I’ve never had a super fancy car… but I’ve always had a clutter-free car!
When I got my first car (’94 Grand Am), I can remember spending SO much time cleaning it and making sure every compartment was neatly organized. Ten years later (and a slightly newer car), I still love cleaning and organizing my car!
While the exterior might not always be clean, you’ll almost never catch me with a dirty, messy, or cluttered interior.
Here’s a peek into my car…
I like to keep my trunk almost empty — just in case I find a great sale and need to cart something home.
I keep jumper cables and a couple blankets in the spare tire compartment, and my reusable shopping bags and a few baby necessities on the “deck”.
The Glove Box:
If any area in my car has the potencial to get a bit cluttered, the glove box would be it. I usually keep it under control, but for some reason, I often find miscellaneous junk shoved in there every time I clean!
I keep my car documents and insurance information in the glove box, as well as extra business cards, an umbrella, cleaning wipes, a car charger for my phone, and restaurant coupons (since I’m usually sitting in the passenger seat when we go out to eat).
The Middle Console:
I love the middle console in my car because it’s not so big that I can shove tons of stuff inside, but it’s big enough to fit some basic “essentials”.
I keep a pack of tissues, pen, paper, sunglasses, my coupon organizer, and several blank deposit slips for our different bank accounts.
The Seat Pockets:
We only have one pocket on the back of the passenger seat and we use that to store our Atlas — yes we still have an Atlas, and we often prefer it over GPS for longer road trips.
However, I also use this “Swing Away Car Organizer” from Clever Container to store and organize a few other items that have been handy to keep in the car (especially now that we have a baby). We keep a travel size container of baby wipes, an extra burp cloth, extra pipe, bottle of water, hand sanitizer, gum, mints, lip gloss, lotion, paper, pens, a few snack items, and some activity books all neatly organized on the back of the passenger seat.
And since it’s called the Swing Away, it easily swings around to the front if I need something while I’m driving.
That’s it — that is all the “stuff” I have in my car (well, besides Nora’s car seat).
I’m usually extremely diligent about cleaning out my car after every use. I don’t leave trash or papers in the car, I don’t let stuff pile up in the truck, and I even try to regularly vacuum out the crumbs!
My Quick Tips for a Clutter-Free Car:
Use a Basket to Corral Clutter
Just like any organizing project, it takes a bit of will power and continual maintenance to keep our car clutter-free, but the one thing I almost always do is keep a small basket or reusable shopping bag in the passenger seat while I’m out and about.
That way, if I stop at the post office, pick up a prescription, get a smoothie from McDonald’s :), grab the mail on my way up the driveway, or accumulate anything else that doesn’t belong in my car, I can put it in this basket/bag and promptly remove it from my car when I get home.
And no, I don’t just let it sit on my counter to collet dust! I trash, recycle, file, or put away everything in the bag/basket and then put it back in my car the next time I run errands.
Practice Monthly (or Quarterly) Maintenance
While my car stays neat on a daily basis, I don’t take the time to vacuum or deep clean it nearly as often as I should… especially in the cold winter months.
I TRY to stop by a local $3.00 car wash every month or so. When I’m there, I take advantage of their free vacuums to clean out the inside, and while I’m riding through the car wash, I use my car cleaning wipes (in the glove box) to wipe down the dash board, leather seats, middle counsel, etc.
When I can’t get to the car wash, I use our shop vac to vacuum out the interior and usually just skip washing the exterior — unless it’s a really nice day!
I don’t know about you, but I LOVE driving around in a clean and organized car — especially after it’s freshly vacuumed. And since it only takes me a few seconds to declutter each time I drive somewhere, I definitely think the results are worth my effort!