I live in a noisy neighborhood. It’s fun, it’s bright, it’s busy…but with these things comes some difficulty sleeping in the early morning hours. Last month, we looked at swapping our spare and master bedrooms, just to avoid the light and sound that penetrates the windows of our space. It turns out our bedroom set wouldn’t fit comfortably in the smaller (darker, quieter) spare room, so we were stuck trying to find a different solution for ourselves. I knew it had to be cost-effective, so I started my favorite kind of task: finding a quality frugal solution.
When we moved into this place, it came with blinds on all the windows, which worked fine for a time. Over the years, they have started to break and become increasingly difficult to pull up and down. That’s Ikea for you. In addition to the blinds, we had curtains in our bedroom that were mainly for show. Inexplicably, a hole was burnt into one of them from what we’re guessing was the work of the sun and a hand mirror. Hole and all, I managed to sell the curtains on Craigslist. I threw the broken blinds out. We bought a cute pair of curtains from West Elm that were heavily marked down to $30 for two panels. We used them a few months until deciding it wasn’t helping make the room any darker or decreasing the noise around us.
I started a new hunt…for roman shades. I’m not sure I could tell you the exact distinction between roman shades and normal ones, but I think it’s in their sleek look and ability to collapse up and extend down with ease without a cord. Of course I looked at Pottery Barn first, where they sell ONE for $209. Moving on… I started my normal internet hunt in all my favorite stores, only to find most everywhere charged an outrageous amount for this style window covering.
Then I checked out Bed, Bath and Beyond. Man I love this store. Their return policy is unbelievably lenient, their prices are reasonable and somehow they let you take 20% off everything in the store every time you visit. Who does that? They were selling the size and color I wanted for $59 each. Which became $104 including tax after the mark down. They didn’t have them in my store, but shipping is free if you buy over $49 worth of merchandise. Of course I went into the store to order them because there’s no way to use the 20% off each item online. Then I sold the West Elm curtains at the price we bought them for. It is amazing how much more attractive our windows are when they are not blocked by our curtains and rod. Subtracting the amount I earned for selling our curtains, I spent $74 on the shades instead of $130 at full price. Even better, our Discover card is currently giving cash back for shopping at BBB, so we actually earned a little over $5 on the purchase. That puts the shades at $69. You feel me? There’s always a way to find a deal and often it’s as simple as selling the thing you wish to replace (broken or not!).
Now our room is so much darker throughout the night and in the morning hours. They have made our window frames much more attractive. The church next door to us is doing some construction at the entrance where the AA meetings used to congregate, so the attendees no longer gather right outside our window to chat. That’s helped us sleep better. We managed to get our landlord to move the recycling bins from our driveway to the backside of our building and put locks on them and now we no longer wake up in the night to the sound of homeless people stealing glass bottles. A combination of a little muscle work and some convenient coincidences has helped us solve the problems we were having with the location of our bedroom. Don’t give up if you are unhappy in your home. You can find free solutions to compliment them.