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Old 02.01.2015, 17:22
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

Yes, I like the idea of bringing a New Year's gift, offer to explain anything they might need help with (like the laundry roster) and then explain the situation about the morning noise. Use gentle, non-accusatory I-phrases (not you-phrases), e.g.: "I wish I didn't have to bring this up, and I imagine that you haven't realised up till now..." etc.

Also: better now than later. Surely it'd be much easier to tell them while they're new and don't know how the architecture affects everyone there, instead of letting them carry on for six months, while you fume and are unhappy, and become wearier and wearier, with your nerves more frayed from lack of sleep, and only THEN telling them.

If you find them receptive, you might invite one of them downstairs into your appartment and ask the other to do whatever he/she usually does each morning. Remember that this will most likely sound less noisy at any other time of the day (and is probably best done at that early hour), but even later in the day, the neighbour standing in your bedroom with you might be able to identify the specific sounds. That way, they wouldn't feel they have to tiptoe around for every single sound, but only for those which actually disturb you. Perhaps they could, e.g., not slide the cupboard door or could perhaps boil the breakfast kettle in the living-room, whereas they could feel free to use the electric toothbrush and to shower... etc., etc., depending on which of those sounds carry.

Another idea might be to consider swapping rooms with your son. If the neighbours' noise doesn't keep him from sleep, and his room is further from where they're busy in the morning, perhaps you could permanently live there and move him into your current room.

There's a Swiss expression "Fuscht im Sack", which means clenching your fist in your pocket. It is what people do when they try to swallow down their annoyance. Please don't do that to yourself, nor to your neighbours. All too often, when the pressure and anger have festered too long, out comes that fist (metaphorically speaking) and does someone some damage.

I'd like to encourage you to deal with this issue now, to clear the air so you (plural) can start the New Year happy!

Last edited by doropfiz; 02.01.2015 at 18:05. Reason: correcting language use
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  #42  
Old 02.01.2015, 17:57
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

You could offer to buy them a carpet.
I believe, unless they're deliberately stomping like a hoard of elephants and slamming doors like there's no tomorrow, you have no real case.

But that's really the price of living in an old building (which often have nicer views, nicer gardens, bigger plots of lands): sound insulation is virtually nonexistent because when these building where built, all people had were radios with 2W speakers and everybody got up at 5 AM anyway (and fell to sleep at 22:00, exhausted).
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Old 02.01.2015, 18:11
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

I am waiting for a new thread which will read like this:

"My downstairs neighbours have complained that I get up early for work in the morning, told me to set out my clothes the night before, and have offered to buy me a carpet.

Stupid foreigners."
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  #44  
Old 02.01.2015, 18:28
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

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If you came and told me to do that I would probably show you the "stinkefinger"... It's "life" noise and I suggest that the OP just gets over it.
There is no reason for anyone to start walking on eggshells when they are getting up for work. They can shower, take a sh*t and flush the lavatory if they want. They can walk about and they can open and shut their wardrobe. If they decide they want to listen to Radio24 at the top of the volume scale, that is a different matter.

All I can say is "get a life".



Report them for what? Walking around in their apartment? What do you want them to do? Hover? If the soundproofing of the apartment is that bad, is it not the neighbour's fault.



Quiet hours are for the use of machines or loud music....not walking around.
My response would be similar except the front door would close mid sentence
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Old 02.01.2015, 18:41
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

Our five-year-old keeps coming in our bedroom and waking us up at 5.00am in the morning.

We followed the suggestions on this thread and presented him with a bottle of wine and a smile.

He didn't wake us up the next morning so thanks for the tip!
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  #46  
Old 02.01.2015, 18:42
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

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Pop upstairs with a nice bottle of wine and two pairs of slippers mention that you know they're early morning risers.
Fixed that for you.
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Old 02.01.2015, 19:08
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

Why don't you just offer to pay their rent? Then, because you "own" them, you can control exactly how they should behave when getting ready for work in their apartment?
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  #48  
Old 02.01.2015, 19:15
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

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You could offer to buy them a carpet.
I believe, unless they're deliberately stomping like a hoard of elephants and slamming doors like there's no tomorrow, you have no real case.

