Monday, January 16, 2012

If you do one thing this week...

Pencil in a car de-junking day.

Is your car full of old coffee cups, kid's socks, and crumpled water bottles? If so, it's time to conquer the chaos. It's amazing how quickly the car can get filthy when you're running from school to soccer, PTA meeting to music lessons. Snack (both the snack itself and the wrapper), changes of clothes, balls, school papers. It all seems to float from front to back and everywhere inbetween.

If you're embarrassed to open the door or are constantly making excuses for your dirty car, these six steps are going to help you tremendously;

1) Carve out 30 minutes to empty the entire car and vacuum inside. Sort stuff into two piles - what belongs in the car (registration, maps, napkins) and what doesn't (bubbles, hair brush, screwdriver).

2) Buy a "car-bage" bin. Don't get debris get too comfy. Besides being dirty, it's germy and certain things can become moldy and toxic. Outfit your car with a functional trash can. This particular one from Amazon can be anchored under a car mat to the floor, hung from a headrest or attached directly to the carpet. To take it a step further; put a small trash bin in your garage. Before going inside do a quick sweep of the car and toss any trash from the day on your way inside. This works wonders for me!

3) Limit passengers. Meaning - Barbie. Elmo. Woody. Of course, let the kids pack a friend or two for the ride, just not the entire toy box. Keep extra playthings in a tote that lives in the car.

4) Toss trash while you pump gas. One of my favorite multi-tasking activities. Spend half a minute throwing garbage into those convenient bins at the pump. Even if you only can get the front seat and cupholders cleaned of loose wrappers, it will help.

5) Don't let anyone leave the car empty-handed. As a rule - everyone should get out of the car with what they came in holding; soda cans, video games, homeworks, hats.

6) Put your trunk to work. You're most likey to clean the car if you don't have to run inside to fetch your keep-it-neat supplies. Two essentials worth storing in the trunk or in a small plastic bin in the back of your SUV; 1) a handheld vac (the Eureka Easy Clean 71B for $40 on Amazon gets high reviews) and 2) Car Upholstery wipes (try Armor All Cleaning Wipes, $5.50 for 25 at Walgreens).

Here's to a productive week ahead!!

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