We’ve pretty much finished de-cluttering everything inside the house that we’re going to attempt for this challenge. Yesterday, we wrapped it up with the laundry room , and today we’re moving outside to the family vehicle. If you’re keeping up with these challenges, join our 28 Days to De-Clutter Facebook Event page and share your excitement with the rest of us as you accomplish each task! If you’re just joining us now, you can .
That is our freshly de-cluttered car in the picture above, if you can believe it. Normally, our car looks like someone is living in it! Which is kind of the case, since I often think that the average American car is the second home to its owners. We do a lot of the same things in our car that we do in our home: eat, sleep, play. In a different way, of course, but the same mess is generated.
Unfortunately, it’s easy to forget about the mess as soon as you’ve closed the doors and gone into your real home. So today, we’re going to take the time to clean out the car clutter, and hopefully establish some ways to keep the clutter to a minimum going forward.
Set your timer for 10 minutes, and…
First, get all the trash out: the empty coffee cups, random papers and gum wrappers. Throw it all away!
Then grab a garbage bag or a re-usable grocery bag and start putting everything in there that doesn’t belong in the car. Cups or other dishes, toys, clothes, newspapers, bills… how do these things end up in the car, anyway?! Toss them all in the bag.
Set the bag aside, and pull out your hand vac. (If you don’t have one, you might have to take a quick trip to a nearby gas station for this step.) Vacuum up all the crumbs from the seats and floor. Wipe down the console and dash board and any other sticky spots with some all-purpose spray and a rag.
Take the bag of junk you collected inside, and sort through it: everything in its proper place!
The first thing you need to consider is how to corral the trash. I’ve seen where some people use a rubbermaid cereal container as a small trash can in their car, which is something to consider. Or you can just use a plastic bag tucked wherever it’s handy but not in the way (my car has a little hook for holding shopping bags that would work great for this purpose!). At any rate, make sure you empty the trash regularly! I always empty out all the trash when I stop for gas.
In the past, I’ve kept a basket of the kids’ toys and books in between their seats. It kind of frustrates me, though, that they don’t ever really look at the books or play with the toys. No, instead, they just make a mess and the books and toys are NEVER in the basket. So I’m nixing cars and toys in the van for now unless we’re taking a long trip. If you like to keep entertainment for your kids in your car, using a tote or basket is a great idea.
Hang pockets over the backs of the seats to store essentials (sunglasses, mittens, tissues, etc.).
Keep a bigger tote or container in the back of the vehicle to hold larger items like sports supplies and the like.
Don’t forget about a first-aid kit!
Keep car documents organized in a coupon holder in the glove compartment.