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I’m so clever


St. Jude’s wants to recycle your Christmas cards

I'm So Clever
What a smart stocking stuffer! More than 450 thrifty tips from readers are compiled in our 'I'm So Clever' book that is on sale now.

I'm So Clever
I'm So Clever is compiled by Observer assistant features editor Roland Wilkerson. Send your tip, name, address and phone by email or mail to Home Section, Charlotte Observer, P.O Box 30308, Charlotte, N.C. 28230.

The winner: Clever has gotten lots of suggestions for reusing greeting cards, here’s a new one, courtesy of Amelia Gardner, of Lancaster, S.C. She donates them to St. Jude’s Ranch for Children, which recycles them into new cards to support their programs for abused and homeless children.

If you’re interested in donating, here are some important directions from St. Jude’s: Hallmark, Disney, and American Greetings do not allow their cards to be used. “Therefore, we ask that BEFORE you remove the front cover of the card (to send in) that you look at the back of the card and confirm that you are NOT sending” cards from those companies. St. Jude’s prefers 5-by-7-inch cards or smaller and cannot use cards with personal handwriting on the back of the front cover. Printing from the card company is acceptable, just no handwriting. Send your recycled cards to: St. Jude’s Ranch for Children, Recycled Card Program, 100 St. Jude’s Street, Boulder City, NV 89005. They note that flat-rate U.S. Post Office boxes are the cheapest for sending large amounts.

Beach bag on hook holds former mudroom supplies

My family has always kept the sunscreen and bug spray in our mudroom so we don’t forget it on our way out. But when we downsized, we needed a new place close to the back door to store those items. Our tiny half-bath was closest to the door, but the even-tinier cabinet under the sink was not large enough to hold those items. So, I put some decorative hooks on one wall and hung a cute beach bag on the hooks. Now we have a place for all of that stuff, and it is hidden in the beach bag that looks like it is a decoration! Beth Gutt, Monroe

New Prize: ‘I’m So Clever’ book.

Send your clever tip, address and phone to or Home Section, Charlotte Observer, P.O Box 30308, Charlotte, NC 28230-0308. Each week the best idea wins an “I’m So Clever” book. You can order a copy at for just $5.99, plus shipping. Also available at Park Road Books, Blachhawk Hardware and the Belmont General Store.

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