Hints From Heloise: Shining a light on battery storage

April 25, 2013

Dear Heloise: Please advise me on how to STORE FLASHLIGHT BATTERIES. I was told to put them in the refrigerator until using. Thank you for your assistance. -- Irene B. in West Virginia

To see or not to see (with a working flashlight), that is the question! The refrigerator is NOT the place for flashlight batteries. Batteries today are not your grandmother’s batteries of yesterday.

You want to store your flashlight and batteries in a cool, dry, room-temperature location where you will remember you placed them if needed during an emergency.

Try to keep an unopened package of batteries with the flashlight, but not in it. This will preserve the battery life, and they will work when you need them most. Avoid temperature extremes of hot or cold, which can reduce how a battery performs, or cause it to leak and even rupture. -- Heloise

STORING HANDBAGS

Dear Readers: Most women have several handbags/purses. Here are some hints for storing the handbags you are not using:

* DO NOT store handbags by the handle, especially if heavy. The handle or strap can end up getting damaged by the hook.

* Handbags should be stuffed with tissue paper (preferably acid-free) when not in use. This will help the bag keep its shape.

* If possible, store each handbag, if seldom used, in a dust cover or pillowcase.

* Smaller bags can be stored in a hanging shoe bag or on shelves in bins. Special-occasion bags, such as clutches, that are rarely used should be stored in containers.

-- Heloise

CLEANING LITTER

Dear Heloise: I use plastic grocery bags to clean my cat’s litter box, but I spent a lot of time adjusting the bag in my hand. Now, I place the bag into and around an inexpensive plastic wastebasket, and my job takes half the time. The bag is held wide open, and I no longer drop litter on the floor.

I also use the plastic litter-box liners, but have one cat that tears holes in them. When I change the litter, I now put two liners in the box. When the top one becomes too shredded, I clean the waste and pour the remaining litter into the bottom liner, which is another timesaver. -- Terrie S. in Indiana

BRACELET HOLDER

Dear Heloise: I have a dozen or more round bracelets, and they took up quite a bit of space on my jewelry stand. I came up with the idea of buying a kitchen paper-towel holder and placing them on the holder. It holds many bracelets, freeing up lots of space for more jewelry on my jewelry stand. -- Lorraine S. in Texas

EASY OPEN

Dear Heloise: I struggled to open a bottle of nail polish that was impossible to open. Also, I’ve had water bottles that were difficult to open. I found a perfect “tool”: I used an old-fashioned nutcracker, and it worked perfectly. -- Shirley M. in Texas

Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com. Please include your city and state.

, King Features Syndicate

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