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Byline: Simone Schramm

UNCLUTTER YOUR LIFE: We all suffer from the malady of clutter in our homes and lives. ``Christopher Lowell's Seven Layers of Organization'' (Clarkson Potter; $19.95) offers a reader-friendly prescription for getting things back in shape.

The book, by the Emmy Award-winning host of several Discovery Home network shows, provides breakdown instructions of even the most daunting tasks. Lowell first categorizes the seven layers of organization: Assess & Schedule, Detach & Purge, Reclaim & Update, Sort & Contain, Design & Build, Arrange & Display, and Cease & Maintain. He then breaks down each layer into simple step-by-step tasks that don't take up a lot of time. The book also offers great ways to show off possessions you decide to keep. And the 12-room makeovers are displayed in detail to give an idea of how each project works.

The book takes readers from beginning to end in the quest for organization. It teaches clutter hoarders how to emotionally detach from unneeded items and how to decorate with what remains. It may even help you develop a permanent distaste for clutter. After all, throughout your lifetime you will continue to receive junk mail, unneeded gifts and other items you can live without. Available at and bookstores nationwide.

CURTAIN CALL: Novice sewers with little or no experience can create their own window treatments with McCall's newly launched Learn the Basics pattern line. It's available at or, an interactive Web site that offers detailed sewing instructions as well as a variety of ideas for dressing windows. The new line features three styles: a pleated valance, an easy pleated Roman shade, and an easy drapery panel. Each is versatile and allows for customization to the size of the window and the room where it's located. The line also includes suggestions for decorative trims, linings and fabrics.

The instructions are written in a simple step-by-step fashion and feature plenty of tips to put novice sewers at ease. Prices range from $15.95 to $16.25 for patterns. Available by calling (866) 466-3352, visiting the Web sites or at Wal-Mart, Jo-Ann and other local fabric stores.

PRIVATE WINDOWS: Turn your window into an artistic masterpiece and protect your privacy at the same time with Light Effects nonadhesive window film by Artscape Inc. The company created this line of window film from customer demand for window film that is subtle and fits just about every decor. The flexible film refracts light and simulates the sparkle and clarity of textured glass. Light Effects window film provides privacy by skewing the view to the inside of your house while letting in enough light to beautify and brighten the room. Styles of light-refracting film include the multicolored First Stained Glass, the bluish-gold Colored Lines, the opaque Texture Twelve and Lines Eleven.

All four designs are available in 24-by-36-inch sheets. The Texture Twelve and Lines Eleven designs are also available in 36-by-72-inch sheets. The sheets tile together like wallpaper and can be cut to fit any size window. To apply the film, simply spray your window with water, position the film in the desired area and squeegee out the remaining water.

The suggested retail price for the films is $23.97 for a 24-by-36-inch sheet to $49.97 for a 36-by-72-inch sheet. Available at Home Depot and ACE Hardware stores nationwide or by visiting For more information on the film, visit or

CHEMICAL-FREE CLEANING: Eliminate messy mops, bulky buckets and overwhelming chemical cleaners with the Shark's new Ultra Shark Steam Blaster, a compact version of the original Steam Blaster. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 150 chemicals found in the average home cause allergies, birth defects, cancer and other health conditions.

The easily portable Ultra Steam Blaster has a capacity of 1.4 liters and eliminates the need for bacteria-infested mops laden with chemicals and buckets full of dirty water. The multipurpose Steam Blaster features the double-sided Steam Pocket floor attachment, which uses super-heated steam to lift out and clean ground-in dirt. The steam also dries in seconds, alleviating the need to dry wet floors manually. To use the Steam Blaster, simply add water and start cleaning. The cleaner provides more than 30 minutes of running time, making it easy to tackle large areas. The Steam Blaster works on wood, tile and vinyl floors. The Steam Blaster also includes a concentrator nozzle, deluxe squeegee, large brass and nylon brushes, fabric refresher, a stainless steel boiler and more. Suggested retail price is $99. Available nationwide at Bed Bath & Beyond, BJ's, Linens 'n Things, Kohl's, Target, Lowe's, J.C. Penney and


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(1 -- color) no caption (curtain)

McCallRPatter Company

(2 -- color) no caption (book: ``Christopher Lowell's Seven Layers of Organization'')

(3 -- 5 -- color) no caption (Light Effects window film)

(6 -- color) no caption (Ultra Shark Steam Blaster)
COPYRIGHT 2006 Daily News
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Copyright 2006, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Mar 4, 2006

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