I want to preface this with… I suck at keeping my car clean.
But something told me that there are at least a few other moms out there who do too, so I did my due diligence and scoured the internet, hoping to find some good ideas for all of us. I was specifically looking for ideas that wouldn’t be too hard to implement and would give us some hope that one day, just maybe, our cars wouldn’t look like war zones and that it wouldn’t be the safest, most food/clothes filled place in the case of natural disaster.
I know, I have high hopes. In fact, there was an article where the second suggestion for keeping your car clean was to never have children.
But anyway, without further ado, here are the tips that I found that could actually be helpful! And if anyone wants to be my accountability partner in this venture, let me know.
1) Use organizers.
From shoe organizers to remote control holders, there are many different things you can use to create an organized space in your car. These organizers are a way to keep sippy cups off the floor (and essentially out of the garbage, because let’s face it, we forget about them in there once they are lost under the seat) and toys/books for your kiddos in one spot! The multiple pockets allow for lots of different things to be kept all together, and it makes them easy to access. Also, it’s ten times easier if you’re able to teach your kids to put things back in there too!
2) Keep your cup-holders clean.
One of the tips I found was using Q-Tips to clean out those hard to reach places in your cup-holders. Simply dip in your favorite cleaning solution and scrub until all those grimy things come loose! And for keeping them clean? Different suggestions included ceramic coasters and silicone cupcake liners! See what works for you!
3) Wipe surfaces often.
By keeping some multi-surface wipes (or even baby wipes) in your car, you’ll have access to a quick, 30-second clean that can make a huge difference in how your car looks and smells. Bonus points if you keep them in your organizer!
4) Keep carpets fresh.
The Clean Mama blog had an awesome DIY carpet freshener recipe that I wanted to share:
- 2 cups baking soda
- 10-20 drops your favorite essential oil
- Shaker container
Simply mix, put in container, and let sit for 24 hours for the oils to absorb into the baking soda. Sprinkle on your car’s carpets and let sit for 15minutes, then vacuum up!
(For more cleaning ideas, check out Clean Mama.)
5) Utilize a trash can.
There were many cool ideas out there for garbage cans (my favorite being a plastic cereal container!) but the basic idea is this: if you have a garbage can of some sort in your car, you will use it. Keep your trash contained and remind yourself to take that trash out often. I like to utilize the garbage cans at the gas station, and it gives me something to do while my car is filling up. How easy would it be to simply take the garbage bag out, toss it, and throw in a new one while you wait for your gas to pump?
6) Keep a laundry basket in the car.
This was a cool idea! For those moments after grocery trips where you are basically dislocating your shoulders trying to carry in multiple bags by those fragile handles, wouldn’t a laundry basket be nice? Also wonderful for those days that you end up with lots of extra stuff in your car and need to carry it all in. Keep yourself accountable and throw things in it as you go so when you get home it’s already in there and ready to go!
7) Create a well-stocked car kit.
For moms of young kids, this can be a life-saver. Take a small tote and stock it with diapers, wipes, snacks, bandages, water bottles, extra outfits, and anything else you might need while you’re out and about. Once a week, check out what you have left and restock what you need. This way you’re not stuck buying a giant pack of diapers/wipes if you forget the diaper bag, and you’re able to avoid unnecessary drive-through trips when your kiddos just need a snack.
8) Minimize food mess.
This one is hard, because we all know kids are messy! But, there are cool ideas out there on keeping the kids’ food mess to a minimum! Some suggestions had you use small art caddies for their snacks, others had things like the divided food storage containers. Either way, find a way to have your kiddos’ snacks be somewhat contained. And my biggest tip? Really think about what you have them eat in the car! I often think to myself, “What is this going to smell like if it gets thrown under the seat, not to be seen again for a month?” Disgusting, I know.
9) Keep extra bags in the car.
If you have extra bags in your car to use for garbage, clothes, or other miscellaneous items, then it’s a lot easier to get those things out of your car. Oftentimes I will neglect those things that need to come out because I don’t have a bag or anything handy. One cool hack was to store those bags in empty tissue containers! Having those bags ready will make it easier for you to collect items around your car and get them out.
10) “What goes in must come out!”
And really, it all boils down to this rule: if you bring it out to your car, bring it back inside! Try not to leave coats, shoes, toys, or other items just sitting in the back of your car. Take just a few minutes when you come home and collect the things that you brought out to your car and bring them back inside. You’ll be so thankful later!
Well friends, there you have it. Now like I said, I’m not any good at this on my own, but I’m hoping some of these tricks will help me keep my car just a bit more organized.
Tell us, what tricks are you hoping to try? What tips would you add to our list?
Thanks to the following articles for some of the ideas found here: