The Car Interior Organized
passersby look into the interior of your car or truck, what do they
see? Do you have trash from fast food snacks, books, or papers piled on
the seats and floors? Is your vehicle tidy and neat, or is it a mess?
The condition of your car says something about you. Have you ever NOT
offered someone a ride because you were embarrassed about how untidy
your car was? With all those windows, it's kind of silly to think no
one will notice your mess, anyone who walks by your car in a parking
lot can see all that's there, if they care to look.
What sort of impression will you make when you arrive at a business
meeting, or community event and crawl out of your messy, dirty car (all
dressed up in your business suit or your clean and tidy casual outfit?)
Let's face it, we spend more time in the car these days, what with
driving kids to school and events, running errands, or using the car
for business purposes, there are many opportunities for people to look
into your car's interior. You might not care what people think about
the state of your vehicle, but there is no contest between riding in a
mobile trash heap and driving a clean, tidy car.
Keep On Hand - In The Car
# Owner's Manuals and Car Warranties
Anytime you have repairs done that carry a guarantee, make sure you
keep the receipts and any printed warrantee papers. Store them in an
envelop or speciality folder in your glove compartment.
You can keep them in your home filing system, but if you are on the
road and something happens and the work is still under warrantee, it is
much easier to get the repair done without having to pay if you have
the warrantee papers with you in the car. One solution to having these
on hand, but recorded in the central filing system, is to take copies
of these documents and store the copies at home.
You can buy pre-made kits from the drug store or an auto supply store.
You can also fill a Tupperware (tm) container with: band-aids, gauze,
tension bandage with clips and safety pins, a foil blanket that folds
down to almost nothing and ointments, rubbing alcohol, suntan lotion
and antiseptic cleaner.
Take along maps of your local area, street maps for any cities you are
going to be visiting and highlight your route before leaving the house.
Also kept in the glove compartment in your folder or an envelop. Make
sure you throw out the old ones when they expire, or you may find
yourself in an embarrassing scramble if the police pull you over and
want to check your paperwork. More than one person (my husband
included) has pulled out expired insurance papers and was almost given
a ticket for no insurance until it was realized there were expired
papers from previous years mixed in with the current ones.
Emergency Phone Numbers
Police, fire, your doctor, insurance company- all the numbers you may
need in an emergency.
# Busy Box -
For the driver: books or magazines to read when stopped in
traffic or for other road delays. If you have children on board, you'll
want a selection for them too. Keep the items on the floor in the back
seat in a plastic container or basket.
# For the
kids: cassette or CD recorder equipped with headphones,
some music or stories, for longer trips or road delays.
You might find that a plastic shoe organizer is a handy way to store
the books, car toys and cassettes. Get the clear plastic kind and fit
it so it hangs over the back of the front seat making the pockets handy
for the children to use.
You can make one yourself with plastic material from the hardware or
housewares section of the drapery department, it comes in wide sheets
that you can have cut to your measurements. Just stitch up the pockets
on your sewing machine.
wipes - perfect for wiping sticky faces and hands. Great
quick wipe-ups for spills or dust on the dashboard between washes. You
can get individually packaged travel wipes, but I find the pop-up wipes
are just as handy although not as easy to store.
Mugs and Straws
Although I discourage eating and drinking in the car, there are times
when you just have to have a coffee or the kids need a soft drink.
Instead of trusting the paper cups from fast-food places, get a travel
mug for each family member. Before getting into the car, pour the
drinks in the mugs and put the caps back on securely. Small children
can use a straw, so keep a few in the glove compartment for them.
When you arrive at your destination, take the cups in and wash them so
they are ready for the next trip. Have a small basket or container in
the car and return the clean items right away or bring in your basket
and load the clean cups back into it and leave it in a designated spot
to refill before leaving the next time.
Keep trash picked up as you travel. When stopping for gas, get rid of
the odds and ends of trash while your car is being filled up.
Plan a regular washing schedule. I find it easier to take my car out to
be washed at the car wash, because I don't like doing it myself. When
the kids were home, they did it for me. I paid them what I would have
paid at the car wash.
The secret to having a clean and tidy car is to keep ahead of the dirt
and the mess. Develop routines for taking care of your car and pick-up
as you go. Once a year, invest in a really good professional detailing
job, and your car will look and smell like new when it's done. That
should be a good incentive to keep it that way.
For more information on what you should carry in the trunk of your car
see Peggy Hoehne's great article: Tips For A Safe Vacation
As well as a list of things you should keep on hand, there is a great
list of links to more information on traveling safely.
© 2003 Judy Brown