Garages can become an awfully cluttered jumble with way too much stuff that's been dumped inside, and that can also be a danger to your family and vehicles. Take these steps to get it all under control.
1. Organize everything in containers by season — summer, winter, spring and fall — or organize by category — sports equipment, gardening, car repair and holiday decorations.
2. Install hanging racks, pegboards and shelves to organize and store larger items up and out of the way.
3. Keep garbage cans, lawn mowers and snow blowers in the same designated spots.
4. Use fluorescent spray paint to outline parking spaces for cars and bikes.
5. And remember, right stuff in the right place! Show family members where everything belongs. Never leave rakes or bikes on the floor, where people could trip on them. — Heloise
Pricy blotting tissues
Dear Heloise: I have oily skin and blot my face throughout the day. Blotting tissues are expensive for the number of sheets in a package, so I make my own. Buy a package of good quality tissue (wrapping) paper and cut it into squares or rectangles. Use the shiny side to blot your face. It's easy to make and use, and very inexpensive. — Sharon Johnson, via email
Sharon, this is a good money-saving hint, and it solves a problem. — Heloise
Dear Heloise: I have an older Honda, which is great, but the headlights became covered with an unattractive film that, I felt, also minimized their efficiency. I tried toothpaste and a paste I bought online, but neither worked. I heard a shop would fix the problem for $250! I just couldn't accept that!
I decided to try a heavy-duty cleaner that I use for my glass-top stove, which I bought from a big-box store. Voila! It worked like a charm, and my headlights are now as good as new. And I saved $250! — Bobbe Dannenbrink, Canandaigua, N.Y.
When renting a car
Dear Readers: Here are several helpful hints and precautions that you can take to make sure renting a car is a good experience. When you get to your rented auto and before you leave the lot, walk around it to make sure there are no dents or scratches so you are not charged for those damages. Also, it might be a good idea when you rent it to take pictures of the car's interior and exterior to have a record of the condition of the car. And one final hint: When you take pictures in the parking lot, you also can record the lot address, lane number or parking spot number. — Heloise
English muffins and cucumbers
Dear Heloise: I love English muffins but can't (shouldn't!) eat them all before they go stale. They freeze great, though. If you take the inner box out of the packaging, the outer plastic bag is perfect to wrap them in a tight stack so there's 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 better in the fridge, if you avoid letting them get damp or wet. Wrap each one in a paper towel, inside a loose plastic bag, and they'll keep a week. — Ellie Tupper, via email
Dear Readers: Deb Nenninger of Florida sent this picture of Tia, her adopted cat. Here's the great story:
"This is Tia, we rescued her from an animal shelter in 2019. She was 3 years old and had lived her whole life there! She weighs 10 pounds and is the cutest little calico girl. I don't understand how she was passed up for so long. She is such a joy to have with us and follows us around like a little puppy. I feel like she knows that she was given a second chance and knows that she now has a mommy and pappy who will take good care of her!''