* Clean vinyl miniblinds. Hang on outdoor clothesline and hose down to remove dust. If grimy, clean with mild detergent, rinse and wipe dry. A damp fabric-softener sheet wiped on slats will eliminate some of the static that attracts dust.

* Use three-way bulbs in table and floor lamps to save energy. The highest wattage of light should be used only when extra light is needed for reading or close work; the middle range can be used for general room illumination; the lowest used to brighten hallways during the night or ease eyestrain while watching TV.

* Before painting a room, glue a paper plate underneath each can of unopened paint. This will catch spills, which would normally run onto newspapers being used to protect floors, but end up stuck to the cans.

* Prepare for winter. Apply rustproofing paint to metal items that stay outdoors all winter. Lubricate and adjust the garage door. Make sure heating system is working.

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