True story: Once I was carpooling with 2 friends. At that time, the girls were still using car seats, so I pulled a booster out. Among other crunchy, yucky little bits under the seat were two desiccated chicken nuggets. How embarrassing!
While I was driving the van, it always looked “Mom-ed.” In this case, “Mom” is another word for “trashy.” No one ever took into the house everything that they carried into the car, and over time, there were more and more pens, scraps of paper, crumbs (no more nuggets!), a single shoe, forgotten art projects, etc. It was dirty – “Mom’s taxi” dirty. In fact, my favorite YouTube video of all time celebrates (?) the “Mom van” in a video that you can watch and laugh at here.
Some people’s cars are much more of a disaster than my bit of “momming.” Not long ago, I encountered two women driving the most trashed out car I’d ever seen. It made me sick and sad to see how foul it was, especially when I realized that they had a couple of small dirty dogs in the vehicle with them and that they were likely living in it as well. Ironically what were they doing? Jockeying to be first in line at 99 cent day at the thrift store.
I found this website of junk-filled cars. While these vehicles are extreme, how many of you have a car that you’re not too proud, that you’re not keeping clean? A car is a major expense: the purchase, the fuel, and the maintenance. Shouldn’t it receive the same attention as your house, your closet, and your office?
Here’s how I suggest you proceed. First, get your trash can, your recycling bin, and another bag. One at a time, grab everything off the floor, from the trunk, and from within the seat pockets and sort – trash, recycling, goes back into the house (that’s what the extra bag is for), stays in the car. Clean out every little thing. Put away what you’ve accumulated, possibly leaving the “stays in the car” stuff out because next you’re going to vacuum, and not having those items in the way will allow you to vacuum more thoroughly. Finally, wash the car, inside and out. Ah, doesn’t that look and feel better?
Now, just like every other area of your decluttered home, you have to maintain it. Frankly, this is easier than maintaining the house because once you leave the car, it’s unlikely that you’re going to pass back by it and leave a book or shoes like you might in the living room.
In fact, a clean car can save you thousands of dollars. About five years ago, Dan was sick of his car and started talking about buying a new one. I knew that wouldn’t be a good way to spend our money, and I knew that this car still have thousands of good driving miles left. I took it to the body shop to have a few little dents and dings repaired and a piece repainted so that the outside looked new, and then I took it to a car wash place and got the super-detail package (everything cleaned, buffed, waxed, shampooed, etc.). True, it cost me about $500, but that’s only one or maybe one and a half car payments worth of investment, and we used that car for 170,000 miles.
What state is your car in?
It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow