In today’s fast-paced world, it's common to live in a bubble. Many people can spend years living mere feet away from their neighbors without ever learning their names. This is especially true of residents who live in apartment complexes, where people frequently go straight to their units once they get home, rather than spending time getting to know each other.
There are many good reasons to get to know your neighbors. Here are seven that top the list.
One of the most important reasons to know your neighbors involves safety. If you know your neighbors, they’re more likely to alert you in times of trouble, like an attempted break-in at your apartment, a potential theft of your car, or an unsavory character lurking about. In such cases, good neighbors will not only alert you but also call the police on your behalf.
Just when everything is going along as it should, something throws a wrench in whatever you have planned—even if that’s just a good night’s sleep. Knowing your neighbors means you’ll have someone to run to when this happens.
For example, good neighbors can help with lockouts and dead car batteries. Who else will be willing to give your car a quick jump? If you need help shoveling your car out of the snow, assembling furniture, moving your dresser to the other side of the room, or tracking down the maintenance man, good neighbors can help.
Need to borrow $50? Maybe don't ask your neighbor. On the other hand, if you need a cup of sugar, a few tablespoons of flour, a roll of bathroom tissue, or some aluminum foil, you may find your neighbors willing—or even happy—to accommodate you.
Having a neighbor willing to do this is far more convenient than running out to the store in the middle of baking a batch of cookies. Remember to be a helpful neighbor in return. These relationships thrive on give and take. Share those cookies!
If your apartment allows you to have pets, you may have a problem when it’s time to leave for vacation or go on a business trip. By getting to know your neighbors in advance, you can create a ready pool of people who might be willing to pet sit for you.
Babysitters are hard to come by, and while most parents have a few people to call when they need childcare, unexpected events can leave you without someone to watch Junior. A neighbor who is a stay-at-home parent or retiree may be willing to help in such circumstances.
In fact, if your neighbors have teenagers, you may find yourself with an impressive list of potential babysitters at your disposal. Do compensate them well for their time, however, even if they are happy to help. If your neighbors feel taken advantage of, they will be much less likely to help in the future.
Good neighbor relationships have social advantages. If you get along well with your neighbors, they may invite you to parties and other events that get you out of your apartment. Sometimes, you might even throw parties together. At the very least, good neighbor relationships mean you’ll always have someone nearby to talk to and a weekend game of cards is just a door or two away.
Some things are difficult to accomplish by yourself. For example, organizing a town watch, setting up a new recycling program, or planning a community cleanup project requires the participation of interested neighbors.
Likewise, neighbors may band together to seek changes from an apartment complex’s management or even carpool to work. If you already have a good relationship with your neighbors before such a need arises, you’ll start one step ahead.
Whether you’ve lived in your apartment for years or are just moving in, now is the time to reach out and say hello to your neighbors. Developing a relationship now could save you headaches later and being neighborly can make your home life far more pleasant.
It’s hard to make the first move with a new neighbor. How do you break the ice? Add your tips to the comment section or tweet @AptGuide.