But that's really the price of living in an old building (which often have nicer views, nicer gardens, bigger plots of lands): sound insulation is virtually nonexistent because when these building where built, all people had were radios with 2W speakers and everybody got up at 5 AM anyway (and fell to sleep at 22:00, exhausted).
If you offer to buy them a carpet, remember that they're completely free to decline said offer. It could be out of spite, because a carpet doesn't match the style they want in their apartment, allergy issues, landlord requirement to clean a fitted carpet professionally, preferring the ease of cleaning after pets (if they have pets) with hardwood as opposed to carpeted floors etc. etc.
  #49  
Old 02.01.2015, 19:20
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

Approach with care, especially unless you know that your neighbors are voluntary early birds. Me, I'm not one, and so if I'm getting up for work at 5am, chances are I'm already annoyed about that; reminding me that most people don't have to is not exactly a shortcut to gaining my sympathies.

I also think asking people to tiptoe all round the house like burglars before they've had their coffee, or lay out all their clothes in another room the night before, is pretty over-the-top. I wouldn't enjoy having my neighbors attempt to dictate my morning routine to that extent, it feels petty and controlling. If the ideas occur to them, that's fine, but in your place I certainly would not suggest any behavioral changes. The only specific measures I would dare suggest would be environmental: put down a rug, oil the squeaky wardrobe door.

Note that if the floor noises are creaks rather than impact thuds - as is often the case in older buildings - a rug won't help in the slightest. Nothing will. So if you're going to suggest a rug, it might be neighborly of you to lend them one of yours first (you do have rugs, right? for the sake of your own downstairs neighbors?) to test whether that's a good solution.


I guess what I'm saying is, go ahead and raise the issue with them if it makes you feel better, but it's hard for me to see what specific changes you could reasonably hope for them to make in response. That being the case, I reckon you're probably better off continuing to look for solutions on your end: more comfortable earplugs or if your apartment layout permits it a change of bedroom. Otherwise, I know it's not much help in the short term but one does eventually learn to live with these things. Takes a few months in my experience.
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  #50  
Old 02.01.2015, 19:41
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

Have you considered changing the functions of the rooms?

One room might be quieter than the others in the morning. If so, think about making that room your bedroom.
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  #51  
Old 02.01.2015, 19:47
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

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Actually, you could also wake up at 0500 and have really loud sex. Then take the wine up once you're done.
No, what I'd do is wake up at 5:00 and practice yodeling... while having sex.

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As in the choice between going to work and being destitute?
No, as in the choice to get up at 5:45 on Saturdays and (some) Sundays, which the new neighbor usually does. That is, of course, unless he HAS to work seven days per week?

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Many clubs and concerts give away this kind of earplug*; if you see an AXA Winterthur representative handing out earplugs, TAKE THEM, they are this kind and work really well. (And they're free.) I can wear them for extended periods without issue.
Funny! My husband actually works for AXA Winterthur! I just asked him to see if he can try to get some of these magic ear plugs for me. Thanks!

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My response would be similar except the front door would close mid sentence
Thankfully, some people are more understanding than you. If a neighbor came to my door and told me that I was repeatedly causing them sleep-deprivation and an inability to enjoy life, I would most certainly consider all that I could do to help them. I don't expect people to revolve their sleep around me or my family.

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Approach with care, especially unless you know that your neighbors are voluntary early birds. Me, I'm not one, and so if I'm getting up for work at 5am, chances are I'm already annoyed about that; reminding me that most people don't have to is not exactly a shortcut to gaining my sympathies.
Thanks. Yeah, I guess that's why I created this thread. I realized that my neighbors weren't really at fault here, since they are not actually making excessive noise in the early morning. So I was trying to figure out the best way to handle the situation.

I was soooo exhausted today. Just a cranky, miserable zombie for most of it. I can feel all these mornings of being woken up so early really catching up with me. And I need to do something about this ASAP.
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  #52  
Old 02.01.2015, 19:58
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

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Every morning since they've moved in, including Saturdays, I am woken up at 5:45 by one of them.
...
Every apartment in our building has hardwood floors, and the building is quite old and has very little to no sound-proofing.
I feel your pain.

