Dear Heloise: I decided to clean out my SAFETY-DEPOSIT BOX, and when I went to get the key, I couldn’t find it! It’s been a few years since I had been to my safety-deposit box. It cost me $150 to have the box rekeyed. The sad part is, there really wasn’t anything important in the box! -- Gable in New York City

Oh my, yikes and ouch! A little “lost” key can cause havoc and cost mucho! When you have time, go through all the keys in your household. Keys that don’t belong to anything you have anymore (or you aren’t sure about) can be put on the “old keys” ring or recycled.

It’s also a good idea to keep a copy of everything you have in your safety-deposit box and make sure to visit at least once a year to go through the items. Make a “what’s in the box” list to keep at home or give to a trusted relative.

Be sure to stay current paying rental fees, and if you move, notify the bank with a change of address. -- Heloise

P.S.: The freezer is a “safe” place to keep important papers. Use a sturdy, plastic zip bag and label clearly.


Dear Heloise: I enjoy reading your daily column in the Ventura County (Calif.) Star. I read the “paint tray is in the bag” suggestion, which prompted sharing this hint:

In many cases when painting, a second coat is required, or a larger project may extend over a few days. My hint is to place wet brushes and rollers in a well-sealed, zippered plastic bag between uses, and store them in a separate area of the refrigerator. This eliminates the messy and time-consuming need to clean brushes/rollers. This hint has always worked well for me! -- Greg Kennedy, Oxnard, Calif.

Thanks for the hint. Be sure to double-bag the brushes, and even better than the refrigerator, keep them in the freezer. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: Here’s another hint about keeping identification on you, even when walking: For those who don’t have pockets, I came up with another idea. Remember all of those free address labels charities send? I stick one where it’s visible on my clothing when walking, and it’s easily removed before washing. -- Priscilla in Florida


Dear Heloise: It’s just my husband and me in the house now, and we don’t fill up the dishwasher daily. So, I will take a shelf out of the refrigerator, and an extra pot and pan or something else that needs to be cleaned, and put it in the dishwasher so I have a full load. This saves energy, a little money and helps me keep things clean around the house. -- Kim in Ohio

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

, King Features Syndicate