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Old 03.01.2015, 12:39
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

Thought you said earlier that you didn't want to confront them?
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Old 03.01.2015, 12:42
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

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But it looks like I'm resigned to having to do this six days per week for at least the next few years, since both we and the neighbors only just recently moved into our flats. The worst part is that they probably have no idea. I do find it difficult to approach them since they are, in fact, not causing excessive noise. I almost wish they were so that I'd feel more justified to approach them about it!

Sorry to shout, but

"IF YOU DON'T TELL/INFORM THEM, HOW DO YOU EXPECT THEM TO KNOW ?" by being informed through English Forum maybe ?

Go and discuss with them, you have absolutely nothing to lose and all to gain, most people are reasonable, despite whatever you may read here !
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Old 03.01.2015, 12:43
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

Hi,

Your best bet is just to broach the subject with your neighbours - over a cup of tea and a slice of cake if possible.

A year ago we had woman who lived in the apartment building opposite knock on our door - and she was very apologetic for making a daft request. We have one of those halogen standard lamps that were fashionable in the late 1980s, and we had it tilted at just the angle where she was getting blinded in her apartment as she was slightly higher up but opposite. We moved the lamp by 6 inches and everyone was happy - in fact she left a box of chocs in our parcel shelf as a thank you.

Probably your neighbours are already walking around on egg-shells getting ready in the mornings for work - but just ask them as nicely as possible if there is some compromise that could be reached. I note you have a three year old child - I am willing to bet you guys are making an unavoidable amount of noise which your neighbours tolerate, so there is give and take here.

Sorry to play devil's advocate and it's probably a case of flapping barn doors here, but you moved in to a old-build property, if noise is an issue for you getting to sleep didn't you take this into consideration before signing the contract? And if it is going to be a consideration in future then your only option may be to consider looking for a new-build property - and goodness knows these are shooting up all over town.

In response to your work start times comment in another post, most people in CH start work between 7am and 8am - at least in my workplace they do.

Cheers,
Nick

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And I think you are being self-centered by forgetting that not everyone is in the same situation as you are and needs to get up at 5:30 am.

If I was being unreasonable, I would be unable to understand the fact that they do need to get up so early and would have gone up there already to speak with them -- neither of which is the case.

Still don't get it?
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Old 03.01.2015, 13:24
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

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Wow. I hope you've had your rabies shots.

So, let's say you need to get up at 6:00 for work. Based on your "argument," if someone living above you needed to get up at 4:30 every morning for work, and while doing so, they woke you up and kept you awake one and a half hours earlier than you usually need to get up, then you'd have no "right" to complain about it?

I can understand if, for example, they were waking up at 7:00 and I had been hoping to sleep until 9:00. But that's not the case. I just don't want to be woken up at 5:45 every morning (including Saturdays!!!) simply because my neighbor has to... or chooses to.
I don't groan at members often - but that comment just makes you sound like a little princess who needs her beauty sleep.

This person does not get up at 5.45 to conscienciously ruin your slumber, she or he probably has to be at their job as a bus driver to drive you to work on time or serve you a coffee in a café before you start your job. Or maybe clean the pavements so you don't walk in vomit or dog crap every day. Or pick your rubbish bags off the pavement.

Take a sleeping pill, or better still a chill pill.
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Old 03.01.2015, 13:33
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

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Do people still wear slippers?
I've got socks with little rubber bits on the bottom - so i don't slip on the parquet and my bottom landing doesn't annoy the downstairs neighbours.

They are red and the rubber bits are snowflakes. My mum sends them every year.

I hear slithering like a snake is the 2015 way of not being able to walk on wooden floors.
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Old 03.01.2015, 13:43
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

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Sorry to play devil's advocate and it's probably a case of flapping barn doors here, but you moved in to a old-build property, if noise is an issue for you getting to sleep didn't you take this into consideration before signing the contract? And if it is going to be a consideration in future then your only option may be to consider looking for a new-build property - and goodness knows these are shooting up all over town.
Moving is probably the only option for the OP. I know quite a number of people who have moved from old buildings into new ones and the major reason for moving was noise from above.

