Getting to know your neighbors in a rental unit can be tough, as you may only be living here for about a year. But making an effort to learn their names and be friendly can make a world of a difference when you’re–or they are–trying to get to sleep at night. Plus, you’ll be able to make some new friends, and you’ll know where to go when you need a cup of sugar.

Go Outdoors

If you have an outdoor space, this is the perfect opportunity to meet your neighbors! If you see someone walking in or out, say hello and maybe invite them over for a cocktail. Even if they don’t accept, this is a great way to break the ice–they know you’re friendly and willing to hang. When I first moved into my apartment, this is how I met several of my neighbors. We would barbecue, have friends over and hang out on our patios as often as possible. Of course, if you’re moving into your new place when it’s 20 degrees outside, this may be a little challenging.

Ask for Help

Yes, you can actually ask for a cup of sugar! You may be afraid to talk to your neighbors because you don’t know what to say, but if you’re in need of something simple like a cup of sugar, you’ll know exactly what to say. Asking to borrow a hammer, screwdriver or other tools may be even easier because you’re giving back what you’re asking for.

Keep Your Door Open

When living in the dorms, I loved being able to keep my door open so people walking by could say hello. It just makes your apartment seem so welcoming! Of course, this may be difficult if you have a pet crawling around, but take advantage of a screen door if you have one.

Host a Party

Having a gathering at your pad is a perfect way to get to know your neighbors! Even if some neighbors don’t show up, making the initiation to invite them over shows you want to get to know them. Hang a note by the front door and to tell them about the event, or personally knock on everyone’s door.

Why it’s so Helpful

Have you ever been trying to sleep when your neighbor is playing loud music or throwing a party? It can be so frustrating! Sure, you can knock on the door and ask them to be quiet, but if you’re otherwise not neighborly, they may not respect your request. And this goes vise versa. I love having friends over and playing loud music, even if I’m just by myself! But having a relationship with my neighbors gives me the comfort of knowing that if things get too noisy, they’ll have no problem telling me to pipe-down. If you get to know your neighbors, you may find out that one of them works the night shift or has a young child–these are all great things to know off the bat so there isn’t any looming tension.