If recent times have taught us anything, it’s about caring for the people around us and that’s not just limited to friends and family. It’s showing kindness to our neighbours and the wider community too.

Having a friend as a neighbour can bring all sorts of positivity to your life, not to mention it can be pretty handy when you need to borrow a cup of sugar!

If you’ve recently moved to a new home or just think it’s time to start getting to know your neighbours a bit more, here are some helpful tips to get you started.

Say hello!

What better way to get to know your neighbours than introducing yourself? If you’ve just moved in then why not pop by after you’ve settled in, it doesn’t need to be a long visit, just a friendly chap at the door can go a long way. It works both ways too, if you spot a new neighbour moving in, why not be the one to reach out? If you feel obliged to take a ‘welcome to the neighbourhood’ gift over, why not fill a basket with some ‘moving home essentials’, like milk, bread, sugar, tea and even some nice candles. But don’t forget to include a card.

If you’re not overly confident about going over and knocking on their door, a friendly ‘good morning’ would be a great first step and over time build up the conversation. It’s so easy for us to ignore our neighbours and keep our heads down, but you’ll feel so much better with a friendly smile and wave.

Simple acts of kindness

After living in your neighbourhood a while, you get to know the comings and goings of your neighbours pretty well. So it’s easy to spot anything out of the ordinary. Have you noticed your elderly neighbour isn’t getting out as much as they used to? Why not pop over and see if you can lend a hand, maybe popping to the shops for them or even just bringing by a nice bunch of flowers. If you’ve got a vulnerable neighbour or someone that lives on their own, why not pass them on your number so that if they ever need help they have a friendly neighbour close by they can call. Maybe the family across the road have welcomed a new addition, why not pop by with a nice card and congratulations? If you’re out cutting your grass, offer to do your neighbour’s too if you see they haven’t got around to it. Simple acts, that don’t cost anything apart from your time, can be the most valuable.

Doing your fair share

Living in a flat probably means you share communal space, like landings or even a garden area. Make sure you are doing your fair share of the chores and upkeep. If you’re new to the building, this is a great icebreaker for your neighbour, to introduce yourself and inquire about a rota for the maintenance, even if it is just sharing the cleaning of your shared landing first of all. If you’re a keen gardener and notice the shared space is a bit neglected, offer to give the garden a little spruce – they’ll thank you for it during those sunnier days!

Be respectful

The most important thing you can do as a neighbour is to be respectful. This covers various things, like keeping the noise to a minimum, keeping any shared space tidy and even giving them a heads up if you’re getting work done on your property. For example, if you’re doing some renovation work and have tradespeople coming and going, it’s always nice to give your neighbours some notice, especially if it’s going to be noisy and messy!

If you’re planning a party, you’ll find that your neighbours are more understanding of noise after hours if you give them some advanced warning. It might be a nice idea to pop a note through their letterbox with your mobile number on it so that they can drop you a text if they’re finding the noise a bit much. You can even extend them an invite!

It’s these simple, small acts of kindness that really go a long way and you never know, could lead to a lifetime of friendship.