Contributed by Info Guru Lindsay Shugerman
These days, we spend more and more time behind the wheel and it shows no sign of slowing down. Drive-through pharmacies, dry-cleaning and grocery pick-up have joined the familiar lines at fast food and banks. Where we once would have parked and walked into a business, we now just pull in and take care of everything from our seat.
The chances do save time. But all that growth in drive-through business has taken a toll on our cars. Where once we would have tossed empty coffee cups on the way into the next store, we now just accumulate more and more trash in the car. And it’s even worse if you’re driving kids around.
So how do you keep your car organized and clean, when you’re on the go? Here are some tips to help tame the mess no matter how much you drive.
10. Between the seat storage consoles
If your car, truck or van has bucket seats, there may be open space between the front seats. Mini-vans with Captain’s Seats often have open spaces, too. Instead of just shoving papers down between the seats, invest in an after market storage console and convert wasted space into organizing space. Most consoles also include cup holders…another organizing bonus.
9. Back of the seat pockets
Keep books, toys and other small items off the backseat floor with a simple back-of-the-seat organizer. These soft organizers work on almost all kinds of car seats, and are simple to install. Your kids will love having their favorite toys or snacks at hand instead of rolling around under the seat.
8. Trunk bins
One of the messiest areas in most cars is the trunk. Emergency supplies like jumper cables are tangled with kids’ sand toys. Bottles of oil are hidden under lawn chairs. Fortunately, this is also one of the easiest areas of a car to fix. A simple trunk organizer bin can keep essential supplies and fluids together and accessible. A second bin works well for playground toys, pet travel supplies or whatever else you need to keep in your trunk.
7. Envelopes in the glove box
When you open your glove box, do you have to try to catch a cascade of papers, straws and ketchup packets? The solution may be as simple as a few envelopes and a few zipper bags.
Sort through the contents of your glove box and toss all those expired coupons and wrinkled napkins. Then remove and file any old car repair records. Sort what’s left into clearly labeled envelopes. Group together recent repair receipts in one, coupons and discount cards in a second and so on. Use the zipper bags for any condiment packets or other small items you want to keep in the glove box. Simple, inexpensive and effective.
6. Trash can
We eat in our cars. We drink in our cars. We open the mail, sort through the kids’ school papers and clean out out purses in the car. So is it any wonder that the space under our feet is a mess in most cars? Keeping a trash bag in the car, or adding a waste basket made just for cars can help you keep the trash contained.
5. Scheduled clean out days
One of the best ways to keep your car looking a little less like a dumping ground is to schedule regular clean out days. That way, all of those stray shoes, jackets, books and other clutter can make their way back into the house before there’s no where to sit.
4. Portable vacuum
Taking your car to one of those coin-operated vacuum machines is great for the big clean, but who has time to do that very often! Instead of waiting until there’s more sand than carpet showing, or the cereal spill has become cereal dust, stash a 12-volt car vacuum in your trunk, in the way back, or under the passenger seat. It makes quick clean ups possible even when you only have a minute or two to spare.
3. Take advantage of the trash bins
Whenever you stop to fill up on gas, take a second to empty your car’s waste basket into their trash bin. It’s right there next to the pumps to make it simple to do. Heading into a store? Grab that empty cup or bottle and carry it up to the trash can outside of their door. If you get in the habit of throwing away the trash every time you’re near a waste can, your car will look so much better every day.
2. Use the little spaces
Most cars and trucks come with small spaces designed to help you keep things organized…but many of us ignore them. Try using what’s already there instead of buying something new. Stash those sunglasses in the built-in sunglass case. Use the little cubbies in the console for change or parking passes. If you listen to CD’s, stash them in the center console, or use the visor to hold a slim CD case.
1. Skip out of car pool
Of course, you could always try the ultimate technique for keeping your car or van clean and tidy. Keep it all for yourself. Say no to those carpools. Don’t volunteer to drive anyone when your team goes out to lunch. It won’t win friends, but it will keep that back seat looking pristine!
Cleaning up your car and keeping it looking great inside is a wonderful way to make the hours you spend on the road a little more relaxing.