published Saturday, June 8th, 2013

Consumer Watch: With school out, glean papers, artwork


by Ellen Phillips

Today's column is the third installment of the yearly storage ideas, courtesy of ShopSmart, arm of Consumer Reports. As school systems around our area get out for summer vacation this time of year, it's appropriate that the article starts with artwork and school papers.

If your fridge is like that in many homes, it's covered with the kiddies' artwork, and budding Picassos or Monets wouldn't be too thrilled to consign these masterpieces to the trash heap. So first, weed out the samples to which your child is no longer attached. Secondly, ask your young artist to pick out the five to 10 pieces he or she wishes to save. (Use this plan for school projects, too.) Store these articles in a portfolio, labeled with the child's name and school year, and place it in the back of a closet or in the attic.

Backpacks and lunch boxes may be reused next school year so it's important they be cleaned well and stored appropriately. After washing each item, air them out in the sunshine. Then, place them in a storage tote (discussed in the previous two storage columns) and label the tote "Back to School." If you have no room to store a tote, then place the clean and aired lunch box inside the clean and aired backpack and hang it on a large hook on the side or rear of your child's closet.

And while wool rugs don't really "go" with school topics, they still need storage during warm weather. ShopSmart suggests cleaning and vacuuming the rug first to keep it from having deep creases and then wrapping it n a large plastic bag. The best place to store rugs is on a garage shelf or in the attic.

Ellen Phillips is a retired English teacher who has written two consumer-oriented books. Her Consumer Watch column appears every Saturday. Email her at consumer watch@timesfree press.com.

about Ellen Phillips...

Ellen Phillips is a retired English teacher who has written two consumer-oriented books. Her Consumer Watch column appears on Saturdays in the Business section of the paper. An expanded version is at www.timesfreepress.com under Local Business.

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