Dear Heloise:

Recently, your column had a suggestion to use florist's gum on the backs of pictures to keep them straight. I have been doing this since the late '70s. It isn't sticky, and it comes off painted and papered walls without leaving any damage, even after being left for years. It can be used alone to hang light objects. I had our children use it instead of tape to put up pictures and posters on their walls, and they could change them often without causing wall damage.

Chuck Hohn

Mora, Minn.

Dear Heloise:

When putting curtains on a drapery rod, here's what I do to make sure they go on smoothly:

Put an inexpensive sandwich bag over the end of the rod, then slide the curtain onto the rod. I have found this especially helpful when hanging sheer or lace curtains, which tend to "hang up" often.

B.B.

Port Aransas, Tex.

Dear Heloise:

Spring-cleaning time is here, and this is a neat trick I use to scrub my walls: Instead of washing them down with my hands and a sponge, to avoid splinters from paneling or gouges from protruding nails, I use a sponge mop.

Another trick -- when those gallon plastic jugs are empty, I rinse them out and cut the bottoms off to cover small tomato, pepper or other plants when there's a chance of frost.

Connie Leonard

Harrisburg, Pa.Dear Heloise:

I have found this to be helpful: Whenever I write an appointment date on my calendar, I also write the telephone number below it. That way, if I have to call to change or cancel an appointment, I have the number handy and don't have to look it up in the phone book.

Jan from Illinois

Saving just a minute or two while looking up phone numbers can be helpful during a busy morning. Another hint: Staple the actual appointment slip (if you have one) to your calendar as an additional reminder. This would also help others in your household to remember appointments, etc.

Send a money- or time-saving 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 when faxing or using e-mail. I can't answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.(c)2003, King Features Syndicate