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 canít find
what youíre looking for and can make you unappreciative or
resentful of your vehicle. Wouldnít you rather have a nice clean
car with everything in its place?
Itís easy to fall into the trap of thinking
itís too hard to keep your vehicle clean and organized but really,
it isnít difficult if you apply a few Ďrules of the roadĎ.
To get on the Ďroadí to recovery, begin applying these rules:
When you get home or to your destination, be
sure everything that doesnít belong in the vehicle comes out of
the vehicle. I know, youíre tired and donít feel like
doing it right when you get home, but youíre 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
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 restaurantís 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 get
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 itís a great reminder to get
rid of it.
Itís helpful to 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 house.
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 arenít 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 organizers. There are a lot of different vehicle organizers
on the market. I noticed they are now carrying an over-the-seat
organizer for childrenís 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 Iíll
tell you the must-haves. In the glove box, you should have
current insurance card (if you donít 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
There are many other helpful things you could
store in your car such as a first aid kit, flashlight, screwdriver,
etc. Itís up to you what you decide is helpful when youíre
using your vehicle. If you keep a lot of tapes or CDís in
the vehicle, consider keeping 4 or 5 at a time in the car then
rotating them from the house.
To summarize, it doesnít take that much
effort to keep your vehicle neat and clean. Establish Ďrules
of the roadí, what you want in the car and places for these items
and youíve got it made!