Clearing Clutter from Your Car

Filed Under: Car

Keeping a car clean and clutter-free is easier than you think.

If you work out of your car, commute long distances or your kids are in a lot of activities and sports, your car or minivan is bound to reflect it. Some of us feel like we spend more time in our car than in our home. Books, water bottles, leftover wrappers, toys, things to return to stores, paper, coins, and other random stuff accumulates on the floor when we are driving from one activity or appointment to the next. The best organizing advice I can give you is the following: every time you get out of your car, check the front or back seat by glancing if there’s anything you should be taking with you. If it’s a piece of garbage throw it out. If it belongs in the house, carry it in. If it doesn’t permanently live in the car, keep taking random things with you as you get out of the car all day long, and put the things back where they belong. Do this regularly and your car should never get way out of control.

Here’s a list of ideas that might become a new habit for you. Like anything, keeping our cleaning and decluttering manageable is key, that’s why I recommend daily instead of letting your car get trashed for a month and then spending half a Saturday cleaning it.

  1. Throw away trash daily. Throw the trash out no matter where your day takes you to prevent your car from smelling. Sometimes I find myself throwing my car trash out inside a bank lobby or an office building. If you must, designate a garbage spot inside your car.
  2. It’s hard to remember which stores you might need to drop into to return something when everything is in the trunk.  Keep a list with you inside the car by the dashboard or on your phone of which errands and returns need to be made. If you know you will be in a neighborhood where you have something to return, put a drop-off note on your calendar on that specific day.
  3. Every time you leave the car, ask yourself: Does anything belong inside? If so, grab the items. Even if you can’t carry it all, grab what you can.
  4. Invest in some good trunk organizing products. I use trunk trays that hold my organizing bag and grocery bags. Instead of them floating around the car they are ready to grab and contained.
  5. Do pay attention to the little things- sunglasses, cords, coins, pens, gum, etc. All of these little things add up. Make sure each of these doesn’t get out of control by having an organizer or system in place.
  6. Reduce the amount of car maintenance items and weather-related things you haul around. For instance, take out the salt, snow scraper, blankets, and other winter items during the summertime. And in the wintertime take out umbrellas and sports equipment. The only thing I keep year-round is my jumper cables.
  7. If you’ve been decluttering your home take donations straight to your trunk. You are more likely to drive through the donation drop off lane and get rid of the items than stashing the bag in a closet or on the floor of the garage or basement.
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