They tell me the difference in their new place is huge. They hear nothing from above or next to them. Even noise from the corridor is next to nothing from inside their apartment.
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Old 03.01.2015, 14:00
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

I would rather live in a building with creaky floorboards and high ceilings and a bit of character than a box.

I lived in such a building, at one point i thought i was the only tenant. Never saw a soul. Then the old building, lots of creaks, lots of bonjours, made lots of friends.

It comes down to if you want big rooms, big kitchens (in Geneva anyway) you go for old creaky buildings. And get used to communal living, like food smells, kids playing, music etc.

Or get a house.
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Old 03.01.2015, 14:16
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

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Honestly just have a chat, they won't realise until you do and will probably change to help you.
There is a saying in German "Über seinen Schatten springen" - I also believe approaching the neighbors calmly is the best approach or you might continue boiling silently about this until you get really pissed.

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I've got socks with little rubber bits on the bottom - so i don't slip on the parquet and my bottom landing doesn't annoy the downstairs neighbours.

They are red and the rubber bits are snowflakes. My mum sends them every year.

I hear slithering like a snake is the 2015 way of not being able to walk on wooden floors.
You can get those socks in C&A in CH - Antirutschsocken

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I would rather live in a building with creaky floorboards and high ceilings and a bit of character than a box.

I lived in such a building, at one point i thought i was the only tenant. Never saw a soul. Then the old building, lots of creaks, lots of bonjours, made lots of friends.

It comes down to if you want big rooms, big kitchens (in Geneva anyway) you go for old creaky buildings. And get used to communal living, like food smells, kids playing, music etc.

Or get a house.
Or move to a top floor apartment (and probably pay more than the tenants on the lower floors).
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Old 03.01.2015, 14:25
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

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I don't groan at members often - but that comment just makes you sound like a little princess who needs her beauty sleep.

This person does not get up at 5.45 to conscienciously ruin your slumber, she or he probably has to be at their job as a bus driver to drive you to work on time or serve you a coffee in a café before you start your job. Or maybe clean the pavements so you don't walk in vomit or dog crap every day. Or pick your rubbish bags off the pavement.

Take a sleeping pill, or better still a chill pill.
Trust me, if I had a "chill pill" I would be more than happy to take one.

But you might want to consider taking one yourself... and going back and re-reading through my posts here. You might then be enlightened to the fact that I am far more willing and eager to try to make changes on my end (e.g. ear plugs, sleeping in my son’s room) than I am to approach my neighbors and ask them to change something that I realize they cannot easily change. If I was a "little princess who needs her beauty sleep," I surely would have gone up there in an irrational rage by now or have been fully expecting them to change something without first considering what I myself can change.

I wish I had rephrased the title of this thread to: “Should I approach my neighbors…” because maybe then it would be more obvious to people who have not read my other posts in this thread that I am hesitant to approach them and that I do, in fact, realize that it is just a bad situation with no one really being at “fault.”

Bah. I was actually (finally) in a good mood this morning (thanks to ear plugs), despite having been woken up by my neighbor at 5:20 am. Now, due to a few of the posts in this thread, I am in a really bad mood again. And, sadly, it is my three-year old who is going to suffer most from that. I'm going for a walk now.

I hope everyone else out there is able to wake up in the morning only when they need or want to. Happiness = good sleep.

P.S. Slippers are much louder on hardwood floors than are plain socks.
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Old 03.01.2015, 14:38
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

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In response to your work start times comment in another post, most people in CH start work between 7am and 8am - at least in my workplace they do.
The primary school kids, before Christmas, arrived at this place with their Lärmrunde at 06:45. They must have assembled at the school at 0600-ish.

So becoming an Early Bird is part of the upbringing in Switzerland. :P
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Old 03.01.2015, 14:41
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

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Moving is probably the only option for the OP...
Unfortunately, that's not really an option for us. Not in the near future. We just moved into our apartment last March. We had searched for well over a year for an apartment with a garden for our little boy to play in and finally found this one. I would rather have my ear drums surgically removed than to have to move away from here.

