Spring Cleanup – Don’t be ‘that’ neighbor

Community Member Commentary

We all have them, the neighbors who you can not only count on, but who you enjoy being around. And then there are, well, let’s call them the bad neighbors. If you do a YouTube search of “bad neighbor,” you’ll find thousands of videos. There are countless articles on how to deal with annoying neighbors on the Web, or even share your own less-than-pleasant neighbor experiences. Being on bad terms with a neighbor can make life frustrating. But being a good neighbor doesn’t mean you have to take family vacations together.

It simply means being considerate. With shared stairwells, landings, sidewalks, parking and playgrounds, residents of U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart family housing have an extra responsibility to their neighbors.

It doesn’t take much … keeping the common outdoor areas safe and clean by putting toys, bicycles, skateboards and strollers away in storage rooms can go a long way in building neighborly goodwill.

So does cleaning up trash after a party, keeping music at a reasonable volume, and picking up after your pets. Your housing area will be friendlier, safer and a more comfortable place to live. If you reside off post, you know that Germans take great pride in their homes.

They are kept neat and tidy, with everything in its appointed place. There are many unwritten rules regarding the maintenance of one’s home, and regardless of your nationality, you are expected to adhere to them. It doesn’t matter where we live … we all have to do our fair share of cleaning and beautification. In fact, the garrison is in the midst of its annual spring cleanup which happens each April and May. I encourage you to join in the effort on a daily basis.

Spring cleaning helps to support our families’ health and wellness as we purge our dwellings of dirt, dust and other irritants that have accumulated over the winter. But do it safely. Make sure you prevent accidental poisonings by keeping kids as far apart as possible from dangerous chemicals such as cleaning products, paint and solvents.

Check out the green cleaning tips that shows you how to make your own eco-friendly cleaning products, here. Spring is also the perfect time to start those self-help projects that you’ve mulled over all winter or to clean out closets and storage rooms.

If you’re on a mission to downsize your belongings for an upcoming move or to simplify your life, Family and MWR hosts flea markets throughout the year where you can sell your unwanted things. They also host flea market that focus on children’s only items, The Kidz Only flea market.

Environmentalist Paul Hawken wrote: “Leave the world better than you found it.” This can apply to many areas: the relationships we have with neighbors, our living conditions and the environment.