Dear Heloise: I have a pet peeve when shopping that maybe you can answer. When I'm looking for a specific spice or can of soup, the choices are endless. My eyes go from right to left, top to bottom.

By the time I find what I'm looking for, I've got a headache. Why don't stores alphabetize these items?

— Sharon K., Reading, Penn.

Sharon K.: The premium shelf space at the grocery store (which usually means eye level) is where product manufacturers want their goods, and they pay the retailer to have their products placed there.

If you can see it quickly, you will be more apt to grab it and put it in your basket. Although, your alphabet idea does sound like a good way to organize merchandise!

P.S. Have you noticed? Grocery stores place staple items such as bread and milk at the back of the store, which demands that we walk past all the other aisles and shelves of items — more temptation! One solution? Prepare a list and stick to it!

Dear Readers: What’s a web browser? To use the Internet, you will need a web browser. A web browser is your pathway to everything on the Internet.

There are a couple of brand names of web browsers that are popular. Most computers come with web browsers already installed. News websites, email, videos, shopping, social media — everything is at your fingertips. What did we ever do before the Internet?

Dear Heloise: After cleaning my CPAP ("CPAP" stands for "continuous positive airway pressure." It's a medical device that can help keep your nose and mouth open so you can breathe better when sleeping.), there was still slime in the corners of my water reservoir. I put it in the freezer for an hour. Did I kill the germs, or did I waste my time?

— Butch, Huntington, Ind.

Butch: Unfortunately, no, you didn’t kill the germs. But this is a good lesson for everybody. Cleaning and drying the unit is important. The American Sleep Association ( says rinsing the CPAP with plain water is fine, but you must let the equipment dry thoroughly, and the hoses and filters need to be replaced regularly.

P.S. The freezer won’t kill germs; the most it could do is slow reproduction.

Dear Heloise: I found a wallpaper sample book in a backroom. I thought it would make a colorful and fun scrapbook!

I'm having fun cutting and pasting old pictures, fabric swatches, buttons and letters. It's a great memory maker!

— Doris in Ohio

Dear Heloise: My kids love spaghetti, but it can be messy to eat, so I cut the spaghetti into small pieces with a pair of kitchen shears before I cook it. No more mess!

— Rachel in Florida

Heloise’s column appears six days a week at Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or email it to

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