What Will You Do Today to be a Good Neighbor?

September 28, 2010

When you buy a piece Chicago real estate, there’s one thing you get with your purchase that isn’t described in the listing: The home’s neighbors.

Today, September 28, is National Good Neighbor Day. So, on this day I ask you:

How good are your neighbors?


How good of a neighbor are you?

The holiday designed to inspire people to be good neighbors was started by Becky Mattson from Montana in the early 1970s.

The day was celebrated on the fourth Sunday of September until the U.S. Senate passed a resolution in 2003 declaring September 28 as National Good Neighbor Day.

So, what can you do to be a good neighbor?

The Top 10 Ways to be a Good Neighbor:

*Maintain your home’s exterior: Mow your lawn, put away your toys, clean up after your dog, keep trash in the bins, keep bins where they belong … you get the picture.

*Get to know your neighbors: Have one over for a meal, bring one flowers from your garden, host a block party. Not only will becoming friendly with your neighbors help you to resolve disagreements more amicably, you might actually make some life-long friends. Plus, you’ll have somewhere close to leave a spare house key.

*Get to know your neighborhood: When you know your neighbors, you are more likely to notice if someone is there that shouldn’t be, and your neighbors are more likely to keep an eye out for your home as well. Neighbors looking out for others keeps a neighborhood safer.

*Develop a neighborhood watch: Coming together to discuss keeping the neighborhood safe will give you something in common and spark a relationship. Again, neighbors looking out for others keeps a neighborhood safer.

*Help thy neighbors love thy pets: Register your animals with your city. Clean up after your dog no matter where she goes, don’t let her run freely around the neighborhood, and bring her in when she sits and barks outside, especially at night.

*Party respectfully: Warn your neighbors if you are planning a big bash that will have cars up and down the block and end parties at a reasonable hour. Better yet, invite your neighbors to your bashes!

*Park in front of your own home: If you have a house, you have a front of your house. Don’t park your car in front of my house when there’s room in front of yours. I know it’s a public street, but this is about being a good neighbor. Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s not rude.

*Speaking of cars: Slow down while driving through any neighborhood! Respect speed limits and stop signs. I can’t tell you how many people seem to think the stop sign outside my house is optional. There are children everywhere. Slow. Down.

*Box it up: After a holiday like Halloween or Christmas, put away all your decorations within 30 days. No one likes a moldy pumpkin in the snow or Santa Claus in the Spring.

*Follow the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would like them to do for you. Treat your neighbors with respect and kindness. Go the extra mile. If you are the only person with a snow blower, clear the public sidewalks a little further down than just in front of your home. Rake leaves even if some of them are on your neighbor’s property line.

Being a good neighbor is about using common sense. Much like family, you can’t pick your neighbors. Be a good person and respectful homeowner, and hopefully, you’ll get good neighbors in return.

Here’s hoping everyone in the Chicago area is — and has — a good neighbor!

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