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Sensible gift wrapping may be in the bag

Dear Heloise: When my daughter was getting married, I gave her a number of bulky items for her shower, including towels and plastic storage bowls.

As I shopped for wrapping supplies, I was disheartened at how expensive it would be to make a pretty presentation and that the wrapping paper would soon be trash. I spotted large reusable shopping bags — the shiny kind that stand on their own. They had a variety of bright designs to match my daughter’s style, fit her low-waste lifestyle and were rather inexpensive. A little tissue paper and ribbon added flair. Five years later, she still uses the bags in a variety of ways.

I have started doing the same with other gifts, including smaller novelty themed bags for children. There are a quite a variety, and it’s nice to know the “wrapping” will have extended use. — Irene in Ohio

REUSING ­CLEANING PADS

Dear Heloise: After I use one of those pre-moistened floor cleaning pads that attach to the mop, I turn the pad over and use the other side to clean the baseboards. This is a time- and money-saver! — Cathy in Texas

Cathy, great idea! I love getting the most out of a product. — Heloise

CLEANING MINIBLINDS

Dear Heloise: I found an easy way to really clean my metal miniblinds. I fill my bathtub with soapy, warm water and lay the blinds in the water for about 20 to 30 minutes. I then let about half of the water drain from the tub and scrub the blinds with a car wash brush that has an extension pole. Then I rinse them in the tub and take them outside to dry in the sunlight. Using the long-handled brush makes the job easier and saves my back. — Harold in Louisiana

FRESHEN DRAPES

Dear Heloise: To freshen my drapes, I put them in the dryer with a dyer sheet on a cool or air-dry setting. They come out smelling fresh and free from cat hair and dust. This is a good way to freshen drapes when there’s very little time to do anything else with them. — Donna in New York

MIND YOUR MEDS

Dear Readers: If you are taking medications and are planning to travel, here are a few things to keep in mind:

* Make a list of all medications you’re taking, including the dosage.

* Bring enough of each medication to last the length of the trip and maybe a day or two extra, just in case.

* Keep medications in the original containers with their labels from the pharmacy.

* Always bring your medications with you in a carry-on bag if you are flying. — Heloise

POEM POWER

Dear Heloise: When I’m feeling blue, I reach for a favorite poem. It always lifts my spirits and gives me encouragement. — Lolly in Texas

Lolly, we all need a lift now and then, and there is something very calming about poetry. — Heloise

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Hints from Heloise run occasionally in Lifestyles. Readers may send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE, or email: Heloise@Heloise.com. Letters won’t be answered personally.

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