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How to Practice Neighbor-Friendly Entertaining

A Little Effort Goes a Long Way Toward Good Relations

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Apartment Party

Entertaining guests without disturbing your neighbors isn't so hard to pull off.

© Lisa Peardon / Getty Images

If you're hosting a birthday party, holiday gathering, or even a last-minute get-together, you should enjoy yourself without worrying much whether your neighbors will be bothered by your entertaining. After all, they probably like to have guests over from time to time, too.

While neighbors needn't be your top concern, you shouldn't forget that other people live in your building, too. It takes little effort to be considerate when throwing a party, and it's a great way to maintain a respectful relationship with the people who live around you.

Here are some ways you can practice "neighbor-friendly entertaining":

  1. Keep your party inside your apartment. You've probably been to a party or two that has gotten so crowded that guests started spilling out into the hallway. When this happens, it bothers neighbors who need to come and go, but are forced to wade through strangers hovering just outside their door. It's also a nuisance to neighbors who have to put up with the extra noise while inside their apartment.

    Remember, your apartment is exclusively your space, but hallways are part of the common area that you share with all the other tenants. So, if you're having many guests over and the party starts creeping out into the hallway, try to entice your guests to move back inside.

  2. Don't test your neighbors' patience. Neighbors are more likely to complain or take action if you overdo it. Think how thin your apartment walls, ceilings, and floors are, and be the judge of how loud you play any music. Even if your party's too noisy, people are more likely to put up with it if it's not a common occurrence or if it's not keeping them up late into the night before a work day.

  3. Don't let neighbors' complaints escalate into a feud. If neighbors complain to you after a party, they're most likely not looking for a fight but for a resolution to their problem. Always hear them out -- You may be surprised to find yourself agreeing with your neighbor that what they're asking is reasonable.

  4. Consider inviting neighbors. Of course, if you're having family and a few close friends over for a birthday party or holiday dinner, this isn't a sensible option. But if you're throwing a general type of party, consider inviting some neighbors, especially if you could use more guests. They might drop by just to make an appearance or not even come at all. But your neighbors will appreciate the gesture, and if they don't come, they'll be less likely to feel contempt or complain about other parties you throw.
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