Dear Heloise: Want to make your guest room the best it can be? Stay in there yourself for several days. Bring what your houseguests might bring with them, including toiletries, and settle in.
If a couple will be staying in the room, is there a lamp on each side of the bed, as well as a spot to place personal items? Are there a few hangers in the closet? Is there room in the closet, and are there empty dresser drawers?
Put yourself in your guests' place, and you'll find out how you can make their stay a bit more comfortable and pleasant.
L.J. in The Villages, Fla.
L.J. in The Villages, Fla.: That's great advice. Now is the time to start getting your home ready for holiday guests!
Dear Heloise: What is the best way to make thick Egyptian towels more absorbent?
Frances W., via Internet
Frances W.: Here is a tried-and-true method I've used, and so did my mother:
● First, wash towels in warm water with only half of the normal amount of detergent and a cup of white vinegar.
● Do not use fabric softener, because that will make towels even less absorbent.
● To make towels even fluffier, add ½ cup baking soda and 1 cup vinegar, but no detergent, in warm water for colors and hot for whites.
● Dry in medium heat, not hot.
Dear Heloise: I carry a few headache pills and other meds in a pretty pillbox in my purse. If I ever forget what the medicine is, I can type the number etched or printed on the pill into the search engine on my phone — it will tell me what the medicine is and what it's used for.
Dana C. in Illinois
Dear Heloise: In the past, I saved all the packing peanuts that came in packages, but now everyone seems to use air-filled packaging of one kind or another. Unfortunately, many of those "bubbles" are already popped when the package arrives. Wadded-up newspaper goes flat and offers no protection for items in transit.
My solution is simple: I save all my empty water bottles with a tightfitting cap. I make sure they are washed and dried and never have liquid in them. This is an economical idea, and the water bottles can be stored in a box and kept in the garage. Make sure they are empty. After all, you wouldn't want to spring a leak.
A Woodsman, via email
Dear Heloise: Regarding use of prescription pill bottles: My neighbors and I collect empty pill bottles, remove the labels and donate them to no-kill shelters. The shelters clean and reuse them, thus saving the expense of purchasing them. All you have to do is call and ask the shelter if it would like to have the empty pill containers.
Barb C., via email