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10 Ways to Be a Considerate Neighbor

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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.

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4:52AM PST on Jan 20, 2014

thank you

9:10AM PST on Dec 20, 2013

It's good to live with as much peace of mind as possible with those whom you happen to be living near by random chance. This piece didn't mention condo associations, which come with its own code of conduct. Thanks.

4:54AM PDT on Jul 17, 2012

I try to be considerate, but people's stupidity obstructs me.

4:08PM PDT on Mar 14, 2012


8:04AM PST on Nov 15, 2011

I'm sure many folks would be more considerate neighbors IF their neighbors were --and not all folks learn by example!

3:41AM PST on Nov 9, 2011


3:36AM PDT on Oct 29, 2011


4:46AM PDT on Oct 12, 2011

Noted, thank you!

2:58PM PDT on Oct 7, 2011


2:53PM PDT on Oct 7, 2011


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