Unless you've been lucky enough to live in a modern wood cabin in the woods somewhere, you've probably had experience with noisy neighbors before in your life. Some inconsiderate intentionally, others just oblivious, it can be a bummer when your peace is interrupted by someone else's noise pollution.
Of course you can't expect everyone to be perfectly silent all the time (and those in cities can expect a certain level of sounds all the time). But have you ever considered if you're the one who's a little bit on the noisy side? Here's how to tell if you're the noisy neighbor...and what you can do to be a little more quiet:
You don't have rugs, live on the top floor and love to wear high heels
It can be hard to really understand how loud walking can sound on hard flooring if you live on the top floor. It probably sounds like a normal volume to you when you walk. But to your neighbors, it could sound like a herd of elephants.
What you can do: No, you don't have to tip-toe around your apartment for the rest of your lease, but do consider taking off your shoes at the door, placing rugs over high traffic areas and maybe not hosting any dance parties or exercise classes late at night.
You like to turn up the volume with every favorite song that comes on
Love music? Love to turn up the volume on your speakers when a good song comes on? But then, do you like just keep turning it up with every good song? Jamming out to great tunes in your apartment can be fun, but for your neighbors, it could make living unpleasant if the music is constant (and not to their tastes).
What you can do: Well, you can invest in some headphones and listen to your jams as loud as you want that way, or consider purchasing a mini mobile speaker you can carry with you from room to room to focus the sound where you are.
You entertain often, late at night on weeknights, in spots where the sound carries
Seeing as we're always suggesting you do more entertaining at home, it'd be wrong of us to tell you now to stop doing that. But, the truth is some neighbors (especially those with young kids or tough, odd-hour jobs) might not appreciate hearing your friends laugh out loud like you do, particularly if it's all the time and when they're trying to sleep.
What can you do: Find out from neighbors when the best time for them are for you to be have guests over, and see if there's a way you can do your entertaining at times when it won't disturb your neighbors too terribly. Try to guide the guests into areas of your home that will be farthest away from a neighbor's home. Perhaps even consider daytime entertaining or entertaining at other locations. You could consider letting your neighbors know in advance of when you're going to be entertaining and even make sure they have your phone number in case they need to contact you about keeping it down.
Your pets like to serenade your neighbors when you're not home
Have you noticed your dog whimpering and whining as you leave for work in the morning? Don't assume he stops once you're out of sight. He might go on and on singing his woes and annoying your neighbors. The same goes for leaving dogs out in the yard who love barking at everything or even cats who might howl and whine when they're not happy.
What to do: Obviously it's pretty tough to know what your animals are up to when you're not there, so you can simply ask your neighbors if they hear your pets during the day (and if what they hear is bothering them). You could get high-tech and install a web camera at home you can access from your computer to check on your pets yourself during the day. You can make sure dogs and cats are properly exercised and have plenty of things to keep them occupied (toys and chews and the like) or even consider hiring a dog walker if you spend great amounts of time away from home.