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Cleaning your car interior

Trash your car's clutter and enjoy the ride

By Hellen Buttigieg

Do you have a messy car? Here's how to keep your car's interior neat and tidy.We spend a lot of time in our vehicles, whether it's going to and from work, carting the kids to various activities or embarking on a road trip. With such busy lifestyles, cars have become our home on wheels; a place to eat, fix our hair, make calls, and catch up on reading and paperwork (hopefully not while driving). This can take a toll on the inside of the vehicle, causing clutter to pile up and become an eyesore.

Having a disorganized car not only prevents us from feeling comfortable and enjoying the ride, it can also be dangerous. Items rolling around in the vehicle can distract drivers and even cause injury in the event of a sudden stop or crash. Here are some easy organizing strategies and storage solutions to get your car clean and organized:

1. Do a clean-out at the end of the day, removing garbage and any other items that don't belong in the car; this takes less than two minutes but done consistently, it's the easiest way to keep your car looking and smelling good.

2. Keep a tissue box full of trash bags in your car to make daily clean-ups quick and easy.

3. Keep wipes and dust cloths in the car and clean the steering wheel and dash whenever you find yourself waiting (i.e. picking up the kids).

4. Place a small bin in your trunk or at the foot of the passenger seat to keep books, toys and papers contained. Collapsible bins provide a flexible storage solution, and a few pieces of Velcro on the bottom will secure the bin to the carpet so it doesn't slide around.

5. Visor organizers will keep CDs easily accessible.

6. Hooks that slide under the headrest can hold purses and bags.

7. Seat-back totes can carry everything from colouring books and crayons to maps and file folders.

8. Front-seat organizers and console units that fit between minivan or SUV seats are great for the travelling businessperson who wants convenient access to files and a flat surface to write on.

9. A small accordion wallet helps keep papers (receipts, directions, accident forms, etc.) neatly organized in the glove compartment. (However, originals of vehicle ownership, registration and insurance papers should not be left in your car; keep photocopies there instead and store the originals in a safe place in your home).

10. Always place heavy items in the trunk to prevent them from becoming projectiles when you come to a sudden stop or get into an accident.

Being organized in the car is a safety issue, but it will also make you feel better about driving. It may even make your trips less stressful. Once you experience the benefits of a tidy car, it will give you the motivation to keeps things in order. Now, road trip anyone?

Hellen Buttigieg, CPO, is a Certified Professional Organizer, life coach, TV host and owner of We Organize U, based in Oakville, ON. She is the author of 'Organizing Outside the Box: Conquer Clutter Using Your Natural Learning Style'. For tips on organizing your home, your office and your life, visit and sign up for Hellen's free newsletter. To contact Hellen or for information on hiring a We Organize U organizing specialist, call 905-829-2219 or e-mail

Posted Sept. 12, 2011 ©



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