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How Do You Keep Your Vehicle Clean And Organized?

I just got a different vehicle to drive and am looking for ways to keep it neat and organized. My poor little truck that I am now selling was always in sad shape. I finally decided the little truck was too small (I am 6 foot tall), so I decided I wanted something bigger. After quite a bit of research, I chose a 2004Tahoe. I love the extra room but having an almost 5 year old and his toys, snacks, movies, etc can be a mess-a BIG mess!!

I never found a way to get the truck organized. It was a GMC Canyon crew cab. Even with 4 doors, it was too small and always a total mess. I have seen tons of organizer products at the store and online but am not sure what I really need. This is where you come in. How do you keep things clean and organized? I really need some advice on this!

1 thought on “How Do You Keep Your Vehicle Clean And Organized?

  1. Well, I was in the same position (minus the height issues LOL) a few years ago. I was driving a GMC Jimmy and it was always a complete wreck inside with all of the kids discarded clothes, jackets, papers, books, toys, and ... Yes ... I admit it, food wrappings, bags, paper cups. It always looked terrible and I was embarrassed by it. I would clean it out really good every few months, but it looked just the same within a week. Once, in the summertime I had all the windows open as we were driving in town. A cop got behind me and pulled me over. I couldn't figure out why. He walked up to my window, took one look in my car and said, "Oh! Now I understand." I was puzzled. Till he told me he was pulling me over because he'd been following me for several miles as litter flew out the windows of my car. Yes, my two youngest (ages 3 & 6) were picking up the paper and wrappers lying around the floor and in the seat between them and "letting it fly" (they said) out the window. I was mortified!!!!! Thankfully I didn't get a ticket. But, it was definitely a wake up call. A few years ago the transmission gave out on it, giving my husband all the excuse he needed to buy the new vehicle he'd been trying to talk me into. Hey, I love a new car just as well as anyone else but we'd just paid off the Jimmy and not having a payment on it was nice. I wanted at least a year or two of that before getting into another car payment. :0) Anyway, we kept the Jimmy and fixed the transmission so our oldest daughter would have something to drive and he got me a really nice Toyota 4 Runner. I love it! Now for the clutter advice. #1 No eating in the car ... mostly. It's almost impossible with kids and their schedules to never let them eat in the car. But, for the most part, I only allow bottled water (rarely soda or juice). If we stop to get McDonald's or something I try to do it on the way to the soccer field or on the way home & I most usually insist that we wait until we can eat outside of the car. This has (by far!) been the best way to cut down on the floorboards and seats looking crappy. If I allow anything else in the car it's a small sandwich size ziploc bag of dry cereal or crackers, no colored crackers or fruit snacks that can stain or melt to the seats and NO CHOCOLATE WHATSOEVER). I love chocolate (by do I, so that was a hard one for me) but chocolate is evil. It DOES have a brain and it DOES find every nook and cranny to melt into, the harder to clean the better. ha ha #2 Every time (and I DO mean every time) I get out of my car to go into the house I have an armload (or two) of stuff to take inside. Mail, groceries, purchases, coats, whatever. I tell them every time that they have to look around the car and take some stuff inside (their video games, books, soccer or dance equipment, whatever). If they don't take it inside, I WILL NOT run out to get it for them later when they decide they want it. I used to (when they were all younger and more stubborn) not allow them to go back to the car later for their stuff, either. They just learned if they thought they were gonna want it later, they'd better bring it in the house. They're older now & I don't enforce that rule anymore, but they are still more likely to bring their stuff inside out of habit now. #3 I keep several Walmart sacks in the console or the glove compartment for those times that a trash bag is needed which greatly cuts down on the stuff that they used to just throw in the floor. #4 I bought 2 great collapsible totes (about 18 inches by 3 ft) at Walmart years ago. I keep one of those in the car at all times in the back. It's great for containing things like soccer balls, books, car toys, extra jackets, or whatever (like my coupon binder) so those things no longer slide all over the place. #5 My kids used to bring everything but the kitchen sink into the car every time we went somewhere. When I got my 4 Runner I instituted a rule that they could each bring one small bag or backpack with 3-4 items in it to keep them busy. It cuts down on the amount of stuff to be brought back in the house & it was easy for them to pack their stuff back up in their bags and bring it in the house for themselves. Oh, and by the way, crayons, markers & pens are absolutely forbidden from the back seat. They can bring them in their bags if we're going somewhere they'll be able to use them outside of the car. But, I told them if I caught them out in the back seat that they were going to be trashed, no excuses, no give backs. I only had to do that a few times before they learned not to test me on it. I'm a pretty laid back, permissive mama, as long as they're not doing something that could end up with them getting seriously hurt. I think kids should feel free to express themselves and somewhat test boundaries. It's how we humans learn. But, these 5 simple steps that I've outlined (and a lot of "gentle reminders" to my kids to help out) have completely taken care of the problem. I am no longer embarrassed for people to see inside my car and it's a nicer place for me to be, too! I hope this helps. If you try any of these tips and it does, I'd love to hear about it! Good luck!!! Wendy reignbough1973 at yahoo dot com

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