I'm So Clever

Pretty cool: tape measure shows you the center point

The winner: I Googled “calendar 2014,” printed the one-page year-at-a-glance, and put it in a pretty frame on my desk. It takes up very little space and I can readily observe all the months and holidays. Mary Lou Knox, Charlotte

A Clever find for the math-impaired

So you’re working on a home improvement project and need to find the halfway point on a wall or board. Quick, what’s half of 11 feet, 5 inches? The Center Find tape measure shows you it’s 68.5 inches in a blink. The inch measure at the top corresponds with the half point at the bottom of the tape. This may not be an issue for the handy among us, but if you struggle to get the math right in even the simplest home projects, this may be for you. It comes in two lengths: 16 feet ($14.99) and 25 feet ($19.99). Coming to Home Depot soon, or now online at www.UTRDecorating.com. Clever staff

Rice-filled sock provides soothing heat or cold

One of the best solutions I have found for aches and pains, I discovered when I injured my back and needed heat and cold. I tried heating pads and other electric gadgets but nothing really worked. Then I filled a long sock with rice (cheapest I could find), leaving it a bit saggy. Heating it for about 3 minutes in the microwave gives you a wonderfully flexible heating source. You can freeze it for cold compresses as well. It’s the least expensive alternative too!

Carol Hardin, Indian Trail

New prize: ‘I’m So Clever’ book

Send your clever tip, address and phone to clever@charlotteobserver.com 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 www.charlotteobserver.com/clever for just $5.99, plus shipping. Also available at Park Road Books, Blackhawk Hardware and the General Store in Belmont.