• Be sure to comb the leftovers from back-toschool sales. Pick up supplies that will need to be replenished as the school year moves on. Also, there are many imaginative pencil cases that can double as travel jewelry and makeup bags. Often you can pick up several at a good price.
• “Just after Labor Day, our family starts to think about who will host holiday dinners and such. We do it in a lottery. Whoever just hosted is exempt if they want to be. The rest of those who’d like to host a holiday event put their names in a pot and we pick out names. The events are the usuals, like Christmas and Thanksgiving, but also a cookie-making party and the children’s party. It’s better than one person always having to do it, or always getting to do it.” — E.D. in Massachusetts
• If you’re getting your outdoor furniture ready for storage, here’s a great cleaning idea. Load it all in the back of a truck, take it to a self-serve car wash and clean with the pressure hoses. Let dry and it’s ready.
• “Dust books with a vacuum assist! I put the leg of a panty hose over my vacuum wand and secure it tightly. Then I dust my bookshelves, holding the wand close by to suck up the dust that gets disturbed. It’s less messy, I think. I still dust from the top down.” — L.K. in Ohio
• To make your own disinfecting wipes, cut paper towels into four squares each. Saturate with a half alcohol, half water mix and store in a plastic freezer bag or a diaper-wipe container. You can use these to clean telephones and doorknobs during cold and flu season.
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