I'm So Clever

Spice container makes perfect travel makeup case

The winner: To create my own travel-size case for my face powder, I place several spoonfuls into a small, clean plastic spice container. This makes for compact packing! Pamm Cantey, Charlotte

Zip bag keeps phone dry

I love to walk, rain or shine, and always have my cellphone for safety or taking wildlife photos. In a downpour, however, my phone can get pretty wet, even in my pocket. So if rain is threatening, I simply put my cellphone in a Ziploc bag to keep it absolutely dry. Elise Canipe, Huntersville

Dot marks the spot for easy plugging

Some electronic devices and household appliances need to be plugged in a certain way to line up with the socket. And in tight spots behind a sofa or dresser, it’s tough to see the receptacle. So I place a white spot on the top side to line up the plug. With the computer, USB ports or Ethernet ports need proper alignment and a spot helps to get the plug in the proper position, too. Ken Remley, Charlotte

Muffin pan slows chow hound

Lucy, my Australian cattle dog, ate her dry food too quickly, as do many other pets. Instead of buying specialty bowls to try to slow her eating, I came up with an even better idea. Using a metal muffin tin with 12 cups, she sometimes becomes tired of eating before she finishes all 12 cups. The metal tin also is heavy enough to keep from turning over causing a mess. And it’s a lot cheaper than specialty dog bowls! Cathy Coats. Fort Mill

Win an ‘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 and Blackhawk Hardware.