Messy Car? Seven Terrific Tidying Tips

Whether you have a long commute to work or are driving the daily kiddie carpool, it’s easy for this small space to get out of control. Don’t fret. Follow these quick tips to get your vehicle tidy in no time!

1. Take responsibility. If you bring it into the car, you take it out of the car. That same day. Period. This goes for everyone who rides in your car.  

2. Clean out the car regularly. Stash a bunch of grocery bags in the glove box, back seat pocket, or inside an empty tissue box, and challenge your family members to fill up one by doing a car trash clean-up a couple times a week. Once a week, grab a laundry basket and toss in anything that needs to make it back into the house.

  3. Give it a deep clean once in a while. To ensure the car stays clean and crumb-free, plan to vacuum and wipe down the interior at least once a month, or invest in occasional visits to your neighborhood car wash. Stash a microfiber cleaning cloth in the car for wiping down the inside of windows, dusting the dash, or cleaning up little spills.

  4. Freshen the air. To make the car smell better, avoid the chemical-laden clip-on or hanging air fresheners. Instead, put a few drops of citrus or lavender pure essential oils on a cotton ball or end of a clothespin and stick onto an air vent. Or just grab an old candle from home and stash it in a cupholder. Unlit, it will still give off a nice, subtle scent on warm days.

  5. Pick less messy snacks. Kids and adults love to snack in the car. But there is no food that is 100% mess-free. Every minivan in America has Cherrios under the seats.  That being said, single-serve size snacks make less mess than large bags of chips, crackers, or cereal! Keep kid-friendly, single-serving size snacks in a basket or bin in your pantry, and let kids grab one on the way out the door. Nuts also tend to be less messy than crackers, and more healthy, too.

  6. Opt for water instead of juice. While juice boxes and pouches are handy, a unexpected squeeze from your little one’s hands will make a sticky mess all over kids and cars. Sippy cups or sports water bottles provide more control from spills and allow you to make your own healthy and inexpensive drink choices. Before leaving the house, pop a slice of lemon, lime, or strawberry in some plain water for a refreshing beverage.

  7. Receipts seems to be a mess-maker for many people. When you make a purchase, don’t take the receipt if you’re just going to toss it in the trash anyway. If you need to keep the receipt, put an envelope in the car or your purse to stash receipts, and then bring them in the house for sorting or storage once a week.

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