Dear Heloise: In July 2020, we experienced devastating water damage to our home of over 30 years while we were on vacation. We learned many things during the process of working with our insurance company. We were out of our house for 10 months due to severe damage to all of our bathrooms and much of our living area. When we first returned back to the house, I took pictures of ALL of the damaged areas. We continued taking pictures throughout the restoration process. Using those pictures, we were able to work with our insurance adjuster to make sure we were reimbursed for restoration back to pre-flood conditions.
A flood or, even worse, a major fire can be emotionally devastating. To make working with your insurance company easier, a complete set of pictures prior to a catastrophe will help both your readers and their insurance companies. Without pictures, it is difficult to remember what you had and provide proof.
Each homeowner or renter should take a complete set of pictures of every room, every special feature, furniture and belongings. Open all drawers, cabinets and closets. This might take some time. But if it’s ever needed, these pictures will be invaluable. Be sure to store the pictures in a safe and secure location.
Similar to one of your recent letters, we sorted through all of our belongings returned from storage. We made three piles — throw away, give away and keep. I now know what I have and have gotten rid of boxes and boxes of items no longer needed or wanted. Our adult children will thank us when they have to clean out our home. — Lore, Fullerton, California
Lore, thank you for sharing your awful experience and for giving my readers great advice in preventing and handling a home crisis like this. — Heloise
BUY ONLINE AND SAFETY
Dear Heloise: Many of us enjoy searching Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, etc., for items that we are interested in. After receiving the seller’s address, I pull up the address and can see the house or business. This gives me more security in where I am going, or if it is a place that I would not be comfortable visiting. —John, West Milton, Ohio
John, this is excellent safety advice. Do get extra information before you go into an unknown place. — Heloise
REUSING TISSUE BOXES
Dear Heloise: Empty tissue boxes can be saved and reused in the following ways:
— In the kitchen for saving grocery receipts.
— On the dryer for collecting lint cleaned from the trap.
— Near the new tissue box to collect used tissues, rather than stuffing them in your pocket.
— On a child’s dresser to collect hair bands and barrettes.
— On a desk or workstation to hold pens, colored pencils, markers, etc. — Fran B., Kent, Connecticut
Dear Heloise: I learned this lesson when caring for my aged mom. When you are prescribed a new medicine, you are not required to purchase all the pills at one time (which can be expensive, especially if they don’t work for you or go unused). Just tell the pharmacist that you want a certain number of pills. In most cases (except for narcotics), they will fill part of a prescription for you, which you can complete at a later date. — Barbara O., via email
Hints from Heloise run occasionally in Lifestyles. Readers may send a hint to Heloise, PO Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE, or email: Heloise@Heloise.com. Letters won’t be answered personally.
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