Now here’s a tip
• When packing cookies in a single layer, I trace the shape of my container on parchment paper using the lid as a template. It’s pretty easy, and it fits exactly.
• Keep a small wastepaper basket or shredder near your home’s entrance, if possible. You can get rid of paper items you don’t need — think, junk mail — before it even makes it into the house. This is especially important if you tend to let things pile up, like I do! — R.F. in Louisiana
• For scratch paper, I use the back side of my kids’ extra art pages. We choose the best to display, then they chop up the rest into small booklets, which they staple at the top. And we have notepads! — M.L. in Iowa
• Keep a map or globe in your family or TV room. This way, when a place is mentioned on the news or in another program, you can find it quickly on the map. This is a great thing to do with kids, but it’s handy and worthwhile for anyone. M.A., via email
• If you have a very stinky trash can, scrub it with a paste made from baking soda and just a bit of water. It works as a mild abrasive. Then fill a spray bottle with plain white vinegar and spray. It should foam for a moment. Let it sit for about 10 minutes, then rinse well with hot water. Clean and deodorized!