Living Together, A Guide to Community Etiquette (part 1)

Guide to Live In A community Happily and Comfortably

By Jimmy

Living with others is not always fun but there are things that everyone should do whether they live together or share similar space. That one thing is respect, and respect is something that is earned from others, and should not be expected based on anything. The older generation expects the younger generation to respect them because they are older and have lived through more. The younger generation thinks everyone should respect them or they won’t respect anyone else. And when you through in cultural differences there can then be battles, arguments and fights over who is right and wrong and what is the right way to do things.

people living in a neighbourhood

That being said it brings us to living in a community. A community is more than a group of people that live close together. It’s smaller than a city as there are small communities within the city, based on their location and where they live. In a residential neighborhood, a cul de sac of houses is a community, so are apartment complexes, condos and townhomes. There are different rules for each but they all center on respecting each other and their differences as well. It doesn’t matter what your race is, your sexual preference, your religion, your nationality, your age, or your pay grade. None of those matter when living in a community as to live there you have to pay your bills and rent/mortgage just like everyone else. Where the respect is most commonly distressed is where the community has to share. and this is where etiquette and manners should come into play. If exercised by everyone, it makes the entire community a happier and more organized place to live for everyone.

Parking

parking in a neighbourhood

Every small community has their own rules on parking so be sure and follow them. There are some basic principles to follow though. If you live in a house you probably have a driveway, and even a garage. Whether you park in your garage or not is up to you, the same as your driveway. Likewise parking in front of your own house is up to you. When it becomes annoying or even tacky is when you are parking on the grass of your home, or parking in front of someone else’s house. If you are having guests over and need additional space for them to park, ask your neighbors if it is ok for them to park in front of your house. If they say no, respect that and follow it.

For apartments and condos there are generally assigned spaces, sometimes your own garage with a limit on how many reserved spots that you have. There is also a set amount of open spaces for anyone to park in. Some places might even have a place for visitors to park in specifically, especially if the community is gated. Don’t park in the visitors parking spots, instead use the ones that are assigned to you, and then use open spots when they are available. These open spots might be spread throughout the place so respect your neighbors and park closest to your own spot or home. Report to the management of the place anyone that is being disrespectful of the parking or even parking in your own spot. If the management doesn’t act, or is not around, feel free to leave a note on the offending car, letting them know they are in the wrong. (I generally leave notes that state this is an assigned spot, please don’t park here).

Laundry Rooms

While most homes have their own washer and dryer hook ups, not all apartments or condos do. And there are also public laundry mats which apply these same rules for all to follow. Even if you own a home you might need the public laundry facility to wash comforters, and other bedding as they might not fit well in your own machine.

For apartment and condos when washing and drying your clothes it is first come, first serve. So if you get there first than you get first pick. This is true of a laundry facility too, although most of them contain a lot more units. However, it is very disrespectful to take up every machine in the place when the laundry room is for everyone, unless it is late at night or very early in the morning when nobody uses it. If you have that much laundry to do, you are waiting too long to get it done. If you walk into the laundry room and all the units are taken, yet seem to be done with their cycles, do NOT take them out for 30 minutes after you arrive. Yes, it means waiting, but perhaps the person who put them in got busy with something else. And you need to think if you would want someone doing that to your clothes. If you need to take the clothes out as they have not come to get them after 30 minutes, at least leave a note in front of their clothes, or put them on top of the washer that you took them out of, so they know where to find them.

* If a machine is not working, even if it took your money, leave a note on it so nobody else makes the same mistake.
* Most laundry facilities are energy efficient so adding more water doesn’t help your clothes get cleaned any faster, but it could break the machine.
* Clean up any messes that you make, or spills so that nobody trips and gets hurt.

Pools

Some houses have their own pools, and others are zoned where there is a community pool for everyone to use. This community pool might include bathrooms, tables and chairs and areas where people can barbecue. The pool itself is of a decent size, some larger than others, but can easily accommodate quite a few people. Condos might not always have a pool for everyone to share, but could be placed where there is a community pool nearby. Apartments almost always have at least one pool, some with more and depending on where it is placed it might have different rules if it is indoor or outdoor.

swimming pool in a neighbourhood

Safety is always a factor with a pool and what parents need to realize is that there is no lifeguard present at these pools. There may or may not be safety equipment either, and if there were do you know how to use it? To respect each other in a community means you need to share. Like everything else in a community it is first come, first serve and there are no reservations for the area. If others want to join the pool you have to let them. If you bring small children that belong in diapers, then they should be wearing water diapers in the pool. If the child is under 3 years old, they should not be in the spa, which can get to scalding hot temperatures and damage their skin.

* Gates should always stay closed so that only those with keys can get in, and small children can’t wander in on their own and drown.
* If the pool is in front of, or near a residence than be mindful of the noise, especially if there are a lot of people in the pool. This includes yelling and screaming, slamming the gates or letting them slam if they are hinged, and general obnoxious behavior.* The pool area generally will have times on when it is open, this is to respect all the resident’s safety, as well as noise for those that live close to it.
* Always clean up your mess, and if you use up the toilet paper in the bathrooms replace it so the next person doesn’t suffer.
* Put stuff back the way you found it. (of course this goes with cleaning up, so if it was a mess don’t leave it that way.)

While it might be boring at times to follow the rules they are there for everyone’s safety and respect within the community and should be followed.

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