Not only is a happy community a wonderful thing to be a part of, getting to know your neighbours can also have other surprising benefits, not least making some great new friends!
1. Safety in numbers
Having someone watching out for you and your home is never a bad thing. If you’re friendly with your neighbours you can let them know if you’re going away and they’ll keep an eye on the house for you. You could even leave a spare key with them just in case of emergency, and vice versa.
2. Borrowing & lending
Whether you need a tool to fix something, a small amount of milk for a recipe or some batteries for your remote – having a good relationship with the neighbours means you could be able to borrow things rather than driving to the shops. Make sure you’re willing to return the favour at some point though, and replace whatever you’ve borrowed.
3. Sharing of skills
It’s likely your street is filled with people from all walks of life and with lots of different skills. Get to know your neighbours and you may discover you’re living near plumbers, doctors, electricians and a whole host of people who might be able to help you out in an emergency. Depending on your job, you might be able to help some of your neighbours out in return, by offering your own services.
4. Parties & events
If you’re having a party, BBQ, fireworks display or any other event that could mean loud noise or smoke, letting your neighbours have advance warning, or even inviting them to join you, is only polite. This way, if your guests do get a little loud, they’ll be less likely to complain (as long as it doesn’t happen too often), and you may be invited to their own events in return!
5. Pets and kids
If you’ve got children or pets, you may find your neighbours are willing to watch over them occasionally when you’re out. Indeed, there may well be an eager teenager on your street looking to make a little extra cash through babysitting or dog-walking.
Likewise, if a neighbour’s pet is making a lot of noise or digging up your garden, it’s a lot easier to talk to them about it, when you already know them, and avoid any conflict.
6. Missed deliveries
If you have a parcel being delivered but you might be out, ask your neighbour if they’d be willing to take it in for you. If there are certain days you know you’ll be home, offer them the same favour. This can be especially useful around Christmas, when you don’t want to be trekking out to the local post office depot every other day.
7. Lost keys or flat batteries
If you’ve locked yourself out or lost your keys and have a spare with a neighbour, they’ll be able to let you into your house. If you haven’t left a spare with them but you’re on good terms, they might let you wait in their house until a locksmith arrives. If your car won’t start, your neighbour could also help you by jump-starting the battery – or just offer a cup of tea while you wait for the recovery service.
If you’ve got a garden but you’re not sure how to maintain it, a green-fingered neighbour might be more than happy to give you some tips – they may even lend you their tools to get you started. Likewise, people who grow their own fruit and vegetables could share any excess produce out amongst lucky neighbours; so get on good terms and make sure you’re one of them!