Moving into a new apartment can be a daunting task. You’ve found the apartment, the rent is perfect. You’ve emptied the boxes. Set up the furniture, just the way you like it. Everything is excellent. There’s just one thing. You have to meet new neighbors, and hopefully they are good neighbors.
Having good relationships with your neighbors is crucial. You can be best friends. Or, you can be the greatest of enemies.
If you have good neighbors they may:
- Collect your mail when you’re away.
- Look after you pets.
- Babysit your children.
- Invite you for a drink.
However, if your neighbor dislikes you, be ready for a world of pain. You may experience:
- Loud noises in the middle of the night.
- Your mail being stolen or mysteriously lost
- No invite to local events.
- Evil stares as you leave in the morning
- A general feeling of being unwelcome.
- You may be the subject of rumors.
Tips to find good neighbors
- If you smile at someone they will smile back. This psychological trick may seem basic. But it is surprisingly effective. Smiling at your good neighbors will make them grin. This will increase their mood, you will be known as good neighbors who live next door.
- Get to the common areas. I don’t mean stalk the reception toilet. If your building has an outdoor area, use it. Respond to emails outside on your phone or laptop. Whatever you have to do, get to the common areas. If you find someone out there, spark a conversation.
- All you need is one friend. The problem with moving into a new building is you most likely know nobody. If you can become friends with just one neighbor, they can introduce to the rest. In my experience they can also tell you what neighbors you should avoid.
- Host an apartment event. The quickest way to meet the inhabitants of your apartment building is to host an event. This cuts out all the groundwork. Grab some drinks and snacks from the local shops. Whether a party or a dinner. People will come and appreciate the effort you have put in. They will view you as an excellent neighbor. You will be welcomed into the community.
- Be helpful. If you notice someone in your building struggling to lift their shopping, help them out. Help them lift out their garbage. Be as helpful as possible. They will appreciate it the help.
- Accept help. Helping others is great, but you probably have a lot of stuff that’s needs done. When your new neighbors offer to help, accept. They could help you unpack or show you around the local area. This will give you valuable time together. It will also help you get rid of those annoying tasks that build up when moving into a new place.
What not to do:
- Your new apartment building may have designated parking spaces. Do not steal your neighbor’s parking space. Similarly, don’t trap a car that is parked.
- Moving into a new apartment is a time for celebration. Don’t be too loud. Your neighbors may have small children or have to wake up early. Be considerate and give them advanced warning, if the noise level is going to be unacceptable. One of my neighbors in the past would invite everyone in the building to his party. This gave everyone warning while also showing he was considerate.
- If you have permission to garden when you first move in, know what area is yours. Don’t go cutting trees, hedges or plants as your neighbors may own them.
- Wi-Fi. So you just moved into your new building and don’t have internet access? Don’t use your neighbor’s internet without permission. Instead, go round and ask if it would be ok to use it, until you get your own. Once you have your own internet, get them a gift as a way to thank them.
- When first moving into your apartment you might have a lot of stuff for the garbage. Don’t pile this outside your building. This is unsightly and it may obstruct others. Dispose of garbage quickly.
Follow this guide and you will find good neighbors and be a good neighbor to others in no time.
Have you got any horrible neighbor stories? Or an unpleasant first encounter with the person next door? Let me know in the comments.