Storage tubs double as moving boxes, planters

DEAR HELOISE: Instead of using cardboard boxes to move, I purchased a number of deep plastic tubs with lids. They were great for storage after the move. When I no longer needed them for storage, I discarded the lids, cut out the bottoms, filled them with garden soil and planted herbs. Our climate supports the growth of the herbs nearly year-round, the spring blooms are beautiful, and I no longer have to pay for them at the grocery. – Judi in Arkansas

DEAR READERS: Other egg carton uses :

n Keep earrings and rings in one.

n Use as a paint palette for children.

n Store nuts and bolts in one.

n Sort beads.

n Start seedlings in one.

– Heloise

DEAR HELOISE: Using dusters daily and cleaning curtains briskly can help them retain their shape longer and delay having to dry clean them. Fostering a homeless pet who sometimes sought refuge curled behind curtains taught me this cleaning ritual. Sometimes, a lint roller is whisked on the floor to pick up seemingly invisible shed fur. – Margarette in Texas

DEAR HELOISE: I just wanted to provide you with a quick tip that I have tried and love. I place about 2 inches of cat box filler at the bottom of the kitchen trash bin. This way, should the garbage leak, the filler will absorb the smell and the mess. - Jennifer in New Jersey

DEAR JENNIFER: Here’s an added hint to try: Add baking soda to the filler for extra odor protection. I always keep baking soda on hand because there are so many uses for it and it is so cheap. I even wrote my Heloise’s Baking Soda Hints and Recipes pamphlet because baking soda is a must-have staple in any home. To receive one, send $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (65 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Baking Soda, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001.

Notice that your dishwasher smells funny? When not in use, sprinkle some baking soda in the bottom and leave until the next cycle washes it out, and use some as a hand scrub (with a little soap) after taking out the garbage. – Heloise

DEAR HELOISE: When the kids are sick, especially during flu season, it isn’t always so easy to kick the lovable bundle of germs out of the bed just to wash the sheets. Instead, I now change the pillowcases daily until the kids are feeling well. This makes them feel slightly better, and I feel better knowing I am cleaning what I can until they are well . – Ellen G. in Illinois

DEAR HELOISE: A reader suggested leaving the stove dome light on as a reminder that something is cooking. I use it as a reminder that something needs further attention, such as being placed in the refrigerator after it cools. – D.L. in Nebraska

Hints from Heloise is syndicated by King Features Syndicate. Send great hints to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000; by fax, 210-HELOISE (435-6473); or by e-mail,

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