DEAR READERS: Garages can become an awfully cluttered jumble with way too much stuff that’s been dumped inside, and that can also be a danger to your family and vehicles. Take these steps to get it all under control.

  1. Organize everything in containers by season — summer, winter, spring and fall — or organize by category — sports equipment, gardening, car repair and holiday decorations.
  2. Install hanging racks, pegboards and shelves to organize and store larger items up and out of the way.
  3. Keep garbage cans, lawn mowers and snow blowers in the same designated spots.
  4. Use fluorescent spray paint to outline parking spaces for cars and bikes.
  5. And remember, the right stuff in the right place. Show family members where everything belongs. Never leave rakes or bikes on the floor, where people could trip on them.

DEAR HELOISE: I have oily skin and blot my face throughout the day. Blotting tissues are expensive for the number of sheets in a package, so I make my own. Buy a package of good quality tissue (wrapping) paper and cut it into squares or rectangles. Use the shiny side to blot your face. It’s easy to make and use, and very inexpensive.

— Sharon Johnson, via email

DEAR READER: This is a good money-saving hint, and it solves a problem.

DEAR HELOISE: I have an older Honda, which is great, but the headlights became covered with an unattractive film that, I felt, also minimized their efficiency. I tried toothpaste and a paste I bought online, but neither worked. I heard a shop would fix the problem for $250! I just couldn’t accept that.

I decided to try a heavy-duty cleaner that I use for my glass-top stove, which I bought from a big-box store. Voila! It worked like a charm, and my headlights are now as good as new. And I saved $250.

— Bobbe Dannenbrink, Canandaigua, N.Y.

DEAR READERS: Here are several helpful hints and precautions that you can take to make sure renting a car is a good experience. When you get to your rented auto and before you leave the lot, walk around it to make sure there are no dents or scratches so you are not charged for those damages. Also, it might be a good idea when you rent it to take pictures of the car’s interior and exterior to have a record of the condition of the car. And one final hint: When you take pictures in the parking lot, you also can record the lot address, lane number or parking spot number.

DEAR HELOISE: I love English muffins but can’t (shouldn’t!) eat them all before they go stale. They freeze well, though. If you take the inner box out of the packaging, the outer plastic bag is perfect to wrap them in a tight stack so there’s less frost. I split them before freezing (with a fork, of course), then about 10 seconds in the microwave will thaw them just enough to separate the halves. And cucumbers and peppers last longer in the fridge, if you avoid letting them get damp or wet. Wrap each one in a paper towel, inside a loose plastic bag, and they’ll keep a week.

— Ellie Tupper, via email

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

[email protected]

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