The winner: Recently, I had some back surgery, which required I wear two drains for a week (a common situation after surgery). Rather than pin them to my clothing, I stopped at a home improvement store and purchased a nail apron for a few dollars. The apron is designed to tie around your waist and has three pockets. I put a drain in each pocket, and it was much easier to carry them around. Now that the drains are removed, I still wear the apron and keep my cellphone, glasses and other “losable” items in it! My doctor’s office loved the idea when I shared it. Margaret Railey, Harrisburg
Greeting cards make great note paper
I receive so many cards during the year that I can’t stand to throw them away. I tear off the front when the reverse side is blank and write my grocery lists, to-do lists, etc. on them. It recycles and saves money. Kitten Moser, Monroe
Tape trick protects stylish fingernails in dishwater
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Are the pull-down spouts on your dishwasher detergent boxes doing a number on your manicure? Here’s a solution: When you first open the box, wipe off the spout and then apply a 3-inch piece of tape, with about a half-inch attached to the inside, then fold most the remaining tape together to create a tab, leaving a half-inch to tape to the outside of the spout. Lynn Kopf, Davidson
‘I’m So Clever’ book
Send your clever tip, address and phone to email@example.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.