5. Let kids be (good) kids
Too much: Again, the neighbors will start to worry if they never see or hear your children.
Too little: On the other hand, don’t take the African proverb too literally. It may take a village to raise a child, but your “village” didn’t sign up to feed and babysit your kids every day.
Just right: Let the kids play outside during daylight hours and introduce them to the neighbors, both for courtesy and safety. Don’t let them play in neighbors’ yards without permission, and teach them that yelling is generally inappropriate and unnecessary.
6. Don’t smoke out the neighbors
Too much: It may be inappropriate (not to mention a code violation) to run a barbecue pit and sell ribs on the patio all day every day.
Too little: Don’t be so leery of drifting smoke that you become rude. If the neighbors include you in a weekly barbecue, try to reciprocate.
Just right: Talk to the neighbors and pay attention to the prevailing winds before lighting a bonfire or starting a backyard cigar-of-the-month club.
7. Turn down the music
Too much: Don’t try to keep the house so quiet that summer’s ambient noise drives you crazy.
Too little: You might have great taste in music, but your neighbors don’t need to experience a summer-long music festival.
Just right: Try to keep your tunes from drifting beyond your property lines. Go out to the street and check if you can hear the stereo or garage band. If you are hosting a party, invite your neighbors (or at least warn them and give them your phone number to complain about noise). Most municipalities have noise ordinances that prohibit noise that disrupts the safety and comfort of others, but the specific limits vary based on hour, location, type of noise and other circumstances. It’s best to follow the golden rule and keep noise from disturbing neighbors.