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Super Handyman: Get organized with cup hooks

Those inexpensive cup hooks that are available at the hardware store, and even the grocery store, are great for keeping things organized in the home and garage. You can screw one into an open tube of caulk so you can hang it up and out of the way. Screw one into your broom or rake and make it easy to hang these up on a nail or hook in the garage. You even can screw one into the end of your hammer and hang it up near your workbench.


Q: I need your help. I have a set of concrete furniture that is in our front yard. It’s mostly decorative, but has enough mold on it that it’s not too decorative right now. How can I clean off the mold? – R.J.

A: You’ll need to be careful not to damage the plants and grass in the area. Bleach and water (50 percent solution) will kill the mold, and a scrub brush will scrub off what’s on the surface. Once clean, apply a water seal to keep the mold from coming back. You’ll probably have to do this once a year, but that should keep it under control.

Tips from readers

I tried using a chisel to cut through a brick when I was installing our patio. It was a total failure, so I decided to switch to my rotary tool. I got a cutting wheel and started cutting all around the brick, and sure enough, it broke evenly. It wasn’t as quick, but after doing a dozen or so, I was very happy with the results. I only broke one more unevenly, but was still able to use it. My joints are tight and it looks really nice. – H.W.


We are getting ready to go out of town and are doing some things around our house to make it look more like we are there while away. We have several of our lamps hooked up to timers now. We tried to set them to come off and on about the same time as they do when we are at home. The bedroom lamp comes on at 5 a.m., and the lamp in the family room comes on at 8 p.m. We plan to add one to the home office, as well. We feel that it’s one of the least expensive things we can do to keep up appearances. – P.O.


Ever since my back went out, I’ve tried to find ways to still do what I want and need to do in my yard, but without hurting my back anymore. Now, when I need to move heavy bags of fertilizer and mulch, I set them right on top of my mower. The mower is easy to roll around the yard and carries the load just fine, and it’s easier to use than a wheelbarrow. – S.D.

A super hint

If you need to fit two pieces of pipe together and are having trouble doing it, rub some liquid soap around the fittings, and they will slide together much easier. You’ll be amazed. When you are finished, wash off the soap.

Super HandyMom tip

If you have a porch or patio railing that is too large to keep your kids or pets from getting through, you need another layer of protection. Try the temporary plastic fencing that you can buy from your home improvement center. This stuff is inexpensive and can be secured in place with cable ties.


We all know that in order to be safe when working outdoors, you should have your power equipment plugged into a GFCI-protected outlet.

If you don’t have one handy, you can add one by simply installing a plug-in model between your electrical outlet and your extension cord. It’s just that simple, and you’ll be protected from accidental shock. Take a look at the supply at your hardware store or home center. To find out more, take a look at the model that I use if I need one.

It’s called the Quad Box, by TMC, and it allows me to plug four tools into it and has an easy-to-get-to reset button, as well as an on-and-off switch. Find out more at