It’s Week 2 of the 52 Week Organized Home Challenge! Welcome back! How are you doing on your goals so far?
I chose when to schedule when I had to clean out my vehicle, very carefully. I knew we’d be going on vacation and I would need to clean it out. Not only did I need to clean it out, but the day we got home, I had to clean it out again, as my husband was taking a van load to the Kansas City Royals baseball game the very next day. My little kids seem to think that trash is to be put on the floor while traveling. ARGH
As a large family mother of 7 children, we have a very difficult time getting our 15 passenger van cleaned out on a regular basis. There’s lots of little kids. There’s lots of seats and only so much energy from these old parents. We’re getting better though. The trick is to not let it get so bad and utilize your helpers!
Are you one that lets your car get really trashed out and dirty, too? I guess we get excited about getting home, that we don’t want to make multiple trips to the car to carry everything in. If you have trouble with this (or even if you don’t), here’s your action steps…
1. Remind everyone to not leave the vehicle without their arms full of things that need to go in the house or in the trash. Even little kids can carry something light.
2. Have something in the car to catch the miscellaneous stuff. For me, I bought 2 bins. One was for trash, one for things that go in the house. Now, use them! If you fill the trash one up, you can stop at a gas station or car wash or dumpster to dump it out.
3. Create a system! Not only do you need to get your stuff pulled out regularly, but we need to get it to where we do it automatically. That’s the hard part, isn’t it? Train the kids that trash only belongs in a trash bag or can. If there’s none available, train them to take it inside as soon as you get home. Reward them if you have to.
4. Schedule yourself a time to vacuum and dust your vehicle out. This can be as often as you’re comfortable with. I hear that doing it weekly makes the job much easier, but doing it monthly could sound a bit more reasonable to you. Really, there’s no right answer here. You know how bad your car gets and you know how much time you have. Give it the time it needs. If you don’t let your kids eat in the car, you’re less likely to need to vacuum as often. If they do, well….you know how that goes. Vacuum away! :) Better yet, assign a kid that chore.
For me, it’s more about the clutter left within the van, than the crumbs. Yes, it does get crumby, but that doesn’t bother me nearly as much as the clutter and trash. (We seem to have a pattern of clutter!) After our vacation, we pulled out a whole trash bag of trash. We were not using a system! We did not remind the kids to throw their things out on a regular basis. We let it pile. Not good.
Products to Help You
(may include affiliate links)
Here, you can see a bin on Amazon similar to the two bins that we use. We just happen to have room in our large van for a bin of this size.
If you don’t, there’s other options out there.
What about this collapsible trash can?
or this back of the seat trash container:
or better yet, this leak proof litter basket for your car:
What Others Suggested:
I asked how other people keep their cars clean on Facebook and I got all sorts of hilarious answers. Things like, don’t have children, don’t allow your children to travel with you, don’t use your cars, etc. :) It was fun, but I did get a few more useable answers, too. I’m sharing some of them below:
Karin says: 1. Every time you get out of the car, take your trash with you. Children can do this, too. There are trash cans everywhere! At the very least, throw away the trash when you get gas.
2. Only drink water in the car. This is huge for cleanliness AND health. No more mystery sticky gooey messes…
3. Whatever you bring to the car, take back out — every time. Children can do this. Learn and play some “stuff-free” games in the car.
4. Be a role model and make it fun! Smile and create games to get into the new habits.
Ginny says: Put shower curtains in trunk to keep clean.
Jamie says:Routine. I vacuum it out every Monday. It makes it easy and quick since it doesnt get too bad week by week rather than waiting until it’s awful and takes a long time. As I vacuum, if I find something in the van that doesn’t belong, I toss it in the trunk. After school, kids can sort thru that.
Connie says: Never eat in it! Our kids are 18 & 15 and have never had more than water in our cars.
Kelly says: Remove everything as soon as you get home…don’t wait until “tomorrow”
Aja says: Everyone grabs something out of the car every time we get home.
Jaimie says: Walmart bags for trash…Windex or car wipes to wipe down when waiting in long lines, Febreeze clips for nice smell.
Karin says: We keep a tarp in the back of each vehicle (trunk or “way back” in the hatchback) to make clean-up easier. The people area of our cars are always clean/organized since we take out anything we brought into the car each time. The trunk and “way back” are disasters at this time of year! Our summers are ACTIVE and we still have summer weather.
Janet says: I pay a monthly fee for car washes and cleaning. One price for as many times as i want it done inside and out. I keep a grocery bag in it for garbage and baby wiped in glove box for quick wipe ups. No eating in my car — just drinks. But nothing with sugar or cream that will stain. So no soda or sugary coffee drinks
These are some great ideas, ladies! Thank you for sharing them!
Now it’s YOUR turn.
How’d you do? Did you get your car cleaned out? Do you already have a good handle on it?
If you find this post helpful and are enjoying this series, would you consider pinning this picture on Pinterest?
Pinterest is an excellent way to tell other people about our fun new series…..and gets more of us involved. The more the merrier, don’t you think?
Next week we are working on our make up bags and purses. Do you have any tips for how to organize your make up bag or purse? How do you keep yours cleaned out? Do you have anything special you do? How do you choose what to keep in them? Please email me, leave me a comment on this post or on Facebook and fill me in. I love including your ideas into these posts! It makes the posts that much more valuable!
If you want to see where we’re we’ve been so far and where we’re headed in the coming weeks please check in below. If you’re new, just jump in where you are. We’d love to have you along for the ride!