DEAR READERS: Garages can become a terribly crowded mess with far too much stuff that has been thrown inside, and it can be a danger to your family and vehicles as well. Follow these steps to master it all.
- Organize everything in containers by season – summer, winter, spring and fall – or organize by category – sports equipment, gardening, auto repair and holiday decorations.
- Install hanging racks, pegboards, and shelving to organize and store larger items out of the way.
- Keep garbage cans, lawn mowers and snow throwers in the same designated places.
- Use fluorescent spray paint to mark out parking spaces for cars and bicycles.
- And remember, the right things in the right place. Show family members where everything belongs. Never leave rakes or bicycles on the ground where people could trip over them.
DEAR HELOISE: I have oily skin and I sponge my face all day long. Blotting cloths are expensive for the number of sheets in a bundle, so I’m making my own. Buy a bundle of good quality tissue paper (wrapping) and cut it into squares or rectangles. Use the shiny side to blot your face. It is easy to manufacture and use, and very inexpensive.
– Sharon Johnson, by email
DEAR READER: This is good money-saving advice, and it fixes a problem.
DEAR HELOISE: I have an older Honda, which is great, but the headlights got covered in an unsightly film which in my opinion also downplayed their effectiveness. I tried toothpaste and paste that I bought online, but none worked. Heard a store would fix the problem for $ 250! I just couldn’t accept it.
I decided to try a strong cleaner that I use for my glass top stove, which I bought at a big box store. There ! It worked like a charm, and my headlights are now like new. And I saved $ 250.
– Bobbe Dannenbrink, Canandaigua, NY
DEAR READERS: Here are several helpful tips and precautions you can take to make sure hiring a car is a good experience. When you get to your rental car and before you leave the lot, shop around to make sure there are no dents or scratches so you are not charged for this damage. In addition, it may be a good idea, when renting it, to take pictures of the interior and exterior of the car so that you can keep track of the condition of the car. And one last hint: when taking photos in the parking lot, you can also save the parking address, lane number or parking space number.
DEAR HELOISE: I love English muffins but I can’t (I shouldn’t!) Eat them all until they’re stale. They do freeze well, however. If you take the inner box out of the package, the outer plastic bag is perfect for wrapping them in a tight stack so that there is less frost. I split them before freezing (with a fork, of course), then about 10 seconds in the microwave will thaw them just enough to separate the halves. And cucumbers and peppers last longer in the refrigerator, if you avoid letting them get damp or wet. Wrap each in a paper towel, in a loose plastic bag, and they will keep for a week.
– Ellie Tupper, by email
Send a hint to save time or money to Heloise, PO Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email