How to keep your car clean and organised when you have kids

If your car is anything like mine, then it’s very much an extension of your home and most likely filled with kids colouring books, empty sweet wrappers and a heap of clothes and shoes (amongst other things). 

In spite of religiously taking my trusty motor to be cleaned once a month, inevitably by the end of the first week ‘post clean’ it’s back to it’s usual grubby, unorganised state leaving me wondering how on earth it happens.  I am definitely blaming the kids!

However, it doesn’t have to be this way and with just a little organisation and effort from you and your family, it is entirely possible to create a clean driving haven that you’ll be proud to get into. In fact, it’s almost as easy to keep you car clean and organized, as it is to get quick car insurance quotes online nowadays!

Here are five top tips to help turn your car from grimy to shiny:

If you bring it in, you take it out!

A simple tip for ensuring your car remains clothing and clutter free is to introduce the above rule and stick to it.  My kids now know that if they insist on bringing all their soft toys with them for the journey, they won’t be allowed back into the house unless they bring them all out of the car again when we’ve returned.

It sounds harsh, but sticking to this mantra will help keep your car tidy and organised as well as teaching your children valuable lessons about responsibility.

The same rules apply to older kids, husbands, wives, partners…and even you!

Bag it up

Keep a good supply of empty plastic bags in the glove compartment.  Use them in the following situations:

  • Put trash into
  • Wrap around wet umbrellas
  • Chuck muddy wellies into
  • When someone feels/is sick
  • Put soiled clothes into

Emergency kit

Fill a large plastic or metal box with a few in-car essentials, which can then be stored in the trunk or glove box.  This could include antibacterial hand gel, safety pins, wet wipes, tissues, loose change for car parks and sun lotion. For more information on the importance of being safe in the sun, read here.  This will avoid your car and handbag getting cluttered up and ensure you have a good stash of basic essentials to hand at all times.

Invest in a hand held vacuum cleaner

The secret to maintaining a spotless car is to clean just a little bit every day.  A battery powered hand held vacuum cleaner makes it easy to give your vehicle a quick regular hoover.

You’ll find that by routinely spending 5 minutes hoovering every other day or so, you’ll very rarely need to spend hours doing it and it will become much less of a chore.

Clean up spills immediately

As all parents know it is inevitable that from time to time something will be spilled onto the interior of your car.  Sippy cups tip over and coffee cups drip.  Whilst it’s not the end of the world, if liquid spills aren’t cleaned up quickly the liquid will soak into the fabric resulting in stained, grubby looking upholstery and an unpleasant smell – milk is the worst for this.

Dab the spill with a damp cloth to absorb as much of the liquid as possible, spray a little upholstery cleaner onto the spill and then scrub it with a dry cloth or gentle scrubbing brush before finally rubbing gently with a damp wash cloth to soak away any residue.

The area should dry quickly without any lasting evidence or staining.

This article was written by Amanda Walters, an experienced freelance writer and regular contributor to Huffington Post. Follow her here: @Amanda_W84

It’s All A Test

Life is all about tests, seriously, this past week I was tested with so many different things. For example, a week or two ago my vacuum decided that it wanted to get all clogged up. This was the day I realized how badly I need either a dog or a working vacuum cleaner. A dog requires so many more responsibilities that I just can’t take on right now, there is no way I could deal with a dog unless it came fully potty trained, fully vaccinated and I didn’t have to put a dime into anything but feeding it in the first year of me having it. Which is hard to come by since I would honestly prefer to get a puppy than an older dog not knowing how they have been with little kids. I don’t have the funds for extras at this time so I will just figure out where the clog is as soon as possible and unclog the lovely 7 year old vacuum cleaner!

Next test was my washer machine, yuppers, it decided to leak all over my carpet and well that was cool. No it was not really that cool, do you realize how hard it is to soak up water that is all over a carpet?! After uploading a photo of my lovely washer machine incident to my Facebook account someone informed me that it may have happened due to an uneven load. The next day I decided I was going to test it out by running a small load in it, and nope not so much, I had water all over the floor in seconds and a ton of dirty towels and my only pair of tank tops. I ran to the laundry mat that night with my sister and the three munchkins loaded with quarters and dollar bills.

While the kids played with toys and arcade games I finally realized the first washer I used was sitting in error mode, yeah it ate my $2.00 and I had to spend another $2.50 in quarters to wash my load in another washer. Of course there was no attendant there at the time I was doing laundry so I simply lost $2. May not seem like  alot but it is to me, considering I feel like my washer at home is plotting against me.

The last and final test this past week or two was my lovely lawn mower. I have a push mower, love getting the sun and exercise but it takes about 3 hours to do my whole lawn, if not longer. With all the rain we have been having in NH I haven’t been able to mow my side lawn when the kids are here, it’s way too close to the main road. So I let it grow and grow and grow (not by choice) and now it is too tall to mow with my push mower. It bogged the mower down and when the mower died and was restarted two times, by the third time it was all set and quit on me. Which means the one day I had someone to watch over the children while I mowed on a nice day didn’t work either and so the side lawn is going to grow into a forest. Lovely!

There you have it life’s little tests all within at least the past two week time frame. I am still smiling, I am still thinking things will work out. I know they will, I know all of this is happening to simply test me during a high stress time in my life. There is a lot of personal things going on and although I’ve been good about keeping my head held high when things go wrong you can’t help but wonder how much more can I handle?!

Question for thought: What has tested you this past couple of weeks?

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