Get To Know Your Neighbors On National Neighbor Day – Or Any Day

Did you know we have a national holiday to celebrate our neighbors and neighborhoods? National Neighbor Day is coming up on September 28th. This little-known holiday is actually our national day of appreciation of our neighbors and being a neighbor. It’s a good time to thank those in your community who have lent a hand when asked or displayed compassion when needed. Why do we know so little about this day?

This holiday is fairly new. As Americans, we’re always moving and often don’t know our own neighborhoods very well. Recognizing this trend, in 1978, President Jimmy Carter proclaimed the 4th Sunday in September be set aside and stated that  “understanding, love, and respect build cohesive families and communities.” That date was later changed to September 28th each year. The day is celebrated as a means of recognizing and encouraging nurturing and empathic communities.

Traditionally, Americans lived in small communities, often far from cities and services like fire departments and hospitals. In thousands of small towns, neighbors helped each other with tasks from the birth of a baby, to building a barn or harvesting a crop. In many places in America, the good neighbor tradition carries on, but with our busy lives, our cars and our fast growing suburbs, much of that history and tradition has been lost. Since good neighbors make your home a better place to live, why not find ways to recognize National Neighbor Day all year round?

The Changing Neighborhood

In the past, when a family moved into a community, someone in the neighborhood, often the newcomer’s next door neighbor, would make a point to stop by to introduce themselves and their family while offering a traditional baked dessert or family recipe dish as a friendly welcome gesture. Since the newcomer had to return the dish it was baked in, a tradition of visiting one another’s homes got started that day.

Today, that practice may no longer apply as people move more often, and our more dynamic communities drop old traditions. But there’s a lot of value in knowing our neighbors. Close neighborhoods are safer, children play together and learn social skills, and neighbors help each other in times of difficulty.

Moving into a New Neighborhood

Dad and son take dog for a walk in their neighborhood on a quiet residential street

If you’ve just moved in, you’ve got a lot to do. But it’s good to think ahead and plan to get to know your new neighborhood, the nearby services and the people who live close to you.  Here are a few suggestions when settling into your new neighborhood:

  • Allow yourself the time to unpack, get organized, and settle into your new home. Moving can often be disorienting and tiring. Allow time for feelings of disconnect from your former neighborhood to pass with a few days of rest and getting familiar with your new home.
  • A great way to get started is to take leisurely strolls around the neighborhood when you need a break from the unpacking. Take time to greeting the neighbors you see. Be sure to check out the nearest park or play area with your children or dog, and spend time outside your home, doing yard work or relaxing on the front porch. You’ll very likely see and even meet some of your neighbors. And they will begin to recognize you and your family as part of the community.
  • This initial time outside will also give you an idea of how the locals act and interact. With this information, you can make yourself more approachable and discover ways to get involved in community events and local affairs.

Since people today are more private than in the past, meeting your new neighbors may require you to approach them in a friendly way and introduce yourself. Some communities are separated by large lots and provide less opportunity to meet people informally, so so you might have to take the initiative to meet your neighbors by organizing activities such as a housewarming, kids’ playdates or a neighborhood barbeque in the park.

Being a Good Neighbor

Two young women waving at each other in apartment parking lot being good neighbors

In today’s hectic and fast changing world, we sometimes get too distracted to even think about what makes a nice neighborhood and how we are contributing to our own. We may not even know our neighbors, but we can still be good neighbors by being considerate around our home and neighborhood. Here are a few simple ways you can be a good neighbor and make where you live more enjoyable for everyone:

  • Make a point to greet neighbors when you see them
  • Always call ahead before visiting
  • Avoid taking advantage of a neighbors skills or employment
  • Maintain a neat exterior, removing trash, mowing your lawn, and raking fall leaves
  • Remind your children to be aware of their noise level
  • Pet owners should take extra steps to limit dog barking or aggressive behavior
  • Be respectful of your neighbor’s property and do not enter uninvited

You can find these and more tips on being a good neighbor from Emily Post Neighborly Manners Advice.

We Move Our Neighbors in Las Vegas

As local and long-distance residential movers in Las Vegas, we have moved a lot of families in Las Vegas. We have gotten to know some great neighborhoods here as well as great people. As your professional, trained and experienced movers, we work to save you money and make your move into your new neighborhood hassle-free.

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