Hints From Heloise: Get ready for the call

September 27, 2013

Dear Heloise: I answer the phone for an agency that services the whole state. We receive 300-400 calls per day. The following are suggestions that would be so helpful for us when THE PUBLIC CALLS OUR OFFICE:

* Have a pen/pencil by the phone, and paper to write on.

* The information they need in their hand (e.g., name and extension number of the person they need to talk with, etc.).

* Also, reduce noises in the room — TV, kids yelling, cellphone, etc.

Thank you so much. It would make our day so much brighter! -- Ms. Douglas in Mississippi

Thanks for your good insight! Hint from Heloise: Always have something to do (read a magazine, clean out a drawer, etc.) so you don’t waste time while on hold. -- Heloise

CLEANING DOG BEDS

Dear Heloise: I read your column daily in the Amarillo (Texas) Globe-News and want to thank you for all the wonderful advice you give. I have three large dog beds. The stuffing is anyone’s guess, and the labels say “Do not wash.” How do I get rid of the dog smell? -- Emily S. in Texas

“Woof, woof” — no one likes a stinky dog. You can open a seam, dump out the “stuffing” and wash the covers to give them a good cleaning. Also, use one of my favorite household products: baking soda! Sprinkle the bed generously, rub in well and let sit for a while, then take outside and shake out the baking soda. If you are worried about future smells and stains, cover the bed with a plastic trash bag and then put a washable cover over that. When the cover gets dirty, just take it off and wash. Baking soda is a great product and can be used for so many things! I have a pamphlet with all of my favorite uses. To order, send $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (66 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Baking Soda, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Are Fido’s plastic toys dirty? Scrub with a solution of baking soda and water to clean. -- Heloise

TRAVEL HINT

Dear Heloise: Just a reminder for all of your readers who travel: When you get to your hotel, check the bottles of shampoo, lotion, etc., to make sure the seal hasn’t been broken and they are new before you use them.

You even can check the coffee or anything else that is provided in the hotel rooms. Housekeeping is very busy, and sometimes they might miss something accidentally. Happy travels! -- Stanley in Oklahoma

Hmmm — something I’d never thought about. Thanks for the hint. -- Heloise

TREASURE FOREVER

Dear Heloise: This is in response to the lady who couldn’t part with her child’s baby clothes. Have a quilt made from the clothes! If you don’t quilt, go to a local quilt shop, which will help you find someone to do the work. You will then have a treasure forever. -- B.T., via e-mail

Heloise’s column appears six days a week at www.washingtonpost.com/advice. Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com.

, King Features Syndicate

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