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Messy Car? Here’s How to Get it Under Control.
By Monica Resinger
Speaking from experience, I understand how easy it is for your vehicle to
become an out-of-control mess. You use it to go shopping, traveling, visiting
friends and family, pick the kids up from school, get to work and back and
more. All this results in empty soda cans, shoes and socks, French fries,
hamburger wrappers, chip bags, receipts, loose change and who knows what else
rolling around in your vehicle.
This is not only embarrassing (if someone is allowed to see it) but it can slow
things down when you can’t find what you’re looking for and can make you
unappreciative or resentful of your vehicle. Wouldn’t you rather have a nice
clean car with everything in its place?
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking it’s too hard to keep your vehicle
clean and organized but really, it isn’t difficult if you apply a few ‘rules of
the road‘. To get on the ‘road’ to recovery, begin applying these rules:
~ When you g
et home or to your destination, be sure everything that doesn’t belong in the
vehicle comes out of the vehicle. I know, you’re tired and don’t feel like
doing it right when you get home, but you’re most likely not going to feel like
it tomorrow either so get it over with now. Tell everyone that what they bring
into the car they bring out of the car the same trip and be sure everyone
follows this. If your kids want to take items with them, have them put the
items into a backpack or tote bag. This will make it easier for them to bring
in the house when you get home. It will take a little effort to begin with but
after a while, it becomes a habit for everyone.
~ If you stop for fast food and eat in the car, be sure to throw the garbage
away in the restaurant’s garbage can before leaving the parking lot. This not
only saves your garbage space but also leaves you one less thing to do when you
~ Always have a garbage bag in the car. You might even want to include one in
front and one in back. Tell everyone the only place garbage is allowed is in
the bags and they are not to set it anywhere else even if it is only
temporary. Good triggers to empty your bag are when you are getting gas, going
shopping or stopped at a rest area or fast-food place. All of these places
provide garbage cans and it’s a great reminder to get rid of it.
~ It’s helpful t
o carry a whiskbroom and pan to clean as you go. Also, keep some rags and a
spray bottle of all-purpose cleaner to wipe things up as they happen. Replace
the rags as needed.
~ On road trips, make it a habit at every rest stop to do a quick clean up of
the vehicle. Dump the garbage in the cans provided, wipe spills or dust, put
things in their places and sweep it out.
Now, get your car organized.
The best way to organize your car is to be sure that everything is in it is
needed in the car. So the first step would be to go through what you have in
the vehicle and decide if each item is necessary. It helps to have 3
containers, boxes or bags to sort the items into. One container for garbage,
one for items you don't want and can give to charity and one for items that
belong in the house. Anything you want to keep in the car set to the side for
the time being.
Once you have sorted through everything, take the garbage container to the
garbage, take the charity bag to the charity and put you household items in the
Now organize what's left - hopefully it isn't too much because cars don't have
much storage space. If you find the glove box or other containing places in the
car aren’t roomy enough for what you have left, then you might want to double
check your items and be sure you really need and want them in the car. If so,
you could go to the store and look in the automotive section for car or
ganizers. There are a lot of different vehicle organizers on the market. I
noticed they are now carrying an over-the-seat organizer for children’s and
other items. The important thing to remember is that whatever you decide to
keep in the car, be sure it has a home.
What should be in the car? First I’ll tell you the must-haves. In the glove
box, you should have current insurance card (if you don’t keep it in your
billfold), vehicle registration and vehicle maintenance book. In the trunk you
should have a spare tire, jack, lug wrench, and battery jumper cables.
There are many other helpful things you could store in your car such as a first
aid kit, flashlight, screwdriver, etc. It’s up to you what you decide is
helpful when you’re using your vehicle. If you keep a lot of tapes or CD’s in
the vehicle, consider keeping 4 or 5 at a time in the car then rotating them
from the house.
To summarize, it doesn’t take that much effort to keep your vehicle neat and
clean. Establish ‘rules of the road’, what you want in the car and places for
these items and you’ve got it made!
For more tips for getting organized, check out this e-book:
Guidebook for Getting and Staying Organized:
Monica is the founder Homemaker's Journal E-publications, the growing home of
many fun and informative home and garden e-books, tip sheets, articles and
Get a FREE Slowcooker Recipe E-book when you subscribe to Monica's FREE e-zine
for homemakers! To subscribe and receive instructions for picking up your FREE
e-book, just send a blank e-mail to: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
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