Around the house
* If draperies are wrinkled when hanging, spray with water using a plant mister; as moisture evaporates, fabric will smooth out.
* Place floor mats inside each door of your home to keep fallen leaves from being tracked inside. Shake out and vacuum mats regularly.
* Plug up openings around pipes and vents that lead outside with steel wool. This will prevent mice from entering your home.
* Vacuum pet hair from draperies. If you have a cat or dog that won't stay out of the window, spray curtains or draperies with anti-static spray. The fur will not cling to the fabric and can be brushed off more easily.
* To speed up cleaning, use a 25-foot-long extension cord with your vacuum cleaner; this will avoid interruptions of searching for an outlet and plugging and unplugging.
In the garden
* Plant a terrarium garden to fight the winter blahs. Mix 3 parts potting soil to 1 part crushed charcoal; place 1 inch of the mix in the bottom of a clear container. Select plants in variety of shapes and colors. Use kitchen tongs to set small plants in place. Tamp soil around roots and cover soil with a layer of ground fir bark. Spray with fine mist of water; do not overwater. Keep out of direct sunlight.