March 26, 2019

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? 10 Ideas for Being a Good Neighbor

At CT Comm, we are always looking for ways we can give back to our community. Our goal as the oldest full-service, independently owned provider for high-speed Internet, phone, and TV services in Champaign County is to connect globally, locally.


Our mission? To keep our community connected with the world and with each other.


As part of a new and exciting local initiative we’ve been working on to implement that mission, CT Comm is excited to share that in 2019 we will begin providing new homebuyers in Champaign County with a Welcome to the Neighborhood welcome box.


While searching for the best way to welcome our new neighbors, we chose to utilize our welcome box opportunity to inform new residents of our diverse assortment of local eateries, antique and retail shops, tourist attractions, and other important businesses.


We have a thriving community. With that in mind, we set to work to capture the spirit of the dynamic opportunities our growing municipality offers on a daily basis to its residents—young or old, life-long or new.


According to this recent article by The Washington Post, one of the best ways to welcome new neighbors and businesses into the area is to provide them with a checklist and contact information for important contacts. For instance, local grocers, housekeepers, mechanics, take out restaurants, handymen, trash services, and pharmacies all make excellent candidates for being included a “need-to-know” checklist.


This research brought about the question, “How can an individual, family, or business be a good neighbor?”


Should you be one of the lucky neighborhood households to welcome a new neighbor to the area, below are a handful of ways you can make them feel more at home. Plus, there is a perk for you in this. Being a good neighbor makes it easier to establish friendships with your neighbors and can eventually lead to added comfort and safety for your own household—which ultimately leads to feeling more satisfied with your own home.


Here are ten simple things you can practice on a day-to-day basis to ensure you will be a great neighbor, and in general, a better contributing member of society.


 #1 Knock on their door.


Don’t wait for them to come to you. If you do, it might never happen. Introduce yourself, bake them cookies, or drop off some fresh vegetables. It doesn’t need to be anything grandiose, but a simple introduction will lay a friendly foundation from the very beginning and can go a long way in the future.


#2 Show respect for your home and theirs.


This seems like a no-brainer, and every article about being a good neighbor will include curb appeal as a key to good-neighboring. But that’s what curb appeal comes down to: mutual respect for yourself and others. Do everyone a favor and keep the outside of your house clean and well-tended. Property values for a neighborhood go down every time someone doesn’t follow this rule.


#3 Be responsible for your pets.


This should go for everyone, anywhere, period. Don’t allow your pets to wander uninvited into your neighbor’s yard, and always clean up after your pets. You should also be mindful of noise and not allow dogs to bark outside incessantly.


#4 Take time to get to know them.


Find ways to get to know your neighbors better. Host a neighborhood BBQ or invite them to card night or social parties. Look for things you have in common and ways to facilitate conversation.


#5 Please, don’t gossip.


Whatever you do, don’t be the town gossip. Nobody wants to look over at their neighbors’ lawn and see the town’s dirty laundry on display.


#6 Be respectful.


In general, when it comes to any interaction with your new neighbor (or anyone, for that matter), be respectful. Don’t encroach on someone else’s space, keep your own area clean and well maintained, and be considerate of any shared spaces. Oh, and maybe number one on this list? Never steal their Internet!


#7 Choose to handle conflict carefully.


Should you have an issue, try to resolve it calmly and respectfully. As with everything in life, you cannot control every relationship. Some people will like you, some will not. Do what you can, when you can, and let the rest go!


#8 Return borrowed items quickly and allow them to borrow from you readily.


Neighbors can be a great asset when it comes to needing that extra egg, cup of sugar, or a garden tool. Over the years, you may need to borrow something, and you should be sure to return the item promptly and in the same condition you borrowed it. Share the same generosity and trust by letting them borrow things from you. Remember, everything is replaceable except people!


#9 Mind your own business but look for ways to engage.


Don’t be nosey. Don’t invite yourself over or intrude on gatherings. Respect their space. Observe what your new neighbors are comfortable with. There were a great many conversations that happened on one of America’s favorite sitcoms, Home Improvement, with a fence between two neighbors!


#10 Lend them a hand when you can.


Remember the section above about keeping up your curb appeal out of a mutual respect for yourself and others? If you run into an issue with a new neighbor who can’t seem to keep up with their lawn care, consider if there is a way you might lend a hand. We aren’t suggesting you maintain their lawn for them, but simply be aware of what may be happening in your busy neighbor’s life. A good general rule is to look for small ways to help or make life easier on others. Take their trash to the curb for pickup on an evening they’re working late. Shovel their walk when you shovel your own.


There are many advantages to exercising the above suggestions, as being close to your neighbors can dramatically improve the state of your livelihood and enable you to live in your home relatively stress-free. And for times like emergencies? You don’t want to wait until a crisis to knock on their door for the first time!


If you or someone you know is moving soon, don’t forget to contact CT Comm for all your local Internet and phone needs!