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Or get a house.
Unfortunately, we can't afford one. (And trust me, we looked).

By the way... wanting or needing 7 1/2 or 8 hours of sleep per night could hardly be defined as "beauty sleep." I've researched sleep deprivation enough to know that many neurologists claim we are "wired" to function best with that amount of sleep. I certainly am.
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Old 03.01.2015, 14:54
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

For the huge majority of people- where you live will have to be a compromise of sorts. You have to make a list of what is most important to you, and where you are prepared to compromise. So youi love this place, it is perfect for your little boy, etc- so you have to find ways to make it work re sleep. Lots of excellent and positive suggestions here, including good quality plugs, swapping bedrooms, etc.

Re commuting- I agree it is a HUGE decision, and that living close to work is really convenient and can add hugely to quality of life. But in some places, like London with a family- it is just not an option if you want a family home, with space and quiet. Could be the same in Zurich too. It is not the case in Neuchâtel though- where there are plenty of quieter villages with excellent public transport around, and much cheaper rents. But yes, the compromise will be that you won't be in the town centre- unless you find a top floor apartment.

But the main one is to go and have a friendly, non-confrontational chat with your neighbour - until you've done this- I can see no point in discussing this any further. HAVE YOU BEEN YET, ODER?
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Old 03.01.2015, 14:55
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

Hello Pancakes
you sound tired and frazzled, which is understandable. To me, you also sound considerate, since you're trying not to make trouble. And I like it that you've asked for people's opinions and advice. Therefore, those posts which give you kind suggestions, please me. Here, towards you, nor in the EF, nor in forums in general nor in any context, I see no need for and no constructive purpose to snide, aggressive, insulting remarks, nor any which incite measures which would negatively escalate a situation.

I understand that you feel cautious and perhaps timid. And I like it that you don't want to barge into someone else's life complaining. I think glowjupiter has put it well in quoting the saying about "jumping over your own shadow" and going to your neighbours, gift-bearing, and clearly naming your wish. Namely that you wish for a solution for quiet in the house, during their mornings and in general.

Aportion no blame (except, as someone mentions, to the architecture). And that's a good idea, too, to ask at the same time if they hear anything from you and your son, since you are also relatively new in your apartment (your neighbours might not know that) and are learning about how sound travels in the building.

Take courage! Do it!

If you and they don't have a common language, you could just bring the gift, and say you would come on another day with someone who can interpret. Or ask if they know someone who can speak English, to interpret.

Take courage! Do it!

You are very, very unlikely to be rebuffed because
a) most people in the world are reasonable, okay, unagressive, at least neutral and maybe even friendly folk, especially when they are treated politely and with respect
and
b) your very manner will show that you come in peace!
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Old 03.01.2015, 15:19
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

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Now, due to a few of the posts in this thread, I am in a really bad mood again. And, sadly, it is my three-year old who is going to suffer most from that.
Seriously?
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Old 03.01.2015, 15:45
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

If it can help,

Our last apartment we had before we moved away from Switzerland, we were living in a recent building mostly noise proof. The couple downstairs were young and quite nice from the Hi! We shared in the hallway. A few times, I was awaken by some noise coming from their bathroom underneath ours and after a couple of times, I decided to have a chat with them. Turns out the girl was putting her shoes in the dryer to dry over night. Her boyfriend told her about the noise but she didn't think we could hear it.

They were very apologetic and the day after, a big bouquet of flower was waiting for me by our door with an excuses note.

Never happened again and we started having more conversations from that day.

