The Baltimore Sun

Around the house

When cleaning silverware, use a mild liquid silver polish, preferably one containing jeweler's rouge. If items are very tarnished, try a paste product, or have them professionally cleaned.

Cat owners can make guests who are allergic more comfortable by installing a HEPA filter on the heat pump. For even greater pet dander precaution, install an air purifier.

If any kitchen cupboards share a wall with the garage, prevent moisture from collecting inside the cupboards by addressing the source of the cold air that's leaking into the space. Check for air leaks, including in the basement wall below, and seal any you find. Make sure the ceiling is well insulated and, if possible, insulate the garage wall.

Make a list of projects to complete during the year. Include small but important chores so you won't overlook them, as well as big projects so you can budget for them.

In the yard

Clean and organize garage or shed. Make sure to sharpen and lubricate yard tools so they are ready for spring.

Dispose of old paint properly. To do this, add waste paint hardener to partial cans of latex paint. This is available at hardware stores and home centers. Cat litter works, too.

Clean lint from dryer exhaust ducts and vents to prevent fires.

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