…Or at least the five ways that I am!
You may have read in a previous post that my car has been a source of some embarrassment. I am not very good at keeping it free of paperwork, toys and empty sweet packets, and it was actually starting to pong! When I started this blog I decided that sorting my car out would be my first project. Let’s face it, it’s an easy win. I only have to keep an area of about 1m² tidy for goodness sake!
Firstly, I “assessed the problem areas”. (I’m cringing posting these pictures, please don’t judge me too harshly!)
As you can see – the boot was full of all manner of junk, the footwell below my son’s car seat was filled with toys and I had been stuffing receipts and rubbish anywhere and everywhere in arms reach of the driver’s seat.
Next came the solutions….
- Get a rubbish bin
I knew I needed a proper bin in the car. It would be no good just planning to take rubbish out of the car every day, because I would stuff it in my handbag and leave it in there for weeks. I had an old (never even used!) plastic cereal box knocking round that I’ve repurposed, but you can buy car bins on eBay and Amazon for £5-10. I’ve been using this for about a week already and it is really helping and much better than my husband’s ridiculous solution of just stopping eating sweets!
- Get a receipt envelope
I collect a lot of petrol and post office receipts in my car and again was reluctant to just stuff them in my handbag knowing that wasn’t going to solve the problem. I bought a clear plastic A5 envelope from Asda (about £1 for 4) that now sits in my door. Easy.
- Get a car seat organiser
I’ve been meaning to get one of these to hold my son’s toys, a book and a drink for ages. I bought one (Lindam) for about £8 from Amazon, but you can get even cheaper ones on eBay. The rule is – if it can’t fit in one of the pockets then it can’t stay in the car. (When clearing the car out I found the source of the whiff coming from underneath the massive pile of toys – a bottle of water had spilt and a sodden CBeebies comic was rotting. Nice!)
- Get an emergency kit
Well, technically I’ve now got two. I gathered all the bits than rattle round the boot of my car that I need and have popped them in a large plastic box. It’s got a couple of bottles of water, a rug and a woolly hat in case of a breakdown. It’s got a road atlas and a winter car kit, as well as my son’s portable potty, wet wipes, tissues and car window sun screens for use if the sun ever comes out again. I’ve also now got a smaller spotty tin (set of three for £5 from Asda) that I keep under my seat with some more wet wipes, tissues, pens, hair band, plasters, insect bite cream, hand sanitiser and a spare pair of pants (for my son, not me!). We live in a small village and have to drive to get anywhere so I always have my car near. Having all these emergency bits is saving me from carting them round in my massive handbag. (The big cardboard box you can see in the picture is also very useful. It is my charity box. I read ages ago about putting things you want to donate to charity straight in your car. It immediately gets them out of your way when you are decluttering and then you can drop them off at the charity shop when you’re next passing.)
- Keep a stash of change
This is pretty straightforward and most people do this, but I have not always replenished the stash once I’ve spent all the pennies on parking tickets (or sweets!). This time I plan to make sure it’s topped up regularly.
My car is tip top and it’s amazing how motivating it is now I’ve cracked one of my chaos zones. If you’ve got any tips on keeping your car clean and tidy, I’d love to hear them…