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Archives for September 2010

Hey Moms, Is Your Van a Trash Can on Wheels?

Do you drive one? I remember thinking that I would NEVER drive a mini van. Why would I want to be seen in one of those ridiculous looking station wagons? Well, I currently am driving my second mini van. It has great storage, and is great for hauling kids, kids’ friends, junk, food wrappers, used Kleenex, empty juice boxes and those nasty toys from Happy Meals!

It has become an essential piece of organizing equipment for me. In my profession, I provide each of my clients with a “clutter box.” On their cleaning/organizing day, I pick up whatever they want to get rid of and dispose of it as a service to them. Many days, my van is full and am so happy to have the room!

Each day when we pull into the garage, nobody gets out of the van empty handed. The garbage can is also in the garage. We grab garbage and immediately go to the garbage can.  Additional trips may be needed. The clutter and garbage in the van if let go, can become overwhelming, making a small task a large job for another day. Don’t allow yourself or your family to settle into the house until your vehicle is cleaned out and free of clutter. The system of cleaning one thing at a time gives you completion and calmness. It’s done, now move on to the next………..there’s nothing worse than picking up a friend and you have to take a shovel to get the garbage off the passenger side floor so they have room for their feet!

Most cars now days have lots of built in storage to help keep things organized. Take advantage of it. Drink holders, center consoles, ceiling pull down compartments, under seat storage, large glove boxes, map holders on the door, etc. Create a home for everything that stays in your car. I have a basket between the front seats that holds everything I need at my fingertips. Keep a garbage can/bag in the car at all times and add to it. Much easier to grab a bag full of garbage than to spend an hour picking up the car and digging underneath the car seats for wrappers because you, your kids or husband were too lazy to put the garbage into the bag!

There are many different kinds of organizers that you can purchase also to make your life easier. Over the seat holders for color books, colors, etc. Trunk organizers that are free standing. Fold down desks for the little ones to use as a table top. You name it, you can probably get it.

Keep your vehicle clean and picked up–it will make traveling much more efficient and fun!

Is your vehicle a trash can on wheels? Do you have a tip for helping your vehicle stay organized?

About the Author: Cindy Haugland owns a small professional cleaning and organizing business called TidyTightwads. she is a busy mom, grandma, home health aide, community education teacher, volunteer, blogger, and the list goes on. To follow Cindy on Twitter, go to

Look at Those Pretty Tires

Most of us don’t worry too much about keeping our tires looking nice, but some people do. There was a time when grandpa thought ArmorAll was as necessary to the vehicle as oil and gasoline. Take a trip down the automotive isle of your local mart, and you’re likely to find dozens of potions and cleaners for every part of your vehicle, including your tires. So,

Do tire cleaning products help keep your tires in good shape, or is it “just for looks”?

While some people claim that it prevents corrosion caused by salt and other elements, it is purely for aesthetics. It is important to clean salt and other elements off of your tires, but too much of any chemical can be harmful to your tires and corrosive.

Our Recommendation?

Regularly wash your car and tires to keep all corrosive materials from building up on your tires. Simple soap and water is best for regular maintenance. Then, apply products like Armor All occasionally to really make your tires looks great. Your tires will look nice, but don’t rely on any chemicals to prolong the life of your tires. There are some things you can do to reduce damage to your tires, which you can read about here in the article “What Do Your Tires Put Up With?” 

Stop by either of our Minneapolis/St.Paul – Metro area locations in Anoka (North) or Bloomington (South) today!

A New Printable Travel Themed Maze

This maze was created for kids who like a little more challenge. It’s not your typical “easy” maze; this one might take you awhile to travel the entire tire-shaped maze to arrive at the zoo!

free printable maze

 Click Here to print your Trip to the Zoo Maze.

Enjoy the free, printable games and puzzles by the TireZoo. If you like this one, you might also like our Travel Word Find. Parents might like this blog post on family road trip vacation tips.

Free RoadTrip Games: Travel Word Find Puzzle

We’re working on creating a series of fun, free, and family friendly travel games you can print to take with you on your next road trip.

free word find puzzleClick here for a FREE “Travel” related word find puzzle from The TireZoo

 you have an idea for a kids’ game for the car or a story you’d like to share, please let us know.

Tire in a Can

One popular question we get has to do with being able to fix a flat tire with a tire-in-a-can-type product. There are quite a few out there that claim to be able to help you fix a flat tire in an instant.

This type of tire fixing solution should only be used in a real emergency, not by someone who doesn’t want to go through the work of changing a flat tire. Tires (and flat tires) are part of owning a vehicle. Therefore, you should make a plan ahead of time what you will do in the event of a flat tire. 

  • Make sure you have a spare tire
  • Learn how to change a flat tire
  • Carry the number of a repair service/towing service
  • Have a cell phone or OnStar emergency options with you
  • Find out if AAA is a good option for you

Once applied to your tire, the chemicals in the tire-in-a-can related  product make it nearly impossible and significantly more expensive to fix your tire later when you bring it in to us. Our tire technicians don’t appreciate breathing in those chemicals!

I worry about our customers using these types of products for one or more of these reasons:

  • If it appears to work temporarily, people might avoid seeking a permanent repair. It is only a temporary fix!
  • Many of our customers report buying a product and not having it work. They are out the money, plus still have to fix their tire AND the product caused additional work ($).
  • People have ruined their tires altogether, making a new tire necessary (when it could have been repaired)
  • The weather can be a factor also. Too hot or too cold, and the chemical is not going to come out with the correct consistency to fix the puncture.

We know a thing or two about repairing tires, in all kinds of extreme weather. If you are out of cell phone range of a tow truck and have no spare, then you can try this repair method, but it is best served as a last resort. A couple other common questions have to do with Nitrogen Filled Tires and In-Town Driving and Its Effects on Tires

Need help repairing a tire? Call us at 1-800-421-2037 in Anoka, MN or 1-800-761-2013 in Bloomington, MN. We are within a short distance from most metro areas!