Day 20: Car
Hello, Organizing Warriors!
You have made it to the final day in our series How to Organize Your Entire Home in 20 Days! We have been working our way through your home and decluttering the mess along the way.
This process has taken 3 weeks to complete and I hope you see how your hard work has been worth it (drink a nice glass of wine tonight and take a load off to appreciate your handiwork!).
We hope that this 20 day overhaul has left you feeling so much better, not only about the clutter in your home, but the clutter in your mind.
We also know that right now we need happy and healthy distractions from the crazy world we're living in.
For today’s project, your car! It may not be a room in your house, but it’s a space that you spend a lot of time in and should feel relaxed while you’re there -- we know how the usual Denver traffic can be anything but relaxing, so make your car your own personal oasis!
As always, the first step in the organizing process is to pull everything out of your car. This means empty your glove box, your center console and anywhere else you're storing things in your car (everything that can be pulled out, don’t try to pull the actual car apart!).
Your car is an easy place for things to accumulate when you're busy, always on-the-go!
The next step, as always, is to categorize your items. When all the items are categorized into groups, it makes sorting through the items much easier.
After you have categorized everything, take a break from the items because it's time to clean the car!
First, wipe surfaces like the dashboard, steering wheel, door handle and middle console with disinfecting wipes. Then, vacuum the seats and floor (front and back!) in the car. Once you’ve vacuumed, use a glass cleaner to wipe the inside of the windows.
Next, take the floor mats out and wash those as well. Finish up by hanging a new air freshener in your car so it smells as good as it looks! If you want something more natural, we also like to put a small Tupperware of baking soda with your favorite essential oil with holes punched in the lid to create a fresh, subtle scent.
It’s always best to clean during the organizing process because there is nothing occupying the space and preventing you from cleaning those hard to reach places.
Once the car is cleaned, it's time to get back to the stuff that came out of your car. There are only 3 options to sort these items: keep, donate or trash.
Items that you want to keep should be things that serve your family a purpose and you definitely will be using in the future. These are things like your vehicle's user manuals, car insurance verification, and pens.
You can also keep a few emergency items in a plastic ziplock baggie in the case you ever need to floss and brush your teeth after lunch with a friend!
Items that need to be donated are things that are still in good condition but no longer serve a purpose for your family. These are things like a GPS if you use your phone’s navigational system and CD’s if you only use your phone for music.
Items that are trash are things that don’t serve your family any further purpose and wouldn’t serve anyone else purpose either.
These are going to be things like stained or torn seat covers and broken car phone chargers. Trash that easily gets left behind in your car are empty bottles, receipts, leftover food items, empty shopping bags and gum wrappers.
If you are having difficulty deciding on what items should be kept or donated, ask yourself questions such as, when was the last time someone in my family used/wore this item? Does this item still serve its original purpose for me? How many of this one item do I have and is more than one really necessary? Would someone else better benefit from having this item than I would?
By asking yourself these questions about items you aren’t sure of, you are opening your mind and being honest with yourself about the needs of your family. Any items that you keep but you don’t need will continue to add to the clutter in your car for no reason!
By giving away these items, you are not only clearing the mess from your house, you are also allowing someone else to use these items that may need them more than you.
After you’ve made the decisions on what items will stay in your car, it's time to start putting them back.
Put important papers and information (car insurance, user manuals and maps) in the glove compartment.
Place items that you use more commonly (pens, hand sanitizer, chapstick and sunglasses) in the middle console.
Check out these console organizers that prevent your items from becoming a cluttered mess while you're driving. Put items that aren’t used often (disinfectant wipes, jumper cables, umbrella and flashlight) in a bin and place that in the back of your car.
Just like in your house, it’s important for all the items to have a specific spot to ensure you can find items when you need them and once you have used them, you can easily put the item back.
Once you have put the items back in your car, it’s time to take care of the leftover items. These are the items that were in your car at the start of the process but don’t actually belong there.
This could be things like children’s toys, books, clothing and kitchen utensils. Go ahead and now place those items in your home where they actually belong.
Take note of who in your family the stuff mainly belongs to and have a conversation with that person on the importance of putting things where they actually belong to ensure your car stays clean and organized even after today.
If the stuff is mainly yours, set rules for yourself about how long items can stay in your car. Strive to never leave kitchen dishes in your car and always toss out trash when you're going in at the end of the day.
Now you get to enjoy your freshly cleaned and organized ride!
If you are still feeling overwhelmed by your car (or any other room in your house!), please reach out to the Clutterless Home Solutions Team. We would be glad to help you get back on track!
Clutterless Home Solutions