I don’t know about you, but I spend just as much time in my car as I do at home or at the office. Between kids drop offs and pickups, after school activities, weekend events, errands, and outings, there’s a lot of action in my #momcar. Today’s post is to share 7 ways I keep my car clean and organized, and how you can too!
1. Don’t keep a lot of items in the car
You might have thought this post was going to be about how to organize all the items in your car. But I’m starting with my biggest tip which is : don’t keep a bunch of stuff in the car!
The more things you keep in the car, the more you have to figure out what do to with it all and how to store it. And it just takes up more space and makes it feel cluttered (this applies to ANY area in your life!) I know there are certain items that are handy to keep in a car, especially when you have kids – wipes, diapers, a change of clothes for little ones, maybe some bandaids – but I think the fact that you can fit a good amount of items into a car leads to people keeping more items than they really need to keep in there.
I keep very minimal items in the car because of two reasons :
- If I need something like fever reducer medicine for my kids, I will go home – not use the medicine that’s in my first aid kit in my car. I realize that some kids will need Epipens and certain medication, but in general I don’t think you need to set up a pharmacy in your car. Especially because…
- Arizona is hot, so if I kept items in my car it would compromise the integrity (if not totally ruin!) many items I have in the car, like toiletries, makeup, snacks, medicine, even crayons!
So, figure out what you truly do need on a regular basis in your car and keep those in there – not all the “what if…” items.
2. Use simple and seamless storage solutions
For items you DO end up keeping in the car, you will want to find a spot that doesn’t get in the way of moving around the car, and that blends into the interior – not make it stand out and make it look more cluttered with things.
So, what DO I keep in my car?
- a change of clothes for Paige (she still can have a random accident)
- baby wipes
- hand wipes
- paper, coloring books, and markers (for taking into restaurants)
- pens (somehow, I always randomly need a pen)
- hair ties and brushes (the girls’ hair always gets messy in their car seats when we’re driving around, and I also have to re-do Reese’s hair often after school before dance)
- NYX butter gloss in Eclair (this doesn’t melt like chapstick because it’s already a gloss)
- one black umbrella
They’re all very small items, but to give them a designated space in my car, I use two things.
I keep the first four items in the list above in a back-of-seat organizer I got from Amazon (click here!) It’s just on Paige’s side, and it’s black and simple so it blends into the car.
I keep the paper, markers, and coloring books in an art kit, plus the personal care items in these zip pouches. Love these zip pouches! The two pouches stay in my center console.
My car has a little tray in the top part of the center console so that’s where I keep my pens. The umbrella I keep in my trunk (it’s the only thing I keep back there.)
3. Take things out of the car every time you come home
It’s pretty staggering how many items can build up in your car in a single day. Gym bags, backpacks, shoes, snacks, water bottles, tumblers, toys, books, sports equipment, mail, papers, etc. Where does it all come from, right???!! My rule of thumb is to take out as much as I can hold in my hands and arms EVERY TIME I get home and out of the car and bring those items inside. I don’t always want to but I force myself to do it. The less stuff in there, the better it will feel.
4. Keep a trashcan in your garage
Another thing that can to accumulate quickly in a car is trash. I know there are trash bins made especially to keep in the car, but my trash solution is to keep a trash bin outside of the car, right there in the garage next to your car instead. While in the car, the trash goes wherever but then when I get home I toss the trash into the bin, and I do this every time. This routine has worked better for me and I like that trash doesn’t linger in my car.
5. Do tiny cleaning tasks whenever you can
Small steps really do add up. So sometimes while I am sitting there in a parking lot, drive through, or a long stop, I will pull out a wipe and wipe down the steering wheel, the dashboard, the console, etc. Have you ever wiped down a steering wheel before? It’s pretty shocking how dirty it can get! Think about it, it’s your hands going on it all the time – so you’ll want to keep it clean.
Another thing I do when I have an extra minute is to use a handheld vacuum (I use this one – LOVE it) and just clean up crumbs and messes. It’s not a full vacuum session, but again – the small steps add up.
6. Make your car a calm and peaceful place to be with essential oils
If you follow me on Instagram then there’s a good chance you have seen my car diffuser for essential oils. I am a huge believer in aromatherapy and the power of using senses like scent to create a good mood and atmosphere in any space – the car included! My car is basically an extension of my home, so this is less of a clean/organizing tip and more of a tip to make your car a more enjoyable, inviting place to be. Lavender can be calming, and citruses and mint are so fresh for mornings.
I use this diffuser but this one is also good too. In the winter I can keep my oils in the car (in a pouch of course!) But as the weather heats up I don’t keep them in there, since heat affects essential oils. So I just fill it in the mornings with water and drops some oils in before leaving the house.
7. Get regular car washes
Having a freshly washed car is SUCH a great feeling. I know a lot of people say they don’t have time for a car wash, but here are my tips to make it more part of your life’s routine :
- Find a carwash with wifi inside and get some work done, read, or catch up on texts while you wait. I do this all the time.
- One of our local carwashes has a restaurant and bakery inside, so sometimes we’ll go in for an after school snack or a lunch while my car gets washed
- Run through an exterior car wash. It literally takes minutes , just a few dollars, and will make you and your car feel so much better! And exterior wash is better than NO wash. Also, kids love going through them so it’s like free entertainment!
- Even better, get a pass for unlimited exterior washes from your local carwash. Pay monthly and zip through whenever you have a minute.
- Use a service that comes to your house to clean! I recently used one to come detail my car. There are tons out there and it’s super convenient!
And if you’re wondering what kind of #momcar I have, it’s a Cadillac Escalade (the shorter version, my last car was an Escalade but the longer version) with black leather interior, captain chairs in the middle, an in-roof DVD player with Daniel Tiger on heavy rotation, a constant battle with Goldfish cracker crumbs on the floor, and lots of miles shuttling everyone around 🙂