Go and talk to them if nothing works from your end.
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Old 03.01.2015, 15:54
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

wow. such drama and it's a pretty simple thing, really.
personally, we are on the ground floor of a very old building. love the building but we hear everything, the couple to the side of us sing opera (!?) at all hours, the people upstairs have little ones who make noise when they are awake- which can be at not so convenient hours but they are kids so we suck it up and the people on the other side upstairs like to play electronic music until all hours.

to be fair, i have no sleeping issues so none of it bothers me. in fact, i like the noise as it means i have no fear when we make noise ourselves.

but i feel for you as it isn't fun when it effects your sleeping time and thus your moods and so on.

if i was in your shoes, i'd certainly go the ear plug route myself if not changing rooms with your son- which i think i'd do first. i don't think i'd feel comfortable telling others to wear slippers right away or to get a carpet or pick clothes out the night before etc. if someone came to me about noise, i'd be happy to deal with it on my own, but i'd be a bit offended if someone told me to pick out clothes beforehand. but that's just me.

you can (and should) just mention the noise if the ear plugs don't do the trick but as others said just do it in a nice, informal way, it'll be fine!

otherwise, it is all part of living in an apartment, esp an old one. at some point, if you are planning to stay, i hate to say it but it is up to you to organize yourself around the issue as it doesn't sound like it's extreme or obnoxious noise but everyday sounds and, as you've stated, it's your issue of schedule and sleeping that doesn't help with the hours that they keep either.

otherwise, try to reorganize your schedule a bit if you can. i know it sucks and seems unfair for you but nobody (at least those i know) loves to wake up at 5:45 unless they have to. and they aren't blasting the tv or radio but simply walking and getting ready. there's not really so much that can be done about that.

otherwise, don't take the comments here too harshly to let it effect your day or mood. get off the ef, get yourself out for a nice walk and remember how lucky you are that it's just an issue of heavy footsteps and wardrobe sounds that you have to complain about. in the scheme of it all, it's not sooo bad- even if it feels like it at the time. it shouldn't effect you so deeply so maybe try to meditate or something else to focus on other aspects of life and this won't feel so important? best of luck
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Old 03.01.2015, 16:03
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

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Hi,

most people in CH start work between 7am and 8am - at least in my workplace they do.

Cheers,
Nick

and arriving at 7AM means getting out at 6AM plus, and so getting up at 5AM plus
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Old 03.01.2015, 17:08
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

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Sorry to shout, but

"IF YOU DON'T TELL/INFORM THEM, HOW DO YOU EXPECT THEM TO KNOW ?" by being informed through English Forum maybe ?

Go and discuss with them, you have absolutely nothing to lose and all to gain, most people are reasonable, despite whatever you may read here !
This 100x over, the amount of time you have spent discussing it on here, you could have been upstairs, back down and had about 10 hrs good sleep.

You have nothing to lose as long as your are polite about it.
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Old 03.01.2015, 17:11
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

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Seriously?
Yep. It's the sleep deprivation rearing it's ugly head again. This is why I am so concerned about getting decent sleep, on a regular basis... because I know all too well how hypersensitive and emotional I become when I haven't slept well.

I even told my husband earlier today that I wanted a divorce!
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Old 03.01.2015, 17:16
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

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This 100x over, the amount of time you have spent discussing it on here, you could have been upstairs, back down and had about 10 hrs good sleep.

You have nothing to lose as long as your are polite about it.
No, I think the neighbor is still at work, because I haven't heard anything up there all day (well, not since 5:20 this morning). Besides, there is no way I can take a nap unless I force my 3-year old to take one with me.

It's funny how some people on here almost seem to be forcing me to go up there and talk to the neighbors, while others are telling me I shouldn't -- and even some have said that it would be awful of me if I did. I think I'm going to have to go with my gut-instinct on this one and continue to try to change the situation myself, and will approach them about it (kindly) only as a last resort.

By the way... if anyone knows of any tricks to sleep more deeply, I'd really appreciate it. That is, anything that doesn't require sleeping pills or other drugs, alcohol, etc. I hate being groggy in the morning and don't want to rely on pills to get a decent sleep every night. (As I mentioned earlier in this thread, I already sleep with a white noise machine, but unfortunately that's not enough to drown out the noise from above).
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