Holiday Ettiquette: Decorating Your Apartment with Your Neighbors In Mind

in Neighbors on by

Holiday decorating can be a fun way to participate in the holiday spirit, but if you live in an apartment, it’s important to remember that you’re in close proximity to many neighbors. You should make sure that your decorations don’t disturb your neighbors, as you don’t want to get a complaint from your landlord or simply be remembered as the tenant who disregarded her neighbor’s comfort during the holidays.

Too Many Lights from Holiday Decorating

In an apartment complex, your space for holiday decorating is quite limited compared to the space at a house. To make up for the lack of space, you may go all out in what space you do have. However, remember that your apartment window or balcony may be facing another apartment window or balcony. If you overload them with lights, you could be shining bright lights straight into your neighbors’ living rooms or bedrooms. Stay tasteful and limit the number of lights you use to decorate your window or balcony in order to dampen the effect they have on your neighbors.

Flashing, Distracting Lights

About as annoying to a neighbor as too many lights shining into their apartment is a flashing or otherwise distracting light display. If you have a spotlight that changes images every few minutes, for example, or sequence of multi-colored blinking lights, your display may be too distracting. Even if you don’t inundate your window or balcony with lights when holiday decorating, a sequence of lights that flash can prove distracting to your neighbors if they can see the flashing lights from in their apartment.

Noisy Display

While holiday decorating, you may have the idea to time your lights to a bevy of holiday tunes or have a holiday figurine that calls out to passersby. However, remember that your decorations will be in close proximity to your neighbors and they’ll have to hear all of the music and noise involved in your display.

Keeping Lights on Too Late

With the number of hours of daylight decreased during winter, you should have plenty of time to display your holiday decorating in the evening. Keeping your lights on long past when many of your neighbors have gone to bed can keep your neighbors from getting peaceful sleep. Try to keep decent hours when lighting your apartment window or balcony and shut off lights at nine to ten o’clock—at least by midnight.

A Large Display on Your Door

While not necessarily a problem in all complexes, an indoor apartment complex with a shared hallway can make large displays on your apartment door a nuisance to your neighbors when holiday decorating. Your neighbors may have to brush against a wreath or another large set of decorations on your door if the hallway is cramped, if they’re carrying a lot in their arms or if they need to make room for another person to pass by. If your door decoration sticks out, it can cause a great inconvenience to people in the hallway. Likewise, if you use a real wreath or tree bough, needles and other pieces of waste can litter the hallway and pose a tripping hazard.

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