Car Care Tips
Well-Organized, Clutter-free Car - There's Nothing Like it!
If you ever have a
day when you don't feel like you're accomplishing much
and you're kind of low energy, clean out your car! It
sounds like a paradox, but it's not. A clean car will
give you a big boost of energy.
Let's start from
the top and see what's in your car...
May Be in Your Car Right Now
- your PhD
- paint samples
- cans of paint
- garden tools
- wood working
- empty soda
- fast food
- coffee cups
- thrift store
and garage sale bargains
- thrift store
giveaways (that haven't been given away yet)
- cans of oil,
antifreeze, and other car fluids
- emergency kit
- bottled water
- returns for
- papers and
- dog food
- hamster cage
I've seen some
cars so full that there was barely room for the
driver. I know it's rude but I get really curious and
want to stop and stare. I know one professional woman
who bought a second car so she could drive her clients
in it - because her first car was full of stuff and it
was embarrassing to use it with clients.
Is it Time
to Clean Out Your Car and Get Organized?
When was the last
time you cleaned out your car? It's amazing how
quickly a car can get trashed. In fact my car needs
cleaning out right now. It doesn't have much stuff in
it (except the two drawer file cabinet I've been
driving around for a week or more) but the dog hair
has gotta go! And my nifty containers in the trunk
have gotten disorganized. It's time to revisit the
car! Unfortunately things don't stay clean and
organized on their own. We need to intervene now and
then and do a maintenance tweak.
If You're Not
Excited About Cleaning Out Your Car, Here's a Quick
Bit of Inspiration.
It's not a crime to
have a messy car. It happens to all of us. We use our
cars for so many purposes that it's not hard to let
them get out of control and feel that we don't have
time to clean them. There's a simple solution -
schedule a professional cleaning.
Deciding to take my
car in for a cleaning always inspires me to clean up
my act to get ready for the professionals. Kind of
like straightening your house before the house
cleaners arrive. It makes their job easier so you get
a better final result. I take a few minutes to clear
out any junk that shouldn't be in there and reorganize
I don't like to
vacuum my car and clean the windows so I let somebody
else do it. At the auto plaza they're organized to do
it easily and efficiently, and cheaply. They have
specials on Tuesdays for Women and Thursdays for men
for about $12. Actually they'll give you the deal
either day because they just want your business.
It's such a GREAT
feeling to drive out of the car wash with clean
windows, no dog hair, and an empty car! I feel like
I'm on top of life when I get that together.
Organized for the Long Run
though, that this clean organized car doesn't last
very long - if you haven't set up simple systems to
corral the various things you really do need to keep
in your car. So here's a short bit about how to set up
some simple systems.
I organize my car
just like I organize other things. First, I get rid of
everything that shouldn't be there (paper, chain saw,
filing cabinet, two layer cake), and I put the rest
into containers so I can keep things together and find
what I need easily. Containerizing saves time, space,
hassles, and keeps objects from sloshing around in my
the Inside of Your Car
For easy access I
put a squeegee under the driver's seat so I can easily
do the windows after I go through the dollar car wash.
I put a pen in the visor organizer. Under the
passenger's seat I put my local phone book for easy
reference if I need a phone number or address while
I'm out and about. I put phone books from other nearby
cities in a plastic bin in my trunk because I don't
often need to reference them.
Reserve the inside of your car for things you need
quick, easy access to. Put everything else in the
I have one handy
container that holds car stuff like oil, oil filters,
oil funnel, windshield washer fluid, fuel injection
cleaner, etc. Another holds a variety of phone books
and a sheet to drape over the back seat to protect it
(somewhat) from dog hair. Use a container with a lid
if you want to keep the contents from getting dirty.
Trunks are amazingly dusty - at least mine is.
I used to have a
container for emergency gear, but my sister bought me
an emergency kit that I wedge into a corner in the
trunk so it stays put. It contains an air compressor,
jumper cables, flash light with batteries, blanket,
etc. Don't leave home without it!
If I have returns
to make, donations for the thrift stores, or
recycling, I put it all in the trunk and wait until I
have a full load to efficiently dump it off in one
trip. This saves time, money, hassles, and energy.
Just don't leave it in there indefinitely. Forgotten
items tend to breed and multiply. Instead, look at
your calendar and plan a convenient trip on the way
home from work or in an off hour when there won't be
much traffic. Just make sure you know when the stores
Don't do as I've
done! I've loaded up my entire back
seat and trunk with recyclables and driven cross town
to the recycling place to see that I've missed their
closing time by 10 minutes. They have a big sign that
says "do not dump your stuff when we're closed" so I
end up driving to my van pool in the morning with a
loaded, trashy car. Yucky. So do check the store hours
before you head out to dump your junk.
Now for the
Hey folks, this is
a time to feel virtuous--when you FINALLY clean out
your car. There's nothing like a clean, well-organized
car. It says, "I'm on top of life!" Sweet.
Cheryl Miller is a wellness expert and life
coach. She specializes in helping people like you
take action to get fit, quit smoking, eat well, live
simply, manage stress, get organized, finish big
projects and 1,000 other things. Visit her website
www.cherylmillerville.com and join one or
more of the free clubs to help you take action to
live a healthy, happy life. Members get free monthly
newsletters, invitations to teleclasses and Get it
Done Days, and more. Everyone is welcome. If you
want a straight shot at getting on top of life,
contact Cheryl at
firstname.lastname@example.org and ask
about her life coaching services.