Dear Heloise: I remove most of my boxes from my FREEZER. If your freezer is like mine, most of the boxes aren't full. It's easier to store single items than a half-empty box of ice cream bars, for example. -- Roy R., via email

One thing to be aware of? There can be important info printed on the box: the ingredients list, recipes, the Nutrition Facts panel, and the contact number and address for the company.

You can cut off the panel of the box and band it together with the items. -- Heloise

DRINK CARRIERS

Dear Readers: The plain cardboard drink carriers (with a handle) that you get from the takeout window? Don't throw them away. Here are some uses for them:


Organize hairbrushes, hair ties, hair spray and other "hair stuff" on a dresser.
Combine crayons, pencils and art supplies for toddlers.
Hold a remote and other random knickknacks in the den.
Use to carry gardening tools once the weather warms up.

If you must discard it, put it in the recycle bin, or tear it up for the compost pile. -- Heloise

FLOSS BOSS

Dear Heloise: Before I floss, I run a bead of toothpaste down the floss. The fluoride gets in on the sides of my teeth. -- Ben R. in Pennsylvania

Experts agree that flossing is critical to good oral health. Do you brush first and then floss? You should, because there will be "leftover" toothpaste in your mouth that can go to work in between teeth.

Your "bead method" is a good one too, Ben. Ask your dentist and hygienist what they recommend. -- Heloise

BOTTOM DWELLER

Dear Heloise: I store thawing meat on the bottom shelf in the fridge. It's colder, and there's no chance of juices dripping down on other foods. -- Bethany W. in Indiana

WHAT GOES AROUND ...

Dear Readers: One of my favorite cheapo cleaners is actually bargain hair shampoo! It won't break the bank, but it will break up greasy stains. One stain that's easy to clean? Ring around the collar.

Run a thin line of shampoo on the inside neckband. Rub in gently, let sit and rinse. Launder as usual. Keep cheap hair shampoo on hand, and use as a safe cleaner. -- Heloise

THIS LITTLE LIGHT OF MINE

Dear Heloise: It's difficult to find something tiny that's fallen on the floor -- for example, one really small screw.

I place a flashlight on the floor and shine its beam across the floor. This makes tiny objects on the floor stand out by lighting them up and by casting a shadow. -- Rhonda, via email

WREATH STORAGE

Dear Heloise: I have three wreaths to store until next year. I didn't want to put them in a bin, as this messes them up, and they don't look as good the following year.

I put the wreaths on a curtain rod I wasn't using and then put the rod ends on coat hangers in the closet. This worked wonderfully! -- Becky G., Honobia, Okla.

Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com. I can't answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.