From the time I started driving for quite a while longer my car collected various things. Eventually I would spend some time just getting it emptied out once it got bad enough. Then there came a time that the car would still get a little cluttered, yet it never required hours of work to get it cleaned up. It’s easy for our cars to collect things – we’re in and out of them regularly.
As with so much with getting and staying organized, how we handle our cars depends on how you want to do it. If you are one of the people whose cars collects things and then you eventually set aside some time to deal with – and don’t want to change that – no problem. You choose how you want to handle your space and things.
Then, there some steps you can take to handle it differently. You don’t even need to begin the following steps with a clean car; you can begin these from however your car is right now. We are in and out of our cars often, and there’s things we can do with our efforts to keep our cars organized.
Most of us completely empty the cars of our groceries after shopping. If we use this philosophy with everything else, we can maintain our car. Each time you get out of your car, you take a load to where it needs to go. You can take just one load even, and if you do that regularly, your car will rarely collect much clutter. If you have trash – you grab as much as you can and drop it in the nearest receptacle each time you get out of your car. If you are heading into a store, there are usually trashcans by the front door – use those.
Sometimes getting gas can feel like a chore. This is another great time to spend a little time emptying stuff from the car. There’s usually a trashcan right by the gas pump, and you’d be amazed by how much you can get done just while your car is getting filled up. If you tend to procrastinate getting gas, try to curb that and work at getting gas on your way home since you’re likely to feel less rushed. It might also lessen any resistance you feel toward using that time to clear out the trash. You can also gather the other things that need to go into the house while the gas tank is getting filled – make it easier to grab the things when you head inside.
I’ve used different techniques over the years for trying to keep the car organized. For a while I kept plastic bags in the car for collecting trash and recycling and when those got full would take them out. I discovered that I would procrastinate emptying them though until they were overflowing. I now keep a reusable bag in case I need it, though I’ve not used it yet.
The habit of each time I left the car I would take at least one load to its place has been the easiest for me. My procrastination habits interfere the least with this. It also never feels like a chore… well, almost never. 🙂 In my case, it’s also now minor stuff and not something I have to do each time – just when I have something for the trash or recycling.
For the various things that I want to keep in the car, and it’s gotten less over the years – I tend to look for ways to contain them. Before containers, the stuff would slide all around and look messier than it was. When you’re driving kids around, it can be even more of a challenge. I encourage you to enlist the children to help, they can return things to where they belong and even help carry things into the house.
As with probably everything about organizing – it requires some discipline and developing habits. How do you want things to be? It doesn’t have to require lots of time or energy, though it might in the beginning. Once you’ve established your routines, it can become easy. Decide for yourself how you want your car to look and take steps to get it there and then keep it there.