Dear Heloise: I have a tiny kitchen in my condo, so when I want or need additional space to work in, I open one of the drawers and place a cutting board or cookie sheet over it. This allows me to work on something and to keep an eye on the stove where something is cooking. — Kathy S., Oak Hill, W.Va.
Tankless water heaters
Dear Readers: Quarantine has brought our focus into our homes. We’re spending so much time indoors; lots of people are looking around in their homes and thinking, hmmm — this needs an upgrade! And voila, we are doing home improvements. How’s your water heater situation? Can everyone in the house get a hot shower?
The solution may be a tankless water heater. Either a gas or electric tankless water heater heats water on demand, instead of holding water in reserve.
Tankless water heaters are smaller and more compact than a traditional water heater, and tankless water heaters can save money on your monthly household energy expenses. Talk to an expert in your area. — Heloise
Cereal box hint
Dear Heloise: Pounding or flattening meat or chicken using flimsy plastic wrap or bags can be messy. Instead, save and use the empty bags from cereal boxes. They are amazingly tough, stay in place and are air- and waterproof. Sealed with tape they make great storage/freezer bags too. — Russ B., Ashburn, Va.
A MOVING RECORD
Dear Heloise: When moving one’s household, carry your valuables with you. Or be sure to get an itemized list of the valuables from the mover that indicates the boxes where the valuables were packed. During our move six years ago, I neglected to do these things, and when our boxes were delivered, my $5,000 worth of sterling silver flatware was nowhere to be found. I spent months going back and forth with the insurance company, and at the end was told that they had no proof the flatware existed, so they could not reimburse me. It wasn’t just a financial loss, the 12 place settings were gifts from our wedding in 1986. — Cathy B., via email
Cathy, so sorry for the loss of the flatware. Taking pictures of your valuables can help also. — Hugs, Heloise
ON THE DIAGONAL
Dear Heloise: I found a kitchen drawer insert that fits in diagonally, instead of vertically, into the drawer. This is great because all sorts of tools and notions, rolling pins, scrapers, wooden spoons, etc. can fit into the drawer and be organized. — Carla S. in Pennsylvania
Dear Heloise: We have lived in several different homes (nine altogether), and I always kept a “House book,” which was just a large notebook. I took pictures of the houses we bought and of any renovations we made. That included when an improvement was made, such as a new roof, with the date and company who did the work. This also had the before and after pictures. When it came time to sell, we had an accurate accounting of our home, which helped us sell faster than most of our neighbors. — Anna D., Columbia, S.C.
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.