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Thompson: Try office storage items in your kitchen
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Here's a great kitchen storage tip. Use a slotted metal file holder from your office to store thin items like baking sheets and cutting boards. It actually looks kind of cool on your kitchen counter. Just make sure you remove it before your boss comes to visit.

Is your dishwasher starting to have a funny smell? If so, give this a shot. Put a bowl in the bottom tray of the dishwasher right side up. Fill the bowl with three cups of vinegar. Run the dishwasher through a normal cycle with no other dishes in it. The smell should be gone. If not, try it again.

It's that time of year when you'll get return address labels sent to you. Hang on to them. They're great for putting on books, DVDs and CDs that you loan to people.

If cutting onions makes you cry, put them in your refrigerator about a half hour before you need to cut them. The cold reduces the amount of fumes that are released.

If you've ever pulled a Shop Vac around by the hose, you know that invariably the hose will pop off. The solution to this is pretty simple. Just take a rope and tie it on the hose several feet away from where it connects to the vacuum. Next tie the other end of the rope to the bottom of vacuum. If there isn't a good place to tie it, install an eye bolt on the vacuum and then attach the rope to it. Now when you pull on the hose, you're actually pulling the bottom of the vacuum. Works like a charm!

Tip for those of you who eat at Shane's Rib Shack: When you order your food they give you a plastic laminated card with a number on it. You're supposed to put the card on a metal stand that's on your table. When the servers bring your food out, they look for your number. The system works well, but there's only one problem. The laminated cards slip out of the metal holder. The next time you're eating there, remember this tip, cut off a small piece of your napkin and put it at the bottom of the card. Now slide the card with the piece of napkin into the metal holder. You'll impress your fellow diners with your ingenuity.
Note to Shane's management: You could easily solve this problem by putting a piece of duct tape at the bottom of the laminated card. OK, if you think the silver duct tape is too tacky, you can also get it in white and yellow and it'll match your sign. (The tip man is just trying to make the world a better place.)

Tim Thompson lives in Gainesville. E-mail Tim your ideas for tips, tools or tricks.