Let’s be honest, I pretty much live in my car, and so do my kids. Between carpool, soccer practice, and drive-thru dinners, my car has looked (and smelled) less than ideal by Friday afternoon. By the end of the week I have petrified French fries, dirty soccer socks, broken crayons, and lost homework all over the backseat.

I made a resolution to declutter my car and keep it clean once and for all.  And now I actually love my car! Here are six tips to clean your car and keep it organized.

Start Clean

This is kind of a given, start by throwing away all the trash and giving your car a good clean. This is best to do now before it gets too chilly outside.

    Trash Bin

car-1

Once your car is clean, provide a place for trash. You know it’s going to come, so stop shoving it in the cupholders and make a trash can for your car. A Rubbermaid cereal box holder is a great idea. You can also use a Command hook and a simple sack.

    Sort

car-2

Of all the rest of the stuff that’s hidden under the seats and between the cushions, sort it between items that you actually need and use in your car and things that belong in the house. Decide what needs to be stored in the car and where. 

Nealy Stapelton, from The Organized Boutique provides a great list of what you should store in your car (and where!). http://www.the-organizing-boutique.com/car-organization.html

Glove Box

  •    Car Manual
  •    Pad of Paper, Pens, Scissors
  •    Disposable Camera
  •    Insurance Card, Registration Papers & AAA/Emergency Information
  •   Small Accordion File (to organize coupons, insurance card, etc.)

Center Console

  • Medicine (Aspirin, Cough Drops)
  • Extra Feminine Products, Nail File, Hair Ties
  • Spare Change
  • Napkins
  • Cell Phone/iPod Charger
  • Sunglasses
  • Hygiene Products (lotion, hand sanitizer, sanitizer wipes, deodorant, mints, gum)
  • Clear Travel Case (to store beauty & feminine items)
  • Escape Hammer (where you can reach it from the driver’s seat)

Trunk

 

    Tackle Snackscar-4

I love the idea of having a snack bin in the car. Bringing food into a clean car may seem counterproductive, but the kids are going to be hungry whether you just cleaned the car or not. So, having a snack basket provides them something to eat, and a place to put their trash. It also allows me to provide healthy options instead of the ever-present drive-thru dinner.

    Wrangle Papersstudent-4

I love keeping an accordion folder in the car. This is great for coupons, lists, cash, documents, or any other papers that you need on the go.

    Maintain

Make a habit of grabbing everything out of the car when you go in the house. Yes, I mean everything. Get the kids to help, no one should go in the house empty handed ever again.

Photo Sources:
 Trunk http://emcx3.blogspot.com/2012/06/junk-in-trunk-per-request.html
Snacks http://www.therealisticmama.com/on-the-go-snack-basket/