DEAR HELOISE: I read the hint from a reader in your column about ways to use cardboard wine carriers from grocery stores. (Heloise here: The reader uses them to store glassware.) My local stores are happy to have both them and the nice wine bags returned.
Robin Rodriquez, Huntsville, Texas
DEAR ROBIN: You and many readers suggested the same hint, to take them back to the stores. However, you should call first, because there may be a health-code issue about using these for another customer. However, if the stores recycle them, it’s a win-win all around!
DEAR HELOISE: I read your hints in The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa. I just wanted to pass on two hints that have helped our household.
We bought standing coat hangers (Heloise here: Not a wire coat hanger that stands by itself, but a “coat hanger,” usually wood or metal, that stands upright and is used to hang coats on. A fun play on words that sometimes does get confusing!) and put them in the bedrooms. They are great for hanging sweats, pajamas, robes, etc., rather than piling them on the bed or floor.
Also, I have two hampers, one for whites/off-whites and one for colors. This makes doing laundry a snap.
Melissa B., Harrisburg, Pa.
DEAR MELISSA: I, too, have a “coat hanger,” but it’s in my closet. I use it to hang my sweaters. I first fold the sweater in half lengthwise, then drape it over a clothes hanger like it’s a shawl. The arm area goes around the hook part, and the rest is hung over the hanger. No creases from being folded and put in a drawer or on a shelf.
P.S.: A Texas “howdy” to my friends in Harrisburg! I met such friendly and nice people when I was there at the home show talking about my Five-Point Plan for Clutter Control. It’s been a few years, but oh my, some of the tasty treats to eat in that city? Perfect comfort food in the winter.
DEAR HELOISE: Our newspaper is delivered in a clear plastic sleeve. I store my neck scarves by folding them in half and rolling them to fit the bag. I can find the scarf I am looking for, and when they are removed from the bag, they are not wrinkled. Sunday papers are much larger, so those bags work great for larger knit scarves.
Joyce A., Nipomo
DEAR HELOISE: I still love to use bar soap. I keep it from dissolving in the soap dish by using a flat-sided nailbrush with the brush bristle side up. I set the soap on top, and it stays dry. The added benefit is that there is always a little soap on the bristles when I clean my nails.
Amy Griffiths, Ravenna, Ohio
DEAR READERS: Recycling may take a little effort, but the payoff is well worth the time. However, there are items that should not be recycled. Read over this short list. Recycling centers have different guidelines:
These products typically are not recyclable: Paper coated with plastic (wax paper, cereal-box liners and ice-cream containers), grease-soaked (pizza) boxes, books (softcover – some can be used, others not), tissues, napkins, paper towels (soiled). motor-oil cans. paint cans and light bulbs. Check with your recycler about what is a “Yes” and what is a “No.”
DEAR HELOISE: Self-grip closures on my kids’ shoes collect lint, and then they won’t stick. Do you have an easy hint to help?
S., via email
DEAR S.: Sure do! Use an old, stiff toothbrush or crochet hook to pull the lint fibers out. Do let your children help so they have an “investment” in preventing the problem. Try to get them in the habit of closing the gripper when they take off their shoes.
DEAR HELOISE: Use a clawed staple remover to carefully open a key ring and slide a key on.
Pamela In Houston
Send a great hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 79500, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com.