Here are your options:

a) Do nothing. Everything will continue as before until your neighbours change their style of life (or work).

b) Scream and yell. And loudly complain to them or, next escalation step, to the administration / regie / landlord. Your relationship with everyone will be down the drains. You may, or may not, see an improvement in the noise situation. You will notice a deteriorated state in your neighbourship relationships (not only them, but all other neighbours)

c) Move. Really, do move. It is an old building. What do you expect?

c-extended) Buy yourself a house. In the middle of nowhere. Where there are no church bells, no cows, no frogs, no agricultural activity. Nothing. Move there. (My apologies for the church bells etc - but people do move into the heart of villages with all wonderful cheesy land-life stuff. And then come to realize that there is actually some noisy and smelly part to that, too!)

d) Come to good terms with your neighbours. Be friendly, have some smalltalk. Then, after some weeks, make them gently and jokingly aware of you being able to hear them. Drop it in casual conversation as an aside, do not pounce on it as if your life depended on it. Do not blame anyone except those stupid architects. Then come to mutual, shared understanding and work on constructive solutions (carpets were mentioned already).

Case in point: I have a family with Italian roots upstairs. Three young, lively children. The mother plays the piano (quite decently). Every other month they have visitors and then have "Italian-style" discussions.

They are aware of me being able to hear things. They profusely apologize. I respond (truthfully) that this is all perfectly within the limits of an apartment block and of, err, three young children

They will do everything to make my life easier. I will do everything to make their life easier.

As long as you do not live in your very own, isolated, remote house (see above), you need to integrate as much as they do.

This is difficult.

Lots of success and good luck!
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Old 02.01.2015, 20:03
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

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have "Italian-style" discussions
We have those pretty much every day.

Tom
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Old 02.01.2015, 20:41
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

Well, moving certainly isn't an option -- at least not in the near future. We just moved into our apartment last March!

So, I was just curious as to what people thought about me approaching the new neighbors (and this is why I went into such detail in my original post here). Again, I don't think anyone is really at fault here. But I do know that if I (or anyone in my family) were consistently disturbing one of my neighbor's sleep, and it was negatively affecting their life, I would certainly want to do what I could to better the situation. I understand all too well how important decent sleep is. And if this meant something as simple as laying my clothes out the night before, then I'd do it. But I realize that not everyone thinks this way. Some people here seem to think that everyone should be happily willing to revolve their sleep around that of their neighbors.

Most of all, what I'd really like to do is to find a way to deal with this problem without ever having to approach my neighbors, which of course means that I need to make the changes instead of asking them to. So this is why I've decided to try things like sleeping in my son's room and/or ear plugs before (and if) I do decide to knock on their door. It's just "a bitter pill to swallow" because I suspect that they really have no idea that they are waking me up so early. I wish there was a way to kind of "drop the hint" in a more indirect manner.
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Old 02.01.2015, 20:48
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

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Most of all, what I'd really like to do is to find a way to deal with this problem without ever having to approach my neighbors, which of course means that I need to make the changes instead of asking them to. So this is why I've decided to try things like sleeping in my son's room and/or ear plugs before (and if) I do decide to knock on their door. It's just "a bitter pill to swallow" because I suspect that they really have no idea that they are waking me up so early. I wish there was a way to kind of "drop the hint" in a more indirect manner.
Hopefully you'll discover a backbone somewhere along the way!
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Old 02.01.2015, 20:49
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

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Hopefully you'll discover a backbone somewhere along the way!
Ha ha... I have a feeling I'll suddenly grow one tomorrow morning at 5:45.
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Old 02.01.2015, 21:29
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

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Ha ha... I have a feeling I'll suddenly grow one tomorrow morning at 5:45.

Is that for the 5 o'clock sex thing ?
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Old 02.01.2015, 21:59
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

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Is that for the 5 o'clock sex thing ?
I hope not, she'd be 45 minutes late.
  #59  
Old 02.01.2015, 22:01
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

My new neighbours have been listening to really loud music ever since they moved in.


Damn. I love my new stereo!
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Old 02.01.2015, 22:05
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

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Most of all, what I'd really like to do is to find a way to deal with this problem without ever having to approach my neighbors
Want the blunt, brutal, honest, straight truth?

Forget it.

You need to communicate. With them.

You live in a village (it happens to be called Switzerland, by the way) - act accordingly. [And I am very happy to have grown up in a village (elsewhere), so I am used to the social dynamics.]

Now, the beginning of the year is the perfect door opener - do go out, do open the door.
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