Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Repairing Scratched Wood Furniture

By Reena Nerbas

Storing Sheets in Small Spaces

Dear Reena,

I live in a small apartment with limited space. Do you have any ideas for storing sheets so that they take up less room? Yur

Dear Yur,

Here are a few storage options to consider: Fold the fitted sheet and then fold the flat sheet and one pillow case into a small square. Put all three pieces inside of the last pillow case and fold it in half. Now you have a neat bundle that stays together. When you want that particular set of sheets just pull down one pillow case and they are all inside, waiting for use. Or lay sheets between the box spring and the mattress. Another option is to fold sheets and hang them in the closet. Or put extra sheets in an empty suitcase.

Scratched Coffee Table

Dear Reena,

I own a large coffee table made of wood. The table is full of scratches and I can’t afford to purchase a new table. Is there any way to hold onto my table without dishing out a wad of cash? Mary

Dear Mary,

Option number one: Fill in the scratches with a color match wood filler pencil/crayon specifically designed to hide scratches. Option number two: Wipe a rag with matching stain over wood to hide scratches. Have a piece of smoked glass cut and smoothed to fit the wood. Glass cutters may often include rubber feet for each corner so that the glass can’t slide out of position. The glass will hide the scratches. Option number three: Have a piece of wood cut to fit the size of the table, cover the wood with fabric by securing it with a staple gun and place it over the table. Option number four: Sand and re-stain the table.

Smells from Wood Burning Stove

Dear Reena,

We have a two-story slab on grade home. The main living area is on the first floor where we have an open fireplace. On the ground floor we have a wood burning stove. Both fires are served by a single exterior masonry chimney with a separate flue for each unit. The problem is that in cool damp weather the flue for the wood burner backdrafts and we end up with an acrid smell in the house. We have tried putting in a new stove, stuffing paper in the door and latching it and we have tried bowls of kitty litter in the stove without success. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks. Barry

Dear Barry,

Cozy up in front of a woodstove on a frigid day and you won’t want to leave your home, but sometimes the unwelcome smell of a woodstove can send you running. You were smart to replace the older wood stoves with an airtight model that will reduce harmful emissions because even if you wisely and thoroughly clean the stove box often, any traces of ashes will fill the room with odor. Here are a few additional solutions to try: Close the damper whenever not in use. Add a top sealing damper and a tight-fitting glass fireplace screen. Pouring vinegar into the box of the screen will not be strong enough to combat the odor which is coming from the pipe and sides and top of the box, proper sealing is your best solution.

Did You Know?

  • Instead of making one large meatloaf, make meatloaf in muffin tins. This looks better and freezes wonderfully so that you can keep meatloaf on-hand in your freezer. Submitted by: Judy

  • Whenever I travel, I take the bar of soap that I opened and place it in with my dirty laundry. The soap bar would be thrown out by the hotel anyway, and the soap scent keeps my fabrics smelling fresher. Submitted by: Lindon

  • If you end up with a chocolate mess on a washable fabric. Place the item in a clean kitchen sink. Soak the area with Dawn dish soap. Pour hot water onto the washable fabric and watch the stain melt away. For fabric that should not hit water, put 1 tbsp. Dawn dish soap in a bowl with 2 cups water. Beat with an egg beater. Smear the foam onto the stain and dab until gone. Submitted by: Me (Reena)

Note: Every user assumes all risks of injury or damage resulting from the implementation of any suggestions in this column. Test all products on an inconspicuous area first.

Reena Nerbas is a popular motivational presenter for large and small groups; check out her website: Ask a question or share a tip at

, ,