Helpful Hints

Posted: June 27, 2014 at 1:47 a.m.

DEAR HELOISE: I found a great use for the tiny, zippered plastic bags that hold an extra button and come with new articles of clothing. If I'm traveling for a few days, all of my pills will fit into one of those bags.

-- Deborah H.,

Nevada City, Calif.

DEAR READER: Deborah, that's a great way to recycle those little bags. If taking a road trip, this could work nicely. If flying, though, be cautious. The Transportation Security Administration has this to say regarding prescription medications: "Passengers are allowed to bring medications in pill or other solid form through security screening checkpoints in unlimited amounts, as long as they are screened. TSA does not require passengers to have medications in prescription bottles, but states have individual laws regarding the labeling of prescription medication with which passengers need to comply."

I would advise checking with the airport about prescription medications before arriving for your flight. It would be a hassle to be delayed or to be unable to take your medications.

DEAR HELOISE: I have had many convertibles. However, the tops now have a different material other than vinyl, which is more like a canvas. This material seems to attract more lint from the elements, leaving a spotted look. I have found that by using a lint roller on the top, it has picked up everything, and my convertible top looks terrific.

-- Eileen, via email

DEAR HELOISE: I was frustrated that I could not use the top of my washer and dryer as a continuous, large workspace for folding clothes, etc. Items kept falling in between them and behind them. Some manufacturers sell a "work surface" that fits over both of them, but it's expensive. Then I had a brainstorm. I bought an inexpensive, 3-by-5-foot foam floor mat at my local home-improvement store. With scissors, I was able to cut it to fit, and my problem was solved.

-- Kathy B. in San Antonio

DEAR READER: Kathy, this is such a wonderful solution to a problem that I think a lot of people have. And the best part: It's cheap and can be tailored to everyone's situation.

DEAR HELOISE: I was always losing the cap to my flash drive. It would fall between the cushions or on the floor, or I would forget where I had put it down. Finally, I solved my problem. I hot-glued one end of a long string to the cap and tied the other end to the lanyard I always keep the flash drive on. Now the cap is always there when I need it.

-- Maritta G.,

Frederick, Md.

DEAR HELOISE: Here is a quick-and-easy way to find the proper-length tablecloth. I hang mine on a hanger in the closet. I label each one with a note and a straight pin -- "no leaves," "one leaf," etc. This saves time when trying to find the correct tablecloth when company is coming to dinner.

-- Judy L.S.,

Somers, Wis.

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

MovieStyle on 06/27/2014