• When preparing outdoor furniture for winter storage, it’s important to give it a good cleaning. If you have a truck, why not load it up and take it to the local self-serve car wash? The specialized brushes make it easy to clean right there in the back of the vehicle, and a pressure rinse gets soap and dirt from all the nooks and crannies. — JoAnn
• “While at a backyard barbecue now that the weather has turned nice out (down in the South, anyway), I learned this trick from a neighbor. Put hot dogs in the slow cooker. Don’t add water or anything. They taste really good without taking up space on the grill.” — J.V. in Alabama
• To keep algae from growing in your backyard birdbath, add a few copper pennies. Or you can get a small piece of copper pipe from the home-improvement store. It keeps the algae from getting out of control.
• When you need an extra garbage bag, like during a party or while doing lawn chores, try this cool trick: Use a large pop-up laundry bin, and line it with a lawnand leaf garbage bag. Use chip clips to secure it at the top if you need to.
• “We keep a regular-size galvanized steel trash can with lid out on our deck for the kids’ toys. It’s big enough to hold everything, convenient enough to drag around the yard to clean up, and the lid protects the toys from the weather and bugs!” — W.K. in Illinois
(c) 2013 King Features Synd.