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Helpful Hints

By Heloise

This article was published May 27, 2014 at 2:20 a.m.

DEAR READERS: How often does your cellphone ring, but you don't recognize the number? Does it ring once but hang up before you answer? Before you call the number back, know that you could be the next victim of the one-ring cellphone scam, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

This scam counts on your curiosity, expecting you to call the number to find out who called. As soon as you call the number, you are put on hold and charged international phone rates and by-minute rates.

So, resist the urge to call back or even answer an unfamiliar number. Keep a close eye on your monthly phone bill.

DEAR HELOISE: When painting a room with a roller, often you want to do a second coat, and that means waiting a good 12 hours or until the next day. Rather than cleaning the roller, we roll it out well, then wrap it in plastic wrap and put it into the freezer. The next day, we take it out to thaw and repaint the wall. We've never had a problem, because it works really well.

-- Sally B. in Washington

DEAR HELOISE: After numerous moves in our younger days, my husband and I developed a hint that really helps when moving from one home to another.

I always had one large box that I labeled "Open Me First -- Kitchen." In it, I had the coffee maker, coffee, creamer, granola bars, paper plates, drink cups, a roll of paper towels, a set of sheets for the bed, towels for the bathroom, toilet paper and toiletries. I even put sleepwear and a change of clothes in the box, so no matter how late we finished moving in, we could shower and get a good night's sleep. We can then have coffee and a light breakfast before we start on all the other unpacking the next day.

-- Jude E. in Texas

DEAR HELOISE: When sewing, I put one of those advertising magnets under the arm of my sewing machine, with the magnet side up, to the right of the needle and footplate. When you take out the pins as you sew, just put them on the magnet, and they will stay put until you can place them back in a box. Saves you from finding them on the floor with your bare feet.

If you are working with one of the newer machines, be sure the magnet won't interfere with the computers.

-- Sharon B.

in Pennsylvania

DEAR HELOISE: If you are having trouble filling a double-sided medicine pill box, you can use a large bag clip. With the lids fully open on both sides, slide the clip over the two rows of lids. After the pill boxes have been filled, remove the clip and close the lids.

-- Ralph M. in Ohio

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

Style on 05/27/2014

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