Keeping your vehicle’s interior clean and organized can feel like a hassle or a chore that’s easy to put off. But, much like regularly tidying your home, it’s important. Here are a couple of tips that may help you stop your car’s cabin from becoming a mess:
If you frequently have kids in the back seat, odds are they’ve left their fair share of crumbs in the carpet or on the floor mats. Even you normally drive alone, you may find anything from dropped French fries to leaves and dirt under your seats. The remedy is simple — give your car a once over with a handheld vacuum every so often. Not only will this get rid of the crumbs before they have a chance to dig into the carpet, it gives you a chance to look around for more serious spills that can cause stains.
Choose the right tool for the job
A quick clean may seem like a simple task, but you can make the existing issue worse if you choose the wrong approach. For everyday grit that’s wedged itself into your carpet, equip your vacuum with an attachment that has bristles to coax them out. For spills on cloth seats, Consumer Reports’ Keith Barry urges you not to soak the affected area, as “damp cushions encourage mold and can create a musty smell.” If you’re looking to freshen up or maintain leather upholstery, make sure to use a cleaner that won’t damage the material, as well as a soft cloth.
Invest in a car-friendly trash can
No one wants to sit in an enclosed space filled with discarded fast-food wrappers, forgotten mail, or old gum, and your vehicle is no different. Picking up an appropriate travel-friendly trash can is an easy and inexpensive way to make sure your ride doesn’t end up becoming a trash can itself. There are plenty of options to choose from, including ones that can attach to multiple places, ones that are waterproof, and even ones that include clips to keep the bag from sliding down.
Pick up a console organizer
If you’re not careful, your center console can quickly become a catch-all for random items you’re not sure what to do with. So, before you start tossing everything from hand sanitizer to spare change into the cubby without a plan, consider buying a simple plastic divider. Even something as basic as a cheap desk organizer can keep things in order and help you find what you need when you need it. Just make sure to measure its dimensions before you commit.
Avoid using your vehicle for storage
It’s incredibly easy to leave inessential items in your car, especially if you’re worn out after a long drive. However, getting used to using your vehicle as an overflow space for storage can easily lead to clutter — and it can start to pile up faster than you may think. The best way to avoid needing to clear stuff out before loading more in is to make sure you unpack your car completely after every road trip, grocery run, or commute.
Even if it feels like a lot of work in the moment, cleaning out your vehicle and keeping it well-organized can save you even more effort down the line and go a long way towards maintaining that like-new feeling for years to come.