How to Be F.R.I.E.N.D.S with Your Neighbors: Apartment Living Etiquette

Jul 9, 2024 | Topic 1

Close quarters and shared spaces mean your neighbors are bound to witness your best and worst moments (yes, they heard you belting out 90’s pop hits in the shower). To keep the peace and make apartment life enjoyable, it’s essential to practice good neighbor etiquette. Here are some key guidelines focusing on noise control, respecting shared spaces, and effective communication with neighbors.

Noise Control Tips

Noise is one of the top reasons neighbors might silently curse your existence. Let’s keep those curses to a minimum:

  • Mind Your Volume
    Keep the volume of your TV, music, and conversations at a reasonable level, especially during quiet hours typically between 10 PM and 7 AM. Save your best air guitar performances for daylight hours and use headphones for those epic late-night Netflix marathons.
  • Be Mindful of Footsteps
    Hard flooring can amplify footsteps. Use rugs and carpet runners to dampen the noise, and try to walk softly, particularly in the early morning or late evening.
  • Control Pet Noise
    We love your fur babies, but not their 3 AM howling. Ensure they are trained to minimize barking or other loud behaviors. Provide them with toys and ample exercise to keep them calm and less likely to create noise.
  • Appliance Use
    Appliances are great—until they sound like a spaceship taking off. Be considerate when using noisy appliances such as vacuum cleaners, washing machines, and dishwashers. Try to use them during the day when noise is less likely to disturb your neighbors.
  • Communicate Changes
    If you’re hosting a gathering or doing something that might generate more noise than usual, inform your neighbors in advance. A little heads-up can go a long way in fostering goodwill.

Respecting Shared Spaces

Shared spaces are like the communal living room of your apartment sitcom. Keep it classy:

  • Clean Up After Yourself
    Whether you’re using the laundry room, gym, or common kitchen, always leave the area as clean as you found it. Wipe down surfaces, pick up any litter, and remove your belongings promptly.
  • Be Considerate with Shared Facilities
    Don’t monopolize communal amenities. For example, if others are waiting to use the laundry machines, promptly remove your clothes when they’re done. Think of it as a real-life game of “How long can I be considerate?” Spoiler: It’s indefinitely.
  • Respect Quiet Areas
    Many apartments have designated quiet zones. Be mindful of these areas, especially if they are near workspaces or study rooms.
  • Elevator Etiquette
    Elevators are mini social hubs so allow people to exit before you enter, hold the door for others, and be mindful of personal space. Avoid using the elevator for short trips if there are stairs available.
  • Parking Considerations
    Park within the lines like your kindergarten teacher taught you. Be mindful of handicapped spots and guest parking regulations.

Effective Communication with Neighbors

Think of communicating with your neighbors as a delicate balance of diplomacy and stand-up comedy:

  • Introduce Yourself
    When you move in, take the time to introduce yourself to your neighbors. A friendly greeting can pave the way for positive interactions in the future.
  • Be Approachable
    Maintain a friendly demeanor and be open to conversations. Smile like you just found out your rent won’t increase next year. If issues arise, approach your neighbors calmly and politely to discuss any concerns.
  • Use Notes Wisely
    If you need to address an issue but can’t do it face-to-face, leave a friendly note. Something like, “Hey neighbor, your bass playing is epic, but could you keep it down after 10 PM? My cat’s starting a protest.”
  • Address Problems Early
    Don’t let minor irritations build up. Address concerns early on to prevent them from escalating. Be direct but courteous in your communication.
  • Involve Management When Necessary
    If you’ve tried resolving an issue directly with a neighbor but it persists, don’t hesitate to involve apartment management. They are there to help mediate and ensure everyone’s sitcom has a happy ending.

Living in an apartment requires a level of cooperation and mutual respect. By controlling noise, respecting shared spaces, and communicating effectively with your neighbors, you can contribute to a harmonious living environment. Remember, a little consideration goes a long way in making apartment living pleasant for everyone—and keeping your life from becoming an actual sitcom.

Article written by Lauren Sachen