Good Neighbor Etiquette

With Valentine's Day around the corner, February reminds us love, and loving one another--including your neighbors. If you've just moved into a new neighborhood and have questions about the "rules" of etiquette--here are a few you should know so you're not that neighbor.

Keep the Noise Level Down

Don't turn on the tile saws, the lawn mowers or other loud tools early in the morning or use them late into the evening. A good rule of thumb is not to use them before 9am on and not after 9pm. Just because you may be an early riser or night owl doesn't mean tother are or that their kids are!

Use the same timeline guides as a reminder to your children or to yourself when you're outside in the mornings or evenings. Voices carry at night and in the morning so keep your voice down.

Don't welcome yourself home by honking in your driveway. You'll be able to say hello in no time.

Respect Your Neighbors

Don't borrow things unless your really need to in a pinch. And if you do borrow things, return them in a timely fashion.

Don't be the neighborhood gossip. Word will spread quickly that you are this person and you will lose the trust of your neighbors.

If you have an issue with a neighbor, discuss it with him in person, politely and calmly. Don't put anonymous notes in mailboxes or post anonymously in online forums.

Keep your pets off of your neighbors' lawns and out of their yards. If Fido does use a neighbor's lawn for his bathroom, clean it up.

If your neighbors prefer a child-free yard, keep your kids out of their yards, too.

Add to Your Neighborhood Curb Appeal

  • Mow your lawn and do maintenance to prevent weeds. Don't let your grass grow knee-high before cutting it.

  • Make sure that trees, shrubs and other plant parts don't creep into your neighbor's yard. This includes tree limbs, spreading shrubs and weeds.

  • Remove all bicycles, skateboards and toys from the front yard at the end of the day.

  • Have an exterior project going on? Make sure to keep the clutter to a minimum and wrap the project up as soon as you can. Don't leave ladders or other items outside that may attract children to them and cause them to hurt themselves.

  • In the winter make sure to shovel and de-ice your sidewalks and other pathways. This not only makes your home appear well taken care of, but it can keep people from slipping and sliding as they walk by.

  • Make sure you clear a path for your mail carrier as well. Life is easier when you're not stepping through slush.

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