Monday, September 5, 2011

Monday Motivation: Decluttering and Organizing Your Car

Has your vehicle become the latest site for an archaeological dig?

Are you missing some items and you suspect they could possibly be in your car but you're too afraid to look?

Is there a strange odor coming from somewhere in your car?

Do you always ride with friends because you're too afraid to sit in your own vehicle?

It's time.  It's time to declutter and organize your car.

1.  Grab a trash bag/can and some boxes/bins and take them out to your vehicle.

2.  Take everything out of the car, sorting as you go (see step #3).  Check every nook and cranny.  Remove items from the glove compartment and every other storage compartment.  Don't forget to check under the seats and the built-in ash trays.  Remove your children's car seats and booster seats.  Remove all items from the trunk/cargo area as well.

3.  Sort the items as you remove them.  Trash goes in the trash bag/can.  Items that must stay in the vehicle go in one bin/box.  Items that need to go somewhere else (house, another car, to another person) go in another bin/box.  Action items go into still another bin/box (library books to be returned, dry cleaning to be dropped off, DVDs to be returned, recycling to be recycled).

4.   Now that you have everything removed from the vehicle, it's time to clean.
      a.  vacuum seats and floor, including car mats
      b.  spot clean spots on seats and floor (here's what I use)
      c.  wipe down all surfaces (here's what I use)
      d.  clean windows (here's what I use)
      e.  treat surfaces with appropriate protectant (leather seats get a leather paste, vinyl dashboards get Armor All ) 

  OK.  It's time to put the car back together - except this time without all of the junk. 

1.  Place clean floor mats into the car

2.  Glove compartment:  Only keep items you'll need to access occasionally - frequently used items need to be closer to your arm's reach.  You'll want to have important papers (owner's manual, vehicle registration, auto club info., accident report form, notepad and pen, and insurance info) stored in the glove compartment.

3.  In an area closer to the driver, place the GPS, phone charger, gum, etc. for easy access while you're on the road.

4.  In the trunk/cargo area you'll want to have emergency supplies like a first aide kit and jumper cables.  Hopefully you'll never need them, but they'll be there when you need them.  We'll get into specifics in a future post.

Well, I hope this helps you get a start on decluttering and organizing your vehicle this week.  For the next three weeks we'll be going into more detail about organizing your vehicle.

Monday the 12th:  Vehicle paperwork
Monday the 19th:  Things you must have in your vehicle
Monday the 26th:  Car Maintenance and handy tips 

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