DEAR READERS: Whether you travel for pleasure or business, trying to pack often can be stressful. Here are some of my favorite travel hints for packing a suitcase:
• To save space, pack only trial- or travel-size items in your luggage. Save the toothbrushes and small toothpaste you get at the dentist’s office for when you travel.
• When packing, place heavy items at the bottom of your luggage, so they don’t squish lighter items, such as clothing.
• To prevent clothes from wrinkling, roll them. This also helps with space. When you reach your destination, immediately take out clothes that are prone to wrinkling and hang them up.
• Do not pack shoes with the soles on your clothes. Pack them facing out, or better yet, place each in a newspaper bag to protect clothing. Another space-saving hint is to place small items, like underwear and socks, into shoes before packing.
• Leave expensive jewelry or valuable items at home.
DEAR HELOISE: I have a hint for trying to see a Wi-Fi password on a label on the bottom of a router. It can be annoying to try to maneuver so that one can see the long string of digits and letters, as well as enter them into your device. So I just took a photo of it with my phone. I always have it with me, and no more struggling with the router!
– Kathryn H., Fairfax, Va.
DEAR HELOISE: I had the misfortune to have fallen on ice. As a result, I broke my femur and had to have extensive physical therapy. Using a walker has been a challenge, to say the least. My son thought about attaching a bicycle basket and cup holder on the front of my walker. This addition allows me to easily make my own meals, empty the dishwasher and put dishes, pans and silverware away. This also allows me to carry my clothes from the bedroom to the bathroom.
– Pat Z., Warren, Ohio
DEAR HELOISE: I cut my dog’s hair (basically just shave it), but it can be pretty difficult with her trying to get away. I have found a trick. I take her into the bathroom and close the door. The room is big enough to work in, but small enough so that she can’t get too far from me. The tile floors also make it much easier to clean up all the hair when I am done. And the best part is, she can go straight into the tub for a bath afterward!
– Paula in Tennessee
DEAR HELOISE: My mom always told me to turn off the burner before I take a pan off the stove. Then you don’t need to worry about it being left on.
– Deborah F., via email
DEAR HELOISE: Help! I’m in the doghouse! I set a glass on my wife’s nice furniture, and it left a ring. How do I get it off?
– Jack M. in Texas
DEAR JACK: Don’t move into the doghouse just yet, Jack! Here is the updated Heloise Hint for removing rings on furniture: Start by getting nongel toothpaste. Mix a small amount of the toothpaste with some baking soda. Rub this mixture into the ring, making sure you rub in the direction of the grain of the furniture. Be prepared, because this takes time and patience to work. Once the ring appears to have gone, take a damp cloth and wipe the furniture. Finish with a good polishing.