Dear Heloise: What to do with all those owner's manuals you receive with each new purchase? Punch them with a three-hole punch and keep in a three-ring binder. Before filing away, write the model number and serial number on the inside cover of the manual and attach the sales receipt. Now you know exactly when each item was purchased and from where.

Additionally, most owner's manuals have a blank page or two at the back. I keep a record of problems, dates and solutions on these pages. I have indexes in the binder separating rooms in the house. Manuals for items in a particular room are filed accordingly.

This also is a good place for keeping warranty information. For those manuals and/or warranties that are too small to punch, most office-supply stores carry a three-hole-punched pouch with a fastener that can be put in the binder. All those small items can be kept in it.

And here's another hint: Instead of spending a lot of money on those clear-plastic shoe boxes, a cheaper way to keep boxed shoes straight is to take a digital photo of them. Paste a copy of the printed picture on the end of the shoe box, and you'll always know which pair of shoes is inside. —Carolyn Fobes, North Richland Hills, Texas

Carolyn, you are one organized gal! Manuals do seem to multiply with all of the new gadgets available. —Heloise

Dear Heloise: Many times when traveling, I have forgotten my shampoo in the shower at the hotel/motel. Now when I unpack my toiletries, I leave the cap for the shampoo bottle on the sink next to my toothbrush. That reminds me to check behind the shower curtain for my shampoo as I pack up to leave in the morning. —Barbara Hotinski, via e-mail

Dear Heloise: Recently, my husband was away from home, and I was uneasy about staying home alone with no burglar alarm. My daughter suggested that I put my car keys next to my bed so that I could press the panic button in case someone tried to get into the house. I gave it a couple of trial runs to make sure that it worked. It did! The car horn may have frightened someone away! —J.Y. in Tupelo, Miss.

Send a great hint to: Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000; fax: 210-435-6473; e-mail: © King Features Syndicate Inc.