You spend a lot of time in your car, especially if you have kids. Whether you’re at work and you’re making a quick run to get lunch, you’re dropping the kids off at school, or you’re driving them around to their evening activities, it doesn’t take long for your car to end up full of fast food wrappers with seats covered in sticky substances that you can’t quite identify.
It’s true that a messy car is annoying, but it’s also dangerous. There were more than 312,000 intersection crashes in 2019 in Florida alone, many of them due to distracted driving, which includes being distracted by rolling pop bottles in footwells and blowing wrappers.
Stay safe and sane by keeping your car clean and tidy with these tips.
Keep a Container for Trash in the Car
It is so easy for trash to end up on the floor. Kids are notoriously bad at dropping wrappers and other items on the floor. Keep the garbage to a minimum with a container for trash in the car.
Consider keeping one in the front seat for your convenience, and keep another one in the back seat for the kids. You can buy special containers to place between the seats, but even a plastic bag looped around the headrests will do. Then, when it’s full, all you have to do is throw it away.
Cover the Seats
Seats don’t stay clean in a car when there are kids. From chip crumbs to juice spills and muddy shoes, kids can really do a number on your car seats.
Little kids in their own car seats can be especially messy. It’s easy for crumbs and debris to get stuck underneath and behind the seat. Not to mention, the seat itself can leave scuff marks on your car’s actual seat.
Cover all of the seats in the car. That way, when someone spills or you have to clean muddy spots off the seat, all you have to do is remove the covers and throw them in the washing machine.
Use Over-the-Seat Organizers
It’s not just trash and spills that can make your car messy. Kids have a lot of stuff that ends up in the car. From papers from school to water bottles, soccer gear, and toys, all that stuff has to go somewhere! Keep it all organized with convenient over-the-seat organizers.
These organizers hang over the backs of the front seats, giving your children in the backseat easy access to their stuff. They are especially handy on long road trips. With different compartments, kids can keep their tablet, crayons, coloring pages, and other items handy so they are there when they need them.
Use a Trunk Organizer
Your car’s cabin isn’t the only place that can get messy. Most moms and dads have to deal with a messy trunk too!
Messy trunks make it difficult for you to find what you’re looking for, but they are also a hassle to deal with when you’re trying to find a place to put all the groceries you just bought.
Look into trunk organizers to find one that will work for you. Large organizers with handles are great for carrying in groceries, while organizers with a lot of little compartments are great for emergency supplies like water bottles, baby wipes, diapers, and jumper cables. Do a little shopping around to find the organizer that would work best for your family.
Create a List of Approved Food and Beverages in the Car
Stuff can take up a lot of space in your car and make it messy, but nothing compares to food and drinks. It’s usually sloppy fast food, crumbs, and spilled drinks that contribute to the mess in your car the most.
Unfortunately, banning all food and drinks from the car isn’t really an option, especially if you and your family spend a lot of time in the car. Instead, create a list of approved (and unapproved) items that are allowed in the car.
- You might allow water, but no pop or juice
- Fruit leathers might be allowed, but no small gummy snacks, like Gushers
- You might allow pre-made packets of veggies, like carrots and celery
- You might allow handheld snacks, like string cheese and meat sticks
- Crunchy snacks that leave crumbs, like chips, might be banned
You probably won’t ever have a perfectly clean car when you have kids, but when you follow the tips on this list, you can reduce the mess so your car is comfortable and safe to drive.