Firstly why would you want to de-clutter your car? Well, it’s all about the environment you’re living in. The less mess, the less stress! This will also work for any other part of your home where you spend the most time, your bedroom would also be a great place to start as making this your sanctuary of relaxation you’re creating a more peaceful environment to sleep.
When my kids were small or even teenagers I lived in my car. We went from schools (yes at times there were multiple schools and different pickup times) to after-school activities and extra tutors. Most days they had to eat in the car, some form of snack to help them get through to dinner time. So rubbish builds up, and up, and up. You get the idea; if you don’t, well my husband at the time described my car as the dirt mobile as opposed to the Batmobile.
So for all you busy moms or dads on the go out there or those on the road in your car a lot getting your car clean, keeping it de-cluttered and organised can reduce your stress load considerably. You all know what it feels like to walk back into a clean kitchen or home and to feel how much lighter you feel knowing it’s all done and no further work is needed and you can relax. Well, de-cluttering your car and keeping it clean can have that same feeling. There’s nothing worse than looking at something you know you need to clean and it keeps nagging you in the back of your mind to do it. The longer you put it off the more pressure and stress is building up. So take the initiative and get it done now, even engage the kids after all 99% of the dirt was brought in by them! (Other than their bedrooms it ‘s a good place to start showing your kids how to clean – a great life skill to have!)
Here are a few suggestions to get you started
Cleaning out the car.
- Take everything out of the car. You know what I mean!
- Get a rubbish bag, all rubbish into it.
- Then remove stuff that doesn’t belong in the car back to where it belongs.
- And finally dust and hover the car.( You know it’s okay to enlist the help of the kids or assign this task once a week to a teenager. Don’t forget to reward them for a job well done.)
- Have a collection point in the house or garage where items left in the car is place. Kind of like a lost and found box – keep this out of your way in the home. Remind kids and other half, their items are there to be put away and that after one week these items will be binned if not removed, harsh but it gets them moving on taking their items from the car and into their rooms etc. ( Anything of an expensive nature/sentimental nature could be placed in a cupboard until the person has a timeout away from the item and they know what it feels like to go without the item in question)
What to keep in your car and how to keep it clean.
- Right for the good stuff get a box if you have one with lid great if not well it doesn’t matter. This has to be big enough to fit the following:
- tissues/toilet roll
- Wet wipes
- Disposable bags
- Water bottles
- Emergency first aid kit
2. If you’re like me and feel the best place to put this stuff isn’t in the boot, then you can split them up into two smaller boxes. The first box contains a first aid box and the second is where I place the other stuff. I place both these boxes under the front two seats.
3. I also keep tissues and wet wipes on the passenger side front door and I have a child’s organizer behind my seat. This is very handy for maps and toys to keep my grandchildren occupied.
4. Keep a trash bag on a separate hook in the car or a trash box. This makes it a lot easier to empty the car after each road trip or when it’s full. Now you can allocate this as a chore to one of the children if they’re old enough or simply place it into your bin when you arrive home. The most important part of this though is to remember to empty it!
5. Another tip would be to have each child remove their toys, bags and coats etc, after each trip. They need to get into the habit of doing this, I know at first they may complain but in time they’ll get the idea and it may filter out to the rest of the house. ( You can but try and live in hope.)
That’s it you say! Well, it does read easier than doing it. But think of how well you’ll feel once you have this system up and running. You won’t have that nagging feeling anymore in your brain and it’s one less thing to do – in doing so you reduce your stress now and put in place a system for keeping it clean or reducing time spent cleaning it in the first place. Now take a deep breath and just do it! It’s better to do it now while you’re feeling motivated, the longer you leave it the less likely it is you’ll do it.
If you have any further tips for other parents please leave a comment below this post on my Facebook or Twitter posts.