There are countless reasons to be a good neighbor. Building social ties, trust, and friendship with those around you is important on a personal level as well as on a societal level. As a mom, I found it interesting that Harvard University’s Saguaro seminar suggest that knowing your neighbors by first name does more to prevent crime than adding more patrol officers in neighborhoods. When you know your neighbors, you look out for each other.
20 Ways to get to know your neighbors, almost effortlessly.
- Sit outside with your family, on the front porch or on chairs in the drive way; this easily fosters friendly interaction by passerbyers
- Throw a party or organize a neighborhood block party – just check with local police 2 weeks beforehand to get your street properly blocked.
- Don’t gossip or exclude other neighbors. If you have an issue with a neighbor, talk it out with them and do not talk about them behind their backs.
- Welcome a new neighbor to the neighborhood by taking a simple dinner or snack over to them on move-in day – don’t forget to include paper plates, etc so they don’t have to dig through boxes for plates and silverware.
- Take family walks together through your neighborhood and say Hi to everyone you walk by, next time stop and chat with those same people until you have developed a friendship over time
- Take a dinner to a new mom in the neighborhood once baby comes home. Even better, organize a week’s worth of dinners between you and 4 or 5 other neighbors. As a mom, you know how crazy the first few weeks of being a new mommy is and any mom would appreciate this gesture.
- Start a playgroup
- Organize and plant a neighborhood flower or vegetable garden.
- Organize a neighborhood yard sale – all this involves is setting a date and letting all of your neighbors know the date so the whole neighborhood will have a yard sale on the same day. Big yardsalers flock to neighborhood yard sales. Advertise for free online at ohio.com or get everyone to chip in for a print ad. Hang up signs around major streets the weekend of the yard sale.
- Avoid gossip, this goes for every aspect of your life in regards to making good friendships
- Join or start a babysitting cooperative
- Join a book club discussion or get the group to discuss local issues and meet once monthly in a home
- Plant tree seedlings along your street with neighbors and rotate care for them
- Assist with or create your neighborhood’s newsletter
- Hire young people for odd jobs
- Shovel your neighbors driveway, especially if they are older
- Share your snow blower
- Join or start a walking or exercise group
- See if your neighbor needs anything when you run to the store
Go to BetterTogether for more information on the importance of connecting with others and more networking ideas.