Thanks for visiting my blog. Hope you find some helpful hints for organizing your time and space. My passions are to help you make home a refuge instead of a crisis center, and to help you function in peace rather than chaos - at home or at work. I have switched my main blog to 1-2-3 ... Get Organized on WordPress, so please visit me there.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Spring Cleaning Your Car

With all the snow we get over the winter, we are continually tracking muck into our cars. I'm so happy that spring is here, which means when we clean our cars they might stay that way for a while!

It's time to swap out that winterizing kit (blanket, ice scrapers, hand warmers, etc.) for spring and summer items: sunscreen, bug spray, outdoor toys, water, etc. If you carry a set of extra clothes for your child, you may want to exchange winter clothing for spring or summer clothing. It's best to keep such things containerized, as they can become missiles in a sudden stop.

Take a look throughout your car to see if you have outdated or unnecessary items - old maps, empty CD cases, nonworking pens, etc. Make a clean sweep of the car, removing such items.

Check your car registration and insurance card to make sure they are current.

Make sure your emergency kit is up-to-date: jumper cables, extra washer fluid, flashlight, flares. I keep mine in a plastic container in the back of my car. I also store my reusable grocery bags there, too, so they're not drifting all over the car.

But our biggest struggle is clutter. I read recently that women are more guilty than men when it comes to car clutter. Whatever the case, it's easy for that clutter to collect! Here are a few ideas to tame that trend:

- Ask each person in the car to look around them when leaving the car and throw away any trash they see. When we had foster daughters, they drew the line at other people's tissues, however! If you have a trash can in your garage, it makes it that much easier.

- Make a rule that if you bring it into the car, you must take it back out. Even if your kids are eating something on the way to school, they need to take it into the school when they go. Finding two yogurt containers upside down in the cup holder is not pleasant!

- I'm not a good waiter. So I try to remember to use the time while stopped at a light, waiting for someone, etc., to pick up trash and clutter. When we travel, I try to remove trash each time I get out of the car for a break.

- When we get snacks while traveling, I ask for a bag which we can use for trash.

Spring Cleaning Your Car @1-2-3GetOrganized.com/blog- If you have children who like to bring toys along in the car, limit them as to number. Just make sure it's not a container with a jillion little toys inside! Consider getting a back-of-the-seat organizer to hold your child's snacks, drinks, toys, books, etc.

- If you allow eating in the car, opt for dry snacks rather than gummy ones. They are much easier to clean up with a vacuum and less likely to get enmeshed in the carpeting or upholstery.

- Make sure drinks have lids, especially when stored in cup holders on the door. Slamming the door and an open drink is not a good combination!

- Keep what you need readily available: sunglasses, phone charger, tissues, paper, pens, fingernail file (Yes, I file my fingernails while waiting at lights, too! I told you I was not a good waiter.)

- As you do your errands, consider using a basket or green shopping bag to carry your items from the car into the house - you can do it in one trip!

It's nice to start out fresh for the spring and summer months! And nice to be prepared for fun ahead with an organized, clean, and equipped car!

More on spring cleaning:
Statistics: The Health and Mental Health Benefits of Spring Cleaning
Green Spring Cleaning with Vinegar
Spring Cleaning Relationships