Dear Heloise: This is the season when people get the ORGANIZING/ CLEANING-OUT BUG. Please remind your readers to try to find users for the items they are discarding rather than simply sending them to the landfill.
Small hardware-store items in partially used packages or lumber can be valuable to any handyman. Charities and thrift stores would happily receive most kinds of items. Libraries welcome books for their used-book-sale fundraisers. Or seek out a local free recycling group online to find someone who will come to pick up your unwanted items, even if they need a little fixing up.
We all know that recycling is good. Finding new homes or new uses for things is even better. -- Peggy H., Hamilton, Ohio
You said it, and I’m happy to pass along your reminder. Remember: Recycle! Reuse! Repurpose! These are the three good R’s to keep in mind, especially when cleaning out and cleaning up. Pass on to others the good things, and they will find the right home. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: I make my own cleaners to use around the house (I use a couple that I got from your column). So that I always remember what’s in the mixture, I type up the “recipe” and attach it to the cleaning bottle. Now I always know how to make the cleaner, and it saves me lots of money! -- Carla, via e-mail
Dear Readers: How closely do you read the nutrition facts on dry products you use? Did you realize that on some products, such as pancake mix, the nutrition information may be for ONLY the dry ingredients? Odd, because no one would eat dry pancake mix!
Heloise Central checked with a smaller manufacturer of pancake mix. They don’t print nutritional information for the prepared mix. Why? The nutritional numbers will change, depending on the type of milk (whole, 2 percent, no-fat) you add and size of eggs, etc. Something to be aware of, especially if you are counting calories! -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: I made a list of ideas I got from this Christmas and stapled it to the December calendar so I don’t forget:
* Mary doesn’t have storage space, so don’t buy her knickknacks.
* Hang Christmas cards from ribbons tied to wreath hangers on the inside of the door to reduce clutter and decorate the house.
* In pretty gift bags, hang presents going to people on the inside of a door. This reduces clutter, decorates and organizes gifts.
-- Jean Taylor, Galena, Md.
The holiday season will be back before you know it! -- Heloise
Hello, Heloise: Love your column! A couple of years ago, I saw a great hint: Use a child’s shovel for clearing snow from decks or small areas — it works wonders. You might want to remind those who may not have seen it in your column. Thank you. -- Alice in Connecticut
Send a hint to