Living Columns & Blogs

Hints From Heloise: Before big move, stock up on packing supplies, start cleaning

DEAR HELOISE: We are moving out of state this summer and wonder if you have some hints to help make the moving experience as positive as possible.

– Christine P. in Indiana

DEAR CHRISTINE: You bet! I have several hints to help make the move easier. Start by stocking up on packing supplies and boxes for all the items you wish to pack yourself. The supplies may include newspapers, packing tape, boxes, etc.

Start as soon as possible. Go through everything, discarding or donating the things you no longer need or want. You don’t want to move things you don’t need!

Label packed boxes clearly with the items that are inside and the room the items belong in. This way, at the other end, the boxes can be placed in the correct room before unpacking.

Finally, make lists of all the utilities you need to cancel and start up in the new place.

P.S.: Keep a list handy of the things you need to do. It’s amazing how a simple chore like checking the attic or basement carefully will fall by the wayside.

DEAR HELOISE: My new flannel sheets got a lot of stains from being washed with other items. The sheets are large and cumbersome, making pretreatment difficult. I placed rubber bands around the areas that needed pretreatment, identifying all the areas that needed to be treated.

– K.H., via email

DEAR HELOISE: This hint is a way of storing your canning-jar rings. Untwist the top part of a wire coat hanger, then slide the canning-jar rings onto the wire hanger. Next, twist the top part of the hanger just one time. This will hold the wire hanger together. It can then be hung somewhere for storage.

– Nancy S.,

Columbia City, Ind.

DEAR HELOISE: I’m always ready to go because I keep all my cosmetic items in a zippered cosmetic bag that is tall enough for the items to stand upright. A round plastic container (like a cake-icing tub) in the middle of the bag holds all the loose items, such as eyeliners, mascara, lipstick, etc.

– Pat C., Middletown, Va.

DEAR PAT: I keep “minis” of most of my makeup in my cosmetic bag in my purse so I am ready to scoot in a flash. Yes, I’ve been known to do touch-ups in the car!

DEAR READERS: Beware of cake boxes! Cake boxes are made to be opened from the top, and they look like they will be convenient to open, but they aren’t as easy as you think. I wasted a bit of time trying to open the box from the “suggested” opening. Don’t waste your time and energy, just get a knife. Women, especially, will try to pry open the stubborn boxes with their fingernails. Your nails are not tools, and a broken one is a pain!

DEAR HELOISE: Whenever I am painting a room or something outside, I wear an old pair of sunglasses. That way, any paint that splatters from the roller will get on the glasses and not in my eyes.

– Jack in Texas

DEAR HELOISE: Could you please repeat your recipe for drain cleaner? I am hoping to avoid a clog by cleaning them regularly.

– Jessica H. in Tennessee

DEAR JESSICA: It is a great idea to clean your drains every few weeks to help avoid a bigger problem, and I would be happy to help you with that! The recipe for drain cleaner is simple: Pour 1/2 cup or so of baking soda down the drain. Then pour 1 cup of vinegar down, and listen to the bubbling. Let sit about 15-30 minutes. Turn on the hot water for a few seconds, then run cold water for about a minute. This method will not work to unclog a sink, but if you do it regularly, it should help prevent a clog.

DEAR READERS: Here is this week’s sound off, about courtesy trash cans:

I work for a large retail chain store. Among the many conveniences provided to our customers, we have a number of trash receptacles in our parking lot. These are meant to be used for trash, such as coffee and soft-drink cups, etc. But many customers have taken to using them to dispose of their household garbage. This causes the trash cans to fill up faster than we can empty them. Please let your readers know that dumping household garbage in public trash cans is a big no-no!

– Dumped On in Ohio