Think of this as a messy-car intervention …
I’m writing this post as therapy for myself, I think. You see here’s the thing, I have car shame. You know that ad on TV where the woman gets all stressed when her friends want to use her bathroom? I’m like that when I have to give people a lift in my car. This is because my car is like a mobile library, kindergym, shoe store, dining room and sultana graveyard.
My car screams “SLOB!” when I want it to whisper, “Totally in control and organized awesome woman. Who doesn’t have sultanas in her hair. Or chocolate wrappers stuffed under the front seat”.
So here I am. Offering all of us some tips on getting our cars organized. Because I am ov-ah wasting time in the mornings looking for Ava’s shoes. And the street directory. And the latest phone bill that I grabbed out of the letterbox and then chucked on the front seat on the way to get Ava to kindy and then forgot about and now we’re getting late notices.
So this weekend I’m going to spend an hour cleaning out my car and getting it organized. And next week I will post a photo of the result on Open Post. If I’m game.
So. Here’s a plan:
1. Get a garbage bag. And two large containers.
I have read enough organizational books to know that you need to have some containers before you start sorting and chucking. So grab a rubbish bag (for stuff that you decide is rubbish) and a box for stuff that belongs INSIDE THE DAMN HOUSE. The third box is for the stuff that you want to keep in the car.
2. Find a copy of Aretha Franklin’s Freeway of Love.
When you’re cleaning your car, you need to have good music to play. And there is no better car song than Queen Aretha’s Freeway of Love. Play it loud. The louder the better. It’ll help when you find your fave Foreigner cassette mangled under the front seat. (You could also have a large glass of wine on hand. Just sayin’.)
3. Clean the car like you’re Naomi Campbell in a bad mood.
Be ruthless. Chuck the rubbish. Chuck the stuff that’s torn or damaged or old or just gross. So if maps are out of date or torn – dump them. Now here’s a guide to what goes where:
Glove box: Car manual, car insurance and rego papers, small tissue box and an umbrella. You could also keep a roll of plastic bags in there for future rubbish on car trips.
Driver/Passenger side door: maps, directions, a small torch.
Ash/Coin tray: Okay, keep your change here but you and I both know you’re never going to use all those 5-cent pieces. Give them to charity. Or put them in a child’s moneybox. Make a rule that only 10, 20 and 50-cent pieces go in the coin tray.
If you have older kids or no kids, this area can be kept Martha Stewart like. Your own little slice of heaven. If you have small kids, you and I both know it turns into a war zone within minutes of the being strapped in. So … think about a back seat pocket to hold books and toys. And – here’s the biggie – limit the amount of games and books they have in there. Nobody needs eight Polly Pockets rolling around on the floor. I could also tell you not to let your kids eat in the car but you and I both know that ain’t gonna happen.
Why not have a small container here, which can hold a small umbrella, a first aid kit, a picnic blanket and all those green shopping bags you always mean to take with you? You could even use a laundry basket. That way you could load shopping bags into it and carry the whole thing inside. Whatever you use, it’s a way to keep all this stuff out of the way of strollers and other bigger items you want to load in there.
So that’s the inside of your car taken care of. Well, almost.
Now this next bit is only going to interest you if you drive a car that takes diesel fuel. Ready? Caltex Vortex Premium Diesel takes care of the real insides of your car. The advanced formulation protects your diesel engine by cleaning it while you drive. And its anti-foaming agents reduce odour, fumes, and splash-back for a cleaner fill-up experience. So what does that mean? It means your engine is better protected. Just keep the sultanas out.
What does the inside of your car look like? How good at you are taking care of it?