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Who Wants a Clean, Organized Car? I Do!!

By · 8/16/2011

Cargo net in a clean, organized carIf you’re like the majority of car owners with kids or pets, you know that keeping your car tidy can be a challenge.  Let’s face it, sometimes it feels like we live in our cars; long vacation road trips, annoying commutes, taxiing kids everywhere under the sun, countless errands, and the list goes on.

Just like in the house, the junk can pile up.  We need help to get it under control.  Here are a few simple solutions I have adapted over the years to try (believe me – the occupants make it a challenge) and keep the inside of my car in the best shape possible.

Stock up on the right cleaning tools.

Here is my checklist to keep the clutter and grime to a minimum:    Kleenex and paper towels

  •     Windex wipes (for the windows)
  •     Antibacterial wipes (for all the dirty surfaces)
  •     Facial wipes (for the grubby little hands that create the dirty surfaces)
  •     A Swiffer duster
  •     Plastic grocery store bags

Keep a reign on the garbage and clutter.

Just like in your home, your car can quickly spiral out of control without systems in place. So here is what you do:

  • Always have a plastic grocery bag hanging in your car for garbage.  If you don’t have a built in hook, use a 3M hook (you can get them in a variety of sizes at all house-ware stores – they are amazing).
  • Teach everyone to use them!  Garbage goes in the b-a-g!!! Not on the floor, not under the seat, and not in the cup holders.

Put things in containers.

When items have a home, they’re easy to find and more likely to be returned when someone is finished with them.  This holds true for the car as well.  Here is what to keep – where:

  • Glove box:  Car manual, registration and proof of insurance, tire pressure gauge, a zipper pouch with (pens, scissor, tape, and a small notebook), hand sanitizer, Swiffer duster, and mini wipes (face, surface, and window).
  • Console: Box of Kleenex, phone charger, extra pair of sunglasses, a place for loose change, cough drops, antacid, gum, and pain reliever (in a child proof bottle).
  • Cargo Net and/or Totes: Jumper cables, flares, first-aid kit, sun screen, water, snacks, flashlight, blanket, recyclable grocery bags.  Fun stuff; beach toys, 2 big beach towels, sporting equip., little tote with a few small toys/books/colored pencils (no crayons – you only make that mistake once).

Put your handy-dandy tools to use.

  • Long stop light?  Get out the Swiffer and dust the dash.
  • Filling up the gas tank?  Grab the garbage bag, do a quick sweep through the car and dump the bag in the trash at the gas station. Don’t forget to replace the bag immediately.
  • Kids complaining about a long, boring car ride?  Give them each a wipe (window or interior) and have them start sparkling up their area.  Reward them with an ice cream (in the restaurant, and make sure they wash up before getting back in the car). J
  • Car smell – “not so fresh”?  Buy some sachets (I get mine at Fred Meyer in lots of great scents) and put them under the seat.  I get so many compliments about how good my car smells.

Want three more bonus tips for summer car trips?  Click Here!

What are you waiting for???  Take action now and go get your car organized.  As always, if you have ANY questions, email me at daniele@otttogetorganized.com  I am always happy to help.

Have a FUN and restful summer!!


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