Reena Nerbas: Efficient storage for bed sheets; fixing scratches on wood

Dear Reena: I live in a small apartment with limited space. Do you have any ideas for storing sheets so that they take up less room?


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Here are a few storage options to consider: Fold the fitted sheet and then fold the flat sheet and one pillow case into a small square. Put all three pieces inside the last pillow case and fold it in half. Now you have a neat bundle that stays together. When you want that particular set of sheets just pull down one pillow case and they are all inside, waiting for use. Or lay sheets between the box spring and the mattress. Another option is to fold sheets and hang them in the closet. Or put extra sheets in an empty suitcase.

Dear Reena: I own a large coffee table made of wood. The table is full of scratches and I can’t afford to purchase a new table. Is there any way to hold onto my table without dishing out a wad of cash?


Option No. 1: Fill in the scratches with a colour-match wood filler pencil/crayon specifically designed to hide scratches. Option No. 2: Wipe a rag with matching stain over wood to hide scratches. Have a piece of smoked glass cut and smoothed to fit the wood. Glass cutters can often include rubber feet for each corner so that the glass can’t slide out of position. The glass will hide the scratches. Option No. 3: Have a piece of wood cut to fit the size of the table, cover the wood with fabric by securing it with a staple gun and place it over the table. Option No. 4: Sand and re-stain the table.

Dear Reena: We have a two-storey slab on grade home. The main living area is on the first floor where we have an open fireplace. On the ground floor we have a wood-burning stove. Both fires are served by a single exterior masonry chimney with a separate flue for each unit. The problem is that in cool, damp weather the flue for the wood burner backdrafts and we end up with an acrid smell in the house. We have tried putting in a new stove, stuffing paper in the door and latching it and we have tried bowls of kitty litter in the stove without success. Do you have any suggestions?


Cosy up in front of a woodstove on a frigid day and you won’t want to leave your home, but sometimes, the unwelcome smell of a woodstove can send you running. You were smart to replace the older wood stoves with an airtight model that will reduce harmful emissions because even if you wisely and thoroughly clean the stove box often, any traces of ashes will fill the room with odour. Here are a few additional solutions to try: Close the damper whenever not in use. Add a top sealing damper and a tight-fitting glass fireplace screen. Pouring vinegar into the box of the screen will not be strong enough to combat the odour that is coming from the pipe and sides and top of the box. Proper sealing is your best solution.

Did You Know?

Instead of making one large meatloaf, make meatloaf in muffin tins. This looks better and freezes wonderfully so that you can keep meatloaf on hand in your freezer. Judy

Note: Every user assumes all risks of injury or damage resulting from the implementation of any suggestions in this column. Test all products on an inconspicuous area first.

Reena Nerbas is a motivational presenter for large and small groups; check out her website: Ask a question or share a tip at

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