So you've just moved into a brand new apartment, or maybe a new neighbor moved in next door. Maybe you run into a person you've never seen before in your apartment community. Whatever the case might be, you can use the reminders and tips below to ensure that you will get along with your neighbors, avoid conflicts, and maybe even become good friends.
1) Smile, wave, or simply say hello.
Even if you consider yourself an introvert a friendly smile to a passing neighbor can go a long way. You might even strike up a conversation and try to find out more about them. This all contributes to building a warm and inviting atmosphere in your apartment building. You never know when you might need a favor from a neighbor so if you feel comfortable exchange phone numbers and extend the offer for help if they ever need it as well.
2) Be mindful of your noise level and warn others before any noisy plans.
If you have people living below you, it is likely that they will hear anything above normal walking so do your best to be curteous if you workout in your apartment or chase pets or kids around. Speaking of pets, if your apartment allows them it is smart to know whether they bark or make noise while you are gone and take steps to minimize this. Pretend to leave and listen outside your door for a while or purchase a smart camera that you can check in on them while you are out. Some systems can even alert you to barking, let you speak to your furry friend, and throw treats to distract them. No pets, no problem but if you are planning a dinner party, game night, etc. it is curtious to give your neighbors a heads up. A simple note or text lets them know that you care about them and they will likely return the favor.
3) More about pets: don't make assumptions.
Speaking of pets, it is worth noting that if your building allows pets your furry friend likely isn't the only one. Don't let them wander off on their own as this can cause many issues. Always have them leashed and introduce them to people and other dogs but understand that not everyone is necessarily a dog person. Some people might be afraid and want to maintain their distance so try to respect that. Follow all of the rules that are outlined in your apartments pet policy and pick up after them when they go potty outside.
4) Shared spaces equals shared responsibilities.
If your apartment community has common spaces to be shared by all tenants then you must be respectful of these areas and pick up after yourself when you are done using them. Also, make sure to reserve spaces ahead of time if you need them for a private event. Practice good laundry etiquette and be patient with those if you share laundry facilities. Set timers or reminders so you can take out laundry as soon as it is done and double check to make sure you don't leave something behind. Community areas can be a great place to meet other residents and have fun outside of your apartment but be aware if someone is looking for peace and quiet.
5) If problems arise, stay cool and communicate.
Many neighbors may be unaware of certain habits that annoy or frustrate others. It is best to reach out and let your issues be known in a calm and curteous manner. Knock on their door, leave them a note, or call/text them and explain your side of things. On the flip side of things, don't immediately get angry if a neighbor confronts you with a problem. Listen to what they have to say and work out a solution while promising to be more mindful in the future.
6) It's the small things.
The best advice for being a good neighbor comes down to simply being nice. You don't have to bake cookies for everyone in the building or get everyone holiday gifts. Being respectful of other peoples spaces and wishes is easy enough to ensure everyone gets along and lives in a welcoming environment.