Cluttered car syndrome is a common plague affecting many different types of people. Commuters, soccer moms, students, even people who just drive to the post office and pharmacy can have a disorganized car interior. Overtime, the inside of your car can get filled with important things and junk alike – ranging from bank statements to leftover McDonald’s from the last time you hit the drive-thru. Setting aside an hour or so, (depending on the severity of the clutter) to tackle the cluttered car can make easily decrease stress while driving, and make for more passenger and cargo room.
Follow these steps:
1. Park your car in a well-lit spot-- make sure you have plenty of light to see into all the nooks and crannies of your car. If you have tinted privacy windows, roll them down to allow light in.
2. Gather 3 boxes in total--depending on how much clutter you have in the car, you may need small shoebox-size boxes, or boxes larger than a standard suitcase. Label one “Keep in Car”, another “Keep in House”, and finally one “Trash”. Optionally, you can line the trash box with a garbage bag to make tossing out easier. Bring out the recycle bin if you think you’ll have a lot of papers, bottles, or boxes to recycle.
3. Remove everything from the car. Start wherever you want, keeping in mind that the trunk is a very common hotspot for clutter, as well as pouches on the back of seats, the glove compartment, and center consoles and door slots. Clear everything out, sorting items into the appropriate boxes.
4. Take the opportunity of having a car free of items to clean the interior well. Vacuum the seats and floors, shake the floor mats, and wipe down surfaces such as the steering wheel and door handles. You can also spray air freshener, or add a hanging air freshener to your car to rid it of any unwanted odors that can accumulate over time. If your car has an ash tray, filling it with baking soda also helps to prevent further smells from lingering.
5. Place everything that belongs in the car, in the car. Make homes for things that should remain in the car--placing tools, etc in one bin in your trunk is a great start. Ensure that you have all important vehicle information, such as registration and insurance papers, in an easy-to-reach location. Put things where they will make the most sense to you, and arrange them neatly.
Always have a bag or container on hand for trash--a plastic cereal container is a great alternative as well!
If you have children, cutting a yoga mat (generally close to the colour of your upholstery) to size and laying over the backseat prevents any permament stains, and crumbs can be easily swept off!
6. Set rules for your family or anyone that may be riding on a regular basis and STICK TO THEM! If you say 'no eating in the car,' be persistent.
Stick to a regular car decluttering schedule to avoid buildup of clutter.