Sometimes, if we just pretend not to see a mess, it’ll go away on its own, right? Sigh. Sadly, that’s not always the case, especially when you become a mom and you’re chasing around the world’s messiest and cutest creatures alive. Dirt and clutter follow them wherever they go.. and trust me, kids have a tendency to go everywhere, put their hands on everything, and leave a big trail of crumbs and legos right behind them—even the car. Brings a whole new meaning to ridin’ dirty, doesn’t it?
Never fear, mamas. We’ve put together our top five tips to help you—even the busiest of chauffeurs, we mean moms —to spring clean your car so that it’s smelling and looking fresh again. You may not be able to control the radio any longer, but we promise you’ll be reminiscing your single days, when your car was so fresh and so clean, clean.
If you appreciate instant gratification and seeing something go from messy to clean in a matter of seconds, get yourself a lava rock. This handy-dandy magical rock will clean pet hair and other lint from your carpets and mats in seconds. It’s better than a straight vacuum.
Hate cleaning out the mysterious stickiness from those cup holders? (Like, seriously, let’s get real for a second. How on earth do those get so nasty?!) Put cupcake holders or coffee filters in your cup holders, and say goodbye to random sticky fingers next time you go to dig for spare change. When your holders get gross, simply take them out, toss them, and replace them with new ones. You won’t have to scrub those nooks and crannies ever again.
You can get canvas shoe bags to go over the back seats or even canvas bags to throw in your trunk, but create a system for what items you actually need to keep in your car and then organize them neatly so you know where to find them when you do need them. If you need help organizing (both your house or your car), we can help:
We’re talking about all those necessities like hand wipes, sunscreen, bug spray, hats, blankets, park toys, extra shoes—all those things that the second you actually take them out of your car and leave them at home you need them, so you keep them with you at all times.
But the point with this is garbage goes in the trash, not in the side of your door compartments (yes, we’re all guilty of that). Keep a large freezer bag in your car and designate that as the garbage “can.” Make a point or reward system out of it to keep those ornery kids in line: Each time they throw their garbage away in the bag, they get a point. Or conversely, each time they don’t use the bag, they lose a point. At the end of the week, they earn a small reward based on how many points they have. Go ahead and add yourself to that reward system, you deserve it.
Make it a habit that each and every time you get out of the car, take the garbage with you. The first time you let it stay leads to the next time, and the next time after that, until all of a sudden you’re back to dealing with a messy car and starting over the cleaning process from scratch. Cleaning out the trash every time you get out of the car sets a good practice in motion and helps keep you ahead of the game.
We know that spring cleaning your car may not be on your list as the top five fun things to do this weekend, but we promise if you stick to these tips, you’ll feel accomplished and save yourself time in the long run! Plus, with all this extra time on your hands, you can drive your kids to even more activities. And don’t forget, a clean car (and house) means a clear mind. Read more about how decluttering brings clarity to your life here.