LUNTER: That's using your noodle

Four clever new ways to use your old swimming pool toys

Although it's not technically the end of the summer, when the weather begins to cool and the days become a little shorter we start thinking about putting away all the summer toys.

Inflatable rafts and pool toys can look a little run down and we have a tendency to toss them into the trash. This year rather than throwing your wellused pool noodle into next week's garbage bin, think about alternative uses. You would be amazed at how many uses I have seen people use these versatile, little foam floatables. Here are just a few of my favorites.

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Boot fillers

They may look a little unsophisticated, but when cut to the correct size to fit your boot, these noodles work wonderfully to keep a boot's shape in your closet. Simply cut the foam noodle with a pair of scissors and stand the boots upright in your closet space.

Saw edges

Slicing the pool noodle horizontally and to the correct size of the rough edge of your saw will allow it to fit comfortably on the edge for safety purposes. We all know how dangerous a saw's edge can be for both adults and children. Covering the sharp edge of the saw with the pool noodle is one way to protect your family from any accidents.

Hanger cover

I've seen this idea in a couple of closets and it's wonderful for preventing wrinkles on your sweaters. Simply cut the pool noodle into sections long enough to cover the top edges of the hanger. Slice the foam along its long edge and place over top of the upper side of the hanger around the hook. Or alternatively, place the foam over the lower side of the hanger to keep your trousers crease free.

Fitted Sheets

Did you know that pool noodles are wonderful to place under fitted sheets to keep young ones from falling out of bed? One pool noodle is usually enough to place under the top sheet. Simply wrap the top sheet around the pool noodle and tuck inside. The deep, fitted sheets are usually best for this idea.

Barb Lunter is a freelance writer with a passion for home decor, entertaining and floral design.

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