I’ve lived in many different settings. I grew up in the country where my dad said neighbors should be no closer than ½ mile. In college I lived in a dorm room surrounded by neighbors and thin walls. I’ve lived in an apartment in the city. And I now own my own home in the suburbs. In my experience, no matter where a person lives there is always the potential for noisy neighbors. So how do you handle noisy neighbors? Keep reading for some creative ways.
I have a neighbor who has three teenage sons. All three have vehicles with extremely loud engines and mufflers. They don’t seem to be able to start their cars without spending about five minutes gunning the engine, and in turn causing the ground to shake and every window in my house to rattle. What’s more is these boys are nocturnal. When I had about reached the end of my rope, my brother suggested that I fight fire with fire…or in this case noise with noise. He said to challenge them to an unspoken noisy neighbors contest. The next Saturday I got up early, brought my stereo outside, turned it on, and began working in the yard. Oh, did I mention that I was right outside the bedroom window of one of the boys? After about 2 minutes he opened his blinds and yelled at me to shut the music off. I turned it up. In about 10 minutes the father came outside. He was grinning as he told me his boys couldn’t sleep. I explained to him my challenges with 2 a.m. engine revving and asked if we could call a cease fire. He agreed…and gave me permission to repeat this procedure if his boys every broke the cease fire.
Noisy Neighbors Can Read
As an apartment dweller in the city I got used to dealing with noise. However, one particular neighbor pushed even my limits. Screaming and yelling, music so loud I couldn’t hear my own TV, what sounded like dumbbells being dropped on their floor (my ceiling), etc. I had tried all the things I knew how to do. I had gone upstairs and politely asked them to turn down their music. I had banged on my ceiling (their floor) with a broom. I had even called management. My noisy neighbors were always polity and apologetic. They just didn’t seem to get it. My sister-in-law is an author. I decided to enlist her help. She wrote a story—aimed at small children—about noisy neighbors. My brother did the artwork and Kinko’s bound it for me. Project complete, I wrapped the book up like a present and left it on their front doorstep with a plate of cookies. Sometimes the message just needs to be dumbed down and in print.
Noisy Neighbors Can Be Bribed
My sophomore year of college I had extremely noisy neighbors. To make matters worse, their preferred hours of noise-making were from midnight to 2 a.m. I was working and going to school full-time and sleep was a precious commodity. I tried dropping subtle hints, to no avail. I didn’t want to be rude and harm a relationship. Especially since my neighbors were very attractive men! One day I accidentally found the key to dealing with them. Bribery. I offered to make them homemade chocolate chip cookies every Saturday if they could lower the volume at midnight on weeknights. It worked! Naturally, by appealing to their stomachs I was able to achieve some peace and quiet.
My grandpa used to always tell me “There’s more than one way to skin a cat.” Next time you are wondering how to deal with noisy neighbors…think creatively. You never know what will work.
Do you have noisy neighbors, or ideas on how to deal with them? Comment below or email us at email@example.com.