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Answer Angel: Tips to corral all those remote controls

Ellen Warren, Tribune News Service on

Published in Fashion Daily News

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I’m sitting in my living room where there are six different remote controls to operate my various devices — including three alone for the television. I just counted and there are a total of 17 remotes in my two-bedroom apartment including those for ceiling fans, window unit air conditioners and a picture frame connected to the internet. I waste so many minutes (hours?) hunting for the right remote. What’s my solution? Or, is there one?

— E. Harry W.

Dear E. H.: It is not much comfort, I know, but we’re all being swallowed by our “convenient” connectivity. This is progress? For those of us who weren’t introduced to technology as youngsters, it’s a steep learning curve. Really steep.

Increasingly, our phones can act as remotes for many of the products you rightly complain about. So when shopping for new equipment, keep that in mind to reduce the number of remotes you’re searching for under chairs, couch cushions, etc. But I know that doesn’t really answer your immediate problem of corralling the remotes.

The simplest solution (but not easy, especially in a busy household with kids, dogs, work and the usual chaos) is to religiously place all the remotes in one place — a basket, a shelf — every time. Good luck with that. Try adhesive Velcro or the stick-on magnets available in many sizes, strengths and adherence qualities online and in hardware and big box home improvement stores. Why aren’t all remotes magnetic, anyhow?

There are also various products (remote control tether/keeper/leash/cord/finder/sticker/Bluetooth tracker) like the Universal Coiled Security Cable (, $9.99) and the Tile Sticker Bluetooth Tracker (, $23.99). If there are better, cheaper, easier-to-use solutions out there that work, I’d love to hear about them.


Dear Answer Angel Ellen: The texture of my curly hair has changed over the years. The curls are still there, but there is less volume, especially on the top of my head. Not just that the hair is thinning, the product doesn’t seem to adhere to the strands the same way. Also, a halo of fuzzy hair rises above the curls on the second or third day post-shampoo. Is there a product or conditioner that would tame the frizz? Is there another method to increase the height on the top of my head?

— Carrie S.

Dear Carrie: As I’ve cautioned here before, what works for one of us curly heads is a total bust for another. Others who have had success with your hair type suggest combining mousse and a light gel for decreasing frizz and increasing volume. Having layers cut into your hair improves volume for some women.

Some product and styling suggestions:


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