My Car is Always Messy

Dear FlyLady,

I have had great success decluttering our home. However, I still can’t seem to gain control over my car. Clutter is always falling out. Please give me some motivation to get my car clean and keep it that way.

Ashamed of my Vehicle!

Dear Ashamed,

You don’t have to feel ashamed another day. We have a basic weekly plan to help you establish a day to clean out your car. Here is an essay I wrote to help us tackle this final frontier:

The Final Frontier

UFOs are Un-tethered Flying Objects in your car! Yes, you know the ones I am talking about! Our cars are usually the last frontier when it comes to getting organized. When I was a small child, I was hurt by a bottle in our car. I still have the scar to show for it. Think of it this way: when you are riding in a car going 55 mph if you have to stop abruptly everything in the car becomes a missile. Think about being hit by a baseball or a bottle that was thrown at that speed.

Here is the worst thing about UFOs in your car! You are embarrassed for anyone to ride with you. I know because I am just like you! My car has been clear of clutter on the inside for almost two years. There is no telling how many accidents have occurred because a bottle rolled out from under the seat. Then it got under our foot or brake and we reached down to get it.

So how do we stop from cluttering up our cars? We have to establish simple habits that will keep the clutter eliminated.

1. Don’t eat in your car. If you do, then bag up the trash as soon as everyone is finished. The bag the fast food came in is a great bag to hold the trash. When you get out of the car, find a trash can.

2. Every time you get home, empty the car of the things you put in it before you left. Not only will this keep your family safe from UFOs, but it will deter thieves. When there is nothing in the car, there is no temptation to break a window. My purse was stolen from my car once when I went into a funeral home to pay my respects.

3. While you are filling your car up with gas, play a game with the children to pick up the trash in your car. Then throw it away. They can hand it to you through the car window after you have filled up.

4. Keep things in your trunk, confined in zippered bags or under a cargo net in your van or SUV.

5. Establish a day for blessing your car. Fill it up, Clean it out and Shine it up! We do it on Fridays. We have some simple tools for this: The FlyLady Car Maintenance Pack: Silver Rags for windows and shining chrome, the Scrubba Scrubba to sweep floor mats and scrub wheel covers, the Detailed Dusting Mit for washing and Dusting off pollen, and the FlyLady Car duster for cleaning the dust off the dash.

Don’t put your family’s safety in jeopardy because you don’t think you have time. Think of it as Swish and Swipe for your car. Daily maintenance takes less time than a whole day clean up to get ready to go somewhere with strangers in your car. Be sure and keep UFOs contained in the trunk or glove box.

It’s Friday, time to Clean Out Your Car! Set Your Timer!


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