Keeping a car clean and organized is about so much more than looks. Having everything in its proper place can be a huge time-saver, enabling you to find what you need when you need it. Setting a spic-and-span standard inside your car can also help improve the resale value - the cleaner you keep your car, the less likely you are to overlook spills and other substances that might leave a permanent stain. And if you’re prepared to handle messy situations as they arise, your upholstery will take less punishment over time.
Follow these 6 simple, inexpensive ideas and hacks to keep your car in ship-shape!
An empty kleenex box, or wet wipe container, is all you need to keep a tidy stash of plastic shopping bags on hand at all times. These babies will come in handy for just about any on-the-go mess you may have to deal with, whether it’s bagging up muddy clothes and shoes after a wet adventure, clearing out a collection of food wrappers at the end of a long road trip, or even doubling as barf bags in a pinch (hey, you never know!). And while you’re thinking about shopping bags, make sure to throw a few sturdy reusable ones into your trunk. You’ll never be empty-handed at a last-minute grocery stop again.
In a serious situation, the last thing you want to be doing is fumbling through a mess of clutter for your registration and other important information. If your essential car documents are only a few pages long, invest in a sun visor pouch to have them accessible at the flick of your wrist. If you have additional papers to keep track of, consider a simple mini file folder in your glove box, with tabs so you can find exactly what you need quickly and easily.
The center console is one of the most likely places to fall victim to car clutter - we so often just toss items inside, never to think about them again. A few strategically-placed dividers or containers will help to prevent this. Make sure to designate a space for loose change, pens, receipts, and anything else you want to keep handy.
If you have kids, your backseat is likely ground zero for messes and clutter. Toys, crayons, devices, snacks, stuffies, socks… you name it, it’s probably scattered somewhere on the floor beneath a car seat. Keep the little ones’ items organized by installing a backseat organizer, or even a simple hanging shower caddy on the back of one or both of your front seats. These offer a variety of pockets and pouches for storing everything your tot will need during their ride.
Your glove box is for more than just gloves - in fact, when was the last time you actually put a glove in there? Consider stocking this spot with a zippered pouch containing a few healthy, delicious, and non-perishable munchies. You’ll be amazed how thankful you are for this emergency snack pack when you’re stuck in rush-hour traffic and reeling from hunger pangs. Bonus: having something relatively healthy on hand will prevent you from pulling into the drive-thru on the way home!
A durable flannel blanket or quilt tucked into your trunk can end up pulling double-, or even triple-duty. In the fall, reach for it to add a little extra insulation from the cold during outdoor sporting events. In the spring and summer, any day is perfect for an impromptu picnic when you’ve got a blanket at arm’s reach. Best of all, a blanket will protect your upholstery in a pinch from all manner of messy passengers - especially of the muddy, furry, four-legged variety.
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