You’re confined to your apartment building as you “stay at home” to slow the spread of COVID-19, and you’re being mindful of your own noise output in an effort to be a great neighbor to your fellow apartment dwellers. Now that you’re doing your part to bring peace and quiet to your own community, what options are available to you if an increase in rental neighbor noise is getting to you?

Here are some ways to further quiet your rental home:

1. Invest in soundproof curtains.

There really is such a thing. They’re heavy duty and range in price. Be certain to order a set that covers your window from top to bottom and side to side. You’ll need the curtains themselves, a curtain rod, hangers for each end of the rod, and a few nails or screws. All of these items can be ordered online and can greatly reduce rental neighbor noise.

2. Order soundproof acoustic wall coverings.

The first thing that might come to mind are those foam squares that musicians affix to garage walls to keep in the sound of a drum or bass guitar. There are a whole bunch of variations as well. Some are even fashionable.

3. Buy noise cancelling headphones.

These are my own personal go to item to find peace when there is noise around me that I can’t escape. Sometimes I wear them without any music playing and it muffles the outside world just enough to provide an underlying sense of calm. When I add some soothing cello music, soothing piano, or a Gregorian chant, I am able to escape into a world of solitude without disturbance. Rental neighbor noise muted! Yes.

4. Consider a white noise machine, or fan.

Falling asleep at night when some night owl neighbors are just getting their second wind, can be challenging. While noise cancelling headphones could do the job; however, it’s kinda hard to sleep comfortably with them on.  This is where a white noise sound machine might help. Another option is to use a fan to music the troublesome noise.

5. Purchase some area rugs.

The acoustics in some spaces are just awful which can increase rental neighbor noise. That can be especially true if you have hardwood or laminate flooring. Carpeting absorbs sound. By adding some area rugs, you can dramatically reduce the opportunity for sounds to echo or bounce off of other surfaces.

6. Strategically close windows and doors.

If it’s not scorching outside, and you have some type of cooling mechanism inside your home, by keeping your windows and doors closed, you shut out noise from wandering into your own home.

7. Respectfully address the challenge.

You’ve tried all of the above, and still, you can’t find respite from some sound that just won’t quit. First, before doing anything, take a super deep breath. Then take another one. And just one more. Ask yourself, is this rental neighbor noise really that disturbing, or is it just me being worn down from staying at home? If it is in fact above the threshold of acceptable noise, then calmly seek out the source and express that challenge you’re facing. 

Think about your wording. Be clear and factual in what is posing the problem and make an ask. Try to be as unemotional as possible. For example, “Hi neighbor. It’s so awesome that you’re practicing the piano. I came by to ask if you could play it a bit earlier in the day because I typically am trying to drift off to sleep at about this time.”

Last but not least…

You are amazing!
Hang in there.
We are closer today
than we were yesterday
to a return to some type of normal.
You’ve got this!

Feel free to share this post with anyone who might benefit from some considerations when it comes to reducing noise output.

Let us know if you have any other suggestions to add to this list by emailing us at blog@dwellsy.com.