When Dana and I first moved back to Yakima, we rented a 2 bedroom unit in an older duplex. The fact that it was older is what really drew us to that place. It had a small yard, and it was in a residential neighborhood. There were built in bookshelves and a curio display in the front room, and a built in drawers and cabinet in one of the bedrooms. It was a fun little place that really stood apart from the cookie cutter rentals with their white walls, brown carpets and fake wood cabinets. It also had baseboard heating and terrible drafts!
Money was almost non-existant for us. I was doing an internship that was entirely unpaid, and we were relying on Dana's work and me picking up odd jobs. I mostly cleaned homes for family and friends. Keeping our house warm was a priority, yet we couldn't afford to just run the heaters and lose all the heat out the door or windows. We hung a wool blanket (the bright woven kind you find in the Southwest and Mexico) over our large front window, and it definitely helped, but the door was still a problem.
One morning, I had no side job to do, and Dana was at work. I was picking up and some of our "trash" was small strips of foam. I swear a lightbulb must have appeared over my head as I held onto that foam. Very quickly I grabbed the duct tape from the garage and went to work. In less than a half an hour, I had sealed our door with my invention. I used the duct tape and foam to create some weather stripping for inside the door jamb. I also created a small flap that hung at the bottom of our door, that created a nice seal at the bottom when closed, but still allowed us to open the door easily.
It doesn't sound like much, but within an hour I could feel the difference in the temperature of our home. I think it also helped that I was beaming with pride in my accomplishment. I had helped make our place a bit warmer, and it cost us nothing!
Things haven't changed too much since those days. Sure we live in a larger house, and we have 4 kids, but this weekend found Dana and I hanging (ok it was Dana that did the actual hanging) a thermal curtain over the front door to keep our front room warm. Some day we'll buy a nice door that seals, but it was fun to recapture some of that adventure of making do.