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People’s Pharmacy: Seal attic ‘door’ lowers bills

Attic access can offer some great storage solutions. Pull-down stairs are fairly easy to operate and can make carrying things into your attic a lot easier to do, too. Hold the railing while you climb, and don’t carry too much at a time.

One drawback to having these types of stairs is that they also can be a source of air leaks in your air-conditioned or heated home. Take the time to add some weatherstripping around that “door.”

This is an inexpensive thing to do and, once completed, will save you money on your utility bills every month.


Q: We just had carpet installed in our bedroom. It’s nice and all, but the door seems to drag on it. Is there an easy fix for this? – C.T.

A: Ideally, you should take the door down and trim off a quarter-inch of the wood. Just seal this wood with paint and rehang it. This should be fairly easy to do with a circular saw.

Tips from readers

I like glow-in-the-dark paint and have used it in several spots in my home.

My favorite is on the lamp bases around the house. During the evening, the lamps are on, “charging” the paint.

When the lights go off at bedtime, the bases are lit up with the paint and they will stay “lit” for several hours. This would be great to do in kids’ rooms if you have children. – R.C.


My wife told me that our toilet was leaking. I had checked it several times in recent weeks, but I couldn’t find any leaks. Finally, I got there at the right time and could see that it was sweating, not leaking. I found some thin Styrofoam liner panels made to insulate a toilet tank and installed them.

This seems to work pretty well, and she has stopped complaining about the “leaks,” so I guess it solved the problem. – N.M.


We have a beach house and, because it’s located near drilling wells, we get some oil and tar tracked in every year. I’ve experimented with several cleaners and found that mayonnaise works better than anything else.

I keep a jar on hand at all times and feel great about letting the kids use it, too. – B.H.

A super hint

If you are going to paint a bunch of cabinets or a dresser and all of its drawers, number each of them, both on the door or drawer and on the cabinet. When it comes time to reinstall them, they will fit like a glove when matched properly.


Most standard kitchen cabinets are just boxes for storing items in a kitchen, no matter how much you spend on them. But to really get the most from your cabinets, you need to store things in an organized way. That’s where the company Shelves That Slide comes in handy. It provides a huge variety of organizers for just about every size and shape of kitchen cabinet. Most pieces are easy to install, and with the super guides they have available, can be done in just a few minutes with basic tools. Its products will add a lot of value to your kitchen, in addition to convenience and organization.

It also carries a lot of other goodies to make cooking in your kitchen a dream.

Go to and see what’s there. You also can get a catalog from them. You will be amazed at what you can do these days with a plain kitchen cabinet!

Super HandyMom tip

Personally, I don’t mind sanding, but I get a lot of questions from people who do and want to try to get around that part of a project. There is a deglosser that one can buy and “paint” on a surface that needs to be sanded. It helps the surface accept and hold the paint, and actually works pretty well.

So if you’re not into sanding, this is something you should try.

Have a question or a handy tip? Send it to The Super Handyman at Those of general interest will be used in future columns.