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Can’t say this about my house but 95% of the time my car is clutter free and looking good. (Road trips with kids and dog in tow, however, have a way of spiraling it down into something you’d see on an episode of Hoarders.)
If you want to know my secret, here it is:
Three easy steps to keeping your car clean and organized:
NOTE: You do need to start with a clean car, so if yours is like mine post road trip, check out my Car Clean Out at the end. And then put these other steps into place.
1. Car Tote: I’ve been using this for years and it’s made a world of difference. Anything that isn’t supposed to stay in the car gets tossed into the tote and brought inside when I get home. And my kids know to bring in their own stuff.
As soon as I walk in I’ll take those miscellaneous items out and put away accordingly. Most things go into our kitchen baskets (temporary holding spots that I shared on Instagram last week). That way I’m not overwhelmed when I have to put these items away each time I walk in the door. I’m all about making things as easy as possible!
BONUS: I equally love the car tote benefits when heading out the door. Anything I need I’ll put in tote – including my coffee. (Make sure your coffee and water bottles are leakproof though – I learned the hard way:/!)
Read more in my post Stock your car: here’s what I keep in mine. (Wow this post is old! It was back when my boys played DS’s and I listened to CDs! And I did away with that mini-office set up but it worked well for what I needed at the time. Organizing is like us – should evolve as needed :)
2. Trash Container: I have a container for trash that clips around the back of my passenger front seat. I’ve found this to be the ideal place because my little (not so little anymore:/) passengers can reach it and I can too. It gets emptied in Step Three:
3. Weekly Car Wash: Or as I like to call it Car SPA. One of my best friends will joke, You must be stressed about something!! when she calls and I’m at the spa. One of the things I like about a clean car is that it’s easy to maintain. Every other part of life can be a mess but if your car is looking good you’ve got one thing going for you;)!
CAR CLEAN OUT
In order to keep your car looking great, you have to START with your car looking great. If yours is a mess, block out a few hours and do this – with little helpers if you’d like. (Get them started early on these types of things while they actually think you’re cool and want to hang out around you!)
1. Grab a few containers / boxes. Label each to make easier and quicker. Simply write directly on box / paper bag or use Post Its. Container examples:
- RETURN TO INSIDE (or one for each family member depending on how much stuff you have)
- TRASH / RECYCLE
- ERRAND / RETURN * (If it’s a return, make sure to have the receipt with item and make note of expiration dates.)
- ACTIVITY * (items such as yoga mat or baseball equipment that need to stay in car)
* Use larger bins in trunk to corral these items if needed.
2. Remove EVERY SINGLE ITEM from your car, trunk and console and place into appropriate containers or if it needs to be kept in car, sort as necessary – in containers or just on ground.
3. Wash and vacuum (extra points for detailing) your car thoroughly.
4. ONLY put back into car what needs to be there. And like your house, each item should have a designated home.
- Organize with mini containers so you can easily find what you need. I have a heavy duty zippered pouch that I purchased from an art store that holds my small miscellaneous console stuff. For more on how I organize my car read this: Stock your car: here’s what I keep in mine.
- Return container items to their homes AFTER you complete Steps 1-4: don’t get side tracked! (BTW, putting these items away should be easy. If it’s not, it’s because you haven’t designated SMART homes. If you want help setting up your home or workspace- I can do in person OR virtually – just message me and I’ll give you more info. It will make a tremendous difference – guaranteed!
For extra car love, check out my post 10 ways to turn your car into your HAVEN.
Happy and safe travels no matter how short or far your trip!