Everyone could do better at keeping the inside of their cars clean. Messes pile up quickly when we depend on cars to do more than drive and hold more than just people. If clutter is slowing closing in on you, try some of these simple hacks for vehicle organization.
Compartmentalization Is Key
The first step is to take stock of what you have and decide what is going to “live” in the space versus what will come and go. Then, you need to consider how to group and store similar items, depending on how quickly you may need to reach them.
When something is taken from its designated spot, it should be replaced after use. The more you compartmentalize, the easier it is to find what you need and put it back when you’re done. There are a number of trunk and seat back organizer options on the market to help you with this, but you can also make your own contraptions (use an empty tissue box to store grocery bags) or repurpose other storage items like shower caddies to hold things you might need on hand — sunglasses, water bottles, snacks and more. Need even more space? Consider installing a roof rack.
Keep It Clean
The biggest contributor to a messy interior is clutter that creeps. A big organizational overhaul is great, but you’ll be right back where you started if you don’t stay on top of it. Of course this happens because you’re in a rush, dealing with a lot and don’t have time to go through everything. So make sure you set yourself up for success by designating a go-to container for loose coins, a big envelope to hold mail and documents and consider investing in a between the seat “filler” so you never again lose your mind searching for your phone. Have a trash receptacle — you don’t have to empty it every day, but this way garbage doesn’t end up scattered all over the place. If you keep up with the small things, you won’t get in over your head.
Trick Yourself (and Others)
Make a deal with yourself to take in just a handful of clutter every day, it will keep the mess from overwhelming you and give you a psychological boost for being proactive. If you install seat back organizers to hold toys and entertainment for kids, have them clean up their own areas before going inside.
Another trick is to set regular intervals to get the outside of your car washed. These may seem unrelated, but a lot of times this comes with an interior vacuuming service and it will give you more pride in your ride, making it a place you subconsciously want to keep tidy.
Vehicle organization doesn’t have to be a huge and recurring nightmare. If you follow the simple rules of compartmentalization and tackle it a little at a time, you’ll soon be on your way to maintaining an environment of sanity and efficiency and not at all ashamed to give a friend a lift. Remember, there are health benefits to keeping a clean space as well — fewer places for mold and dust to hide and less danger of items getting lost or broken. Get to it!
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Photo courtesy of Flickr.
Blair Lampe is a New York-based professional mechanic, blogger, theater technician, and speechwriter. In her downtime she enjoys backpacking wherever her boots will carry her, rock climbing, experimental theatre, a crisp rosé , and showering love on her 2001 Sierra truck.