7 ways you can be a better neighbour

Private Property South Africa
Cath Jenkin

Neighbourhood squabbles are time-consuming, annoying, and negatively affect your happy home. Here’s our how to guide on how to be a better neighbour.

There’s many a guide on how to handle nuisance neighbours, but how can you be a better one? Disagreements over a blocked view, noisy neighbours, and parking issues can drain your energy and lead you to consider moving house. But putting your best foot forward to become a better neighbour begins long before you get into a fight.

1. Get involved

There’s always a park that needs a cleanup, or a fence that needs fixing. Volunteer your time towards neighbourhood cleanup efforts, or organise your own. Getting involved in keeping your neighbourhood clean is a great first step to take, in your quest to become a better neighbour.

2. Start something new

If you’ve ever felt frustrated by a lack of suburban activities in your area, it’s time to start something new. Invite a crowd along to the park for an afternoon of soccer, or organise a neighbourhood picnic. That’s a great way to learn more about the people who live close to you, and you may even make a few new friends.

3. Help out where you can

Life is full of surprises, and sometimes they’re not so pleasant. Looking out for your neighbours, and stepping in to help out when it’s required, is essential. Set up a meal roster for the new parents welcoming home a baby this week, and get everyone involved in dropping off dinner for the first few days. There may be an elderly couple who could do with similar assistance, so don’t be shy to check in with them and find out.

4. Participate with purpose

Suburban living in 2018 brings with it a whole host of interesting community-building opportunities. Set up, or join, your neighbourhood WhatsApp group, and be sure to positively contribute to it when appropriate. If your suburb has regular neighbourhood watch, sign up for a shift or two.

5. Support local

Every suburb plays host to small-scale events, including markets, live entertainment, or similar. Pop along to the ones that interest you and you’ll soon find familiar faces in and around the events. Wherever possible, support local small businesses, because you may actually save a bundle in comparison to buying items at the local mall.

6. Set the example

You can’t be the one complaining about your neighbours’ terrible parties when you’re also hosting rowdy events on a regular basis. Be sure to alert your neighbours when you’re hosting a large event, and invite them along to attend, if appropriate. Do your best to keep your property well-maintained and offer to help out if a neighbour appears to be battling to keep up with their property maintenance.

7. Work a little harder

Feuding with your neighbours about overgrown trees, rowdy parties, or constant blocking of your driveway can be exhausting. If everyone worked a little harder at being a better neighbour, suburban bliss would be that much easier to achieve. After all, neighbours are what make a neighbourhood.

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