We couldn't resist the reference to one of our favorite books as a kid, Amelia Bedelia. Hired as a maid, Amelia's given a list of things to do, including "draw the drapes" which she does. Literally. Her outraged employer is calmed by a bite of Amelia's fabulous lemon meringue pie... Amelia's employer had the right idea both in keeping Amelia on and in drawing the drapes. Closing the curtains during the day, especially if you will be out, is a simple and effective way to keep the sun from warming up your home during the hot summer months. As an added plus, it prevents the sun from fading any rugs or upholstery that may be in the sun's way -- which may help them last a little bit longer. In the winter, we do the opposite: we open the curtains and let the sun shine in. We keep our furniture's arms from fading by tossing a beautiful throw over them which we use to snuggle up under during the cooler winter months. And, if you have a/c, don't forget to turn it off before you leave for the day.