How to declutter your car and create a vehicle environment that works for you
If you have a car and spend as much time in it as I do, you know it becomes more than just your travel companion. It keeps your important documents, essential vehicle fluids, hobby equipment, animal or children accessories, bags of all kinds, helps you transport groceries or other purchases, conveys your children or animals safely, and holds many other personal items! After awhile, cars can become messy, filled with receipts, straw wrappers, garbage, or even snacks. They can contain spare change, cords you don't use anymore, or even store old car related papers that are expired. Lets start working on cleaning out the unnecessary, and talk about how to properly organize your car according to your needs.
Cleaning Out Compartments & Side Pockets:
Start decluttering your car first by going through your main compartments and car door pockets. Are there expired or irrelevant papers in there? If so, take them out and shred them. Is there old chapstick, more napkins than you'll ever need, irrelevant cords, a plug-in GPS that you'll never use, CDs you don't listen to, or perhaps some old receipts floating around? Whatever it is, clutter clear your compartments first by removing anything unneeded.
When you're done, ask yourself if there is better way you can organize your compartments to make your life easier. If you have floating coins, can you purchase a change purse to keep in your car? If you like to keep lipgloss or chapstick in the car, can you purchase a small make-up bag? You can keep your important car documents in a simple folder or envelope to make them easier to find. If you tend to accumulate a lot of trash, can you buy a cute reusable trash bag for your car? Add your ideas to a to-do list so you can get these types of helpful items and make your life that much simpler.
Cleaning Out The Trunk:
Assess what you currently keep in your trunk. For me, I like to keep extra fluids (oil, coolant etc.) because I have an older car who needs refilling often, my snow brush and ice scraper, a blanket for my dog, jumper cables, and usually put my bags (backpack, business bag, groceries) in the trunk. What do you like to keep in your trunk? Look through your items and remove anything irrelevant. For example, if it is Spring, you probably don't need your winter equipment in there! Ask yourself if you need better organization for your trunk. Remember, you're probably in your car a lot so the more convenient the better. Trunk organizers, crates, or dividers can make all the difference in keeping your items easily accessible and tidy. Plus, it creates more room in your trunk since you won't have items scattered about.
Start thinking about purchasing items that would come in handy for you. If you have children, you might want to keep an emergency car kit, something to organize their athletic equipment with, or even have a snack and play station ready to go for them on long drives. Make it happen! You might just need a little basket, crate, or shower caddy to keep some stuff in and can call it a day. If you have pets you might want to keep an extra blanket, dog food and toys just incase you spend extra time somewhere you are visiting. Maybe keeping extra make-up or contact solution in your car works great for you because you travel a lot and tend to forget some things at home (although I don't advise keeping these things during the hot summer months). If your purse always falls over in the car, purchase some cheap car hooks that will keep your bag held up straight on a seat. If you get your clothes dry cleaned a lot, get an item that can hold multiple hangers! Get creative here, the goal is to help you function with ease, so what would make your life easier?
Quickly or deeply clean your car:
Start your cleaning extravaganza by cleaning out your car doors, in between the seats, any extra car pockets, and under your seats. Remove any junk, trash, or unnecessary items. Does your car need a good dusting? Do it! Get some wipes made specifically for cars, or any other appropriate type of cleaner, and wipe everything down (including the seats if you have leather).
How are your windows? A bit streaking or foggy at night? Wipe those down with window cleaner. It is best to use a microfiber cloth. Paper towels tend to leave little fibers which might make it even more streaky. Does your car need to be vacuumed out? Perhaps your car needs to have it's fabric shampooed if it is looking a bit dingy. Put it all on your to-do list, schedule your car purge and restoration for a beautifully sunny day ASAP.
Feel free to get your car detailed by a professional if you feel like it would serve you better. This is meant to make your life easier, and if finding time to clean out your car makes you feel stressed out, then have someone who is qualified do it for you. You will be supporting a local business and can free up time for yourself.
Any services need to be done?:
When was the last time you got an oil change? How are your air filters (if you drive around a lot than these are important to have replaced at least once a year)? Maybe your car needs to get inspected or be brought in for a tune-up? Is your AC or heat functioning properly? I went a whole summer without AC because I didn't want to pay for it. I was so miserable and sweaty for months! It's not worth it, trust me, get it fixed now!
Schedule these appointments for the future so that they are at least planned. You don't need to do any of this right this minute, but at least put it in your calendar to be done on a near date. You don't want to be driving around with squeaky or crunchy brakes only to find out that if you took your car a bit sooner to the mechanic, you wouldn't have had to pay for both brake pads and new rotors too! Been there, done that.
If you treat your car with respect, then it will respect you back. I know how easy it is to just let it go because you become so busy. Your car ends up turning into a storage solution for junk or loose snack items. Make the effort to clean it out at least every few months. If you think that organizational solutions will create an easier life for you, then love yourself enough to spend the money on it. This is another environment you truly want to keep clutter-free so you can feel great every time you get into your car!
Need more help decluttering?
You can sign up for my FREE masterclass below or check out my online decluttering course!
❀ learn more about how clutter detriments the energy of your home
❀ learn how exactly to get started decluttering without overwhelm
❀ partake in exercises that will allow you to focus on who you truly want to be
❀ plus a free downloadable decluttering checklist for your wardrobe