Good Neighbor Etiquette

flr 19Neighborhoods have changed over the years. In the past, people brought baskets of sandwiches or fruit to the new people on the block. Sometimes they offered to help with a project. A welcome lady would stop by for coffee and leave a list of important numbers. Neighbors shared tools and garden equipment so everyone didn’t have to go out and buy expensive items that they wouldn’t use often.

I’ve lived in a variety of neighborhoods throughout my life, and I know from experience that each one has its own personality. Some tend to be more open to street parties and socializing, while others are made up of people who prefer to stay to themselves. The second group isn’t bad; it’s just not as warm and inviting.

Regardless of the type of neighborhood you live in, there are still some basic etiquette rules you should follow to be a good neighbor. The ultimate goal is to live in peace and harmony, and even though that’s not always possible, you can at least do whatever it takes to prevent hostilities and long-lasting hard feelings.


No one expects you to be quiet as a mouse, but you should also respect certain basic rules when it comes to making too much noise.

Noise etiquette rules:

  • There is no reason to hammer a nail on a common wall past 8:00 at night. It can wait until the next day.
  • Don’t honk your horn every time you pull into your driveway. Your family will find out you are home soon enough.
  • Sitting outside on a warm summer night with your spouse or friend is wonderful, but the neighbor’s bedroom window is close, it’s rude to hold a long conversation on the back porch past 10:00 PM. Take it inside so your neighbor can sleep.
  • Avoid all unnecessary noise from any source from 9:00 PM to 9:00 AM. This includes revving car engines, children riding scooters, voices, and whatever else may wake someone from a sound sleep.

Tips on being a good neighbor:

  • Observe and respect your neighbor’s personal space.
  • Try not to borrow anything, but if you must, return the item immediately after using it. If you break the item, pay to fix it or replace it.
  • Don’t be the neighborhood gossip. That’s just rude and will eventually come back to bite you.
  • If you have an issue with a neighbor, go directly to that person and discuss it in an adult manner. Don’t call the cops unless you are threatened.
  • Not everyone is a dog or cat lover, so show responsibility for your pets. That includes keeping them off the neighbor’s lawn and picking up after them.
  • Remember your neighbors during the holidays with a card or small homemade gift.
  • If you and a neighbor have a misunderstanding, make an extra effort to make things right by shaking hands and at least being on friendly terms. You don’t have to hang out. A simple wave as you pull into the driveway is sufficient.
  • Know the Homeowners Association rules and follow them.