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Tidy the bookshelf — turn books spine-side in

Light draped in flowers

You think of Tyvek as the waterproof, windproof house wrap under the siding of your home. Here it's used in a decorative mode by Dutch designer Tord Boontje. The Midsummer Light is made of layer upon layer of laser-cut flowers. An interior cone separates the shade from the bulb. It's 30 inches tall, 18 inches wide; comes with a white cord, ready to plug in; $75 from

Guess the titles of tidy-looking books

Whatever works, right? The June issue of Better Homes and Gardens featured a home in Edina, Minn., where the homeowner shelves her books pages-out (rather than spine-out) "for a less cluttered look." If being able to find a book easily is clutter, count us in.

Before you leave town . . .

Heading out of town on vacation? Here's your checklist:

Unplug all your appliances and consumer electronics, except for the refrigerator and lamps that are plugged into timers. You'll avoid costly lightning zaps.

Turn off the water heater. No point in paying to keep a tank of water hot while no one's home.

• Put your newspaper on vacation hold and have the mail held at the post office. Or arrange for a neighbor to pick up papers and mail daily.

• Close the garage door and lock it from the inside. Lock the door between the garage and the house.

• Lock sliding-glass doors. Put broomsticks in the floor tracks so the doors can't be opened from the outside.

Turn on the alarm system when you leave.

A second life for used crocs

Worn out your Crocs? You can recycle those clunky plastic clogs and they'll be repurposed into new footwear to be distributed to those in need around the world. Visit for the details, then drop off your used Crocs at Dillard's stores around Tampa Bay, Flip Flopz stores in Largo and Learning Express on Race Track Road in Tampa. SolesUnited has a goal of shipping 2-million pairs of recycled shoes this year.

Compiled by Times Homes and Garden Editor Judy Stark

Tidy the bookshelf — turn books spine-side in 07/11/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 16, 2008 7:25pm]
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