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Author: Naomi CookClutter General Organizing Organizing Products Recyling Small Spaces Travel

Your Car: Clean, Clear and Under Control!

Car CleanoutWhen was the last time you took everything out of the trunk and off of the floor of your car and really explored what is hanging out in there? Maybe you have some store returns to make that happen to be intermixed with fallen French fries, sticky soda bottles and stinky gym shoes…ick. It sounds like a scenario for those Febreze Car Fresheners!

On the next nice day when you can dedicate a few hours, head out to your car and follow these simple steps.

1)  Remove EVERYTHING – Yes, I said everything! First, take out the bigger items from the floor and then the stuff from your glove compartment, center console, door pockets and trunk. Don’t forget to look in all those other nifty hidden compartments, as well. For now, keep these items in neat (or as neat as possible) piles in your garage, on the patio or in shopping bags.

2)  Clean – Clean your interior windows including the front windshield, the rear window and the gauges. Next, dust and clean your dashboard. Finally, vacuum the floors and seats. If you haven’t done this process in a while, you may just prefer to head to the car wash and let them take care of it for you. A good car wash may be something worthwhile to get rid of that pesky pollen…achoo!

3)  Trash/Recycle – Get a trash bag as well as another bag for recycling. Toss any items that are trash, like those fries! Recycle any maps or papers that aren’t needed, like expired car registration or insurance documents, soda cans and water bottles.

4)  Sort – Go through the rest of the items and decide where they need to go, whether it is back in the car or into your house.

5)  Organize – Keep some fabric storage bins with handles in your trunk and on the backseat. They are inexpensive and can surprisingly hold a lot. Five bins should be enough; you don’t want to fill up your entire car with them.

  • In the trunk
    — Use one to stash snacks, like granola bars and crackers, for that on-the-go hunger.
    — Use one to hold car-cleaning supplies and a first-aid kit.
    — Use one to hold miscellaneous items that accumulate daily.
        Bring in this bin once a week and put the items where they belong.
  • In the backseat
    — Use one lined with a plastic grocery bag as a mini-trash bin.
    — Use one lined with a plastic grocery bag as a mini-recycling bin.
    — Also consider seat-back organizers if you have kids. This will allow them to keep their belongings together, like magazines, books and headphones. Going vertical is always a winner in any organizing scenario.

6)  Maintain – Whenever you stop for gas, pop out the trash bag and toss it. Save the recycling items to take home if you don’t see a recycling bin. Keep some additional plastic grocery bags folded flat on the bottom of each bin.

7)  Rejoice! – Look inside your newly cleaned car and get ready for those road trips. Then take a whiff. If it still stinks, quickly proceed to the nearest store and buy yourself an air freshener!

Happy travels wherever you are headed, near or far!

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