Dear Heloise: I read a letter in your column about having too many keys. This prompted me to send in my own tip.
Have new locks set to use your old key. Our front-door knob died last year, and that meant separate keys for the front door, back door and garage. I asked a building-supply salesman to re-key the new one (many stores do this, as well as any lock service). It took 10 minutes, and there is no more juggling keys or getting old keys from family members and giving them new ones. David Austin, Franklin, Tenn.
David, thank you for reminding us of a simple way to avoid the frustration of changing keys when there's no need to. We checked with a locksmith, who said to make sure you purchase hardware that is compatible with the key you want to keep -- keys are usually brand-specific. Heloise
Dear Heloise: We were away for a week, and I dreaded coming home to the week's mail spread over the floor. We have a mail slot in our front door, which is convenient, because we never have to stop our mail.
Now when I travel, I put a clothes basket under the mail slot, and it works great. Thought other readers might like this information before they take long trips. Betty Doughty, Dallas
Dear Heloise: I have an excellent use for all of the plastic see-through garment bags that hold your dry cleaning. Take the end of the bag that has the opening for the hanger and tie it into a knot. Turn the knot-side down and use this as a trash bag for your bathroom trash bin or smaller trash cans in your home. Tighten the bag around the rim of the trash bin with another knot. A. Phimmasone, Fairfax, Va.
Dear Heloise: During winter months, all people who live in a cold climate -- young, middle-aged or elderly -- should put on a coat before going into their back yard or where people can't see them. That is especially important if they live alone or everyone is away.
I fell outside one night, and it could have been hours before my family found me. In that amount of time, I could have had serious hypothermia without the proper outerwear. Linda S., Bellevue, Neb.
Dear Heloise: The bathroom sink gets sprinkled with toothpaste or shaving cream and often looks a mess just a day after a cleaning. After washing my face with one of the disposable facial sheets, I give the porcelain a swipe. Everything comes right up. Julia in Virginia
Julia, you are right -- a quick swipe can help prevent a major cleanup later. Heloise
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