clean up the leaves. You have two options. 1. Rake. 2. Leaf blower. Number one is more controlled, but slower. And number two is more of a mess, but faster. So, bless your heart if/when you choose to help your neighbor with this (especially if they have huge trees).
3. Keep your yard tidy: No one likes a sloppy neighbor. Don’t you hate the feeling like a machete is needed just to take a walk around the neighborhood? Ducking, diving, narrowly dodging branches to the face, stepping in wet bushes or thorns – just not that fun. Do your neighbors (and yourself) a favor, and tidy it up! The right tools will make the job easy!
4. When you mow your lawn, ask to mow your neighbors. (For those times you can’t just go ahead and do it) No, this doesn’t have to be a weekly thing, but hey, if you’re ever feeling extra giving, why not go the extra mile and mow their lawn? Especially if they are seniors, save them the $20 they pay the neighborhood kid to do half as good a job as you do. (Sorry neighborhood kid.)
5. Make sure those leaves/pine needles/other tree droppings don’t blow into your neighbors yard. When fall rolls around again this year, keep your neighbors in mind and rake up the leaves early before the wind picks them up and dumps them over everyone else’s lawn (including your own).
6. Don’t let your dog poop on their lawn. Unless they just really deserve it. Joking. We all know how annoying it is when that happens, so just be courteous enough to hold onto the collar long enough to pass their yard. Or if “it” happens, then pick it up at least. Don’t forget the pooper scooper.
7. Offer your help. Doesn’t matter what for, just offer. Even if they feel embarrassed and deny needing your help, insist that you’re happy to help, and jump right in. They will appreciate it a ton, and +karma points will rain over you.
Oh, and don’t forget…
These 7 tips can be fostered into any New Years Resolution, or can be adopted as a whole new resolution. Make a New Years Resolution to be a better neighbor this year!