When you climb into your vehicle, do you have to clear space for others to sit consistently and constantly? Does your mind right away turn to wondering if your car is clean when someone asks for a ride? Do you think about the papers that have been sitting on the floor for months or the food that may be molding as we speak?
In a way, it makes sense that our vehicles can be one of the messiest places. Traveling from place to place requires us to take certain things along. The thing is, what we fail to do, is once we arrive at our location, to take everything out that does not belong in there. How often do you forget to take your coffee mug out of the cup holder after work? How often do you forget to take that stack of papers from the backseat? How often do you forget to look for food that was dropped after the kids ate in the car?
Decluttering, cleaning, and organizing the car really shouldn’t take all that long. A vehicle is not THAT big and if you keep up on it, should only take you a few minutes (if that).
Another idea I want you to think about is: Why do you own the vehicle you own?
Below are some questions I want you to think about when it comes to your vehicles:
- Why DO you own the vehicle you do?
- How many vehicles do you have?
- Why do you have that number of vehicles?
- Is your vehicle expensive to maintain?
- How much is insurance, taxes, and the parts to fix the vehicle?
- Do you see your vehicle simply as something to get you from A to B? Or is your vehicle something more to you?
- Does your vehicle boost your ego?
- Do you park as far away as you can, so that no one will put a paint chip or dent in it?
- Do you see your vehicle as a status symbol?
These questions hopefully have you thinking about why you own what you own. Now it’s time to organize that vehicle (or vehicles):
1. Take out everything that is on the surface – mugs, papers, pens, extra change, wrappers, and food. Put change in the change holder, throw away wrappers, etc.
2. Look under the seats – what drifted down to the floor?
3. Wipe down everything – dashboard, steering wheel, center, armrests.
4. Vacuum if needed (this may take a little more time)
5. Prevent further disasters by cleaning out your car everyday. It is simple – every time you get out of the car, take out everything you took in.
We own two vehicles – a 2002 Ford Explorer and a 2000 Dodge Intrepid. I wouldn’t say anything special, but those vehicles really work for us. With my husband being a youth pastor, we are constantly carting kids around, so having a 3rd row seat is vital! We have saved many trips back and forth because of it. Plus, when traveling, which we do back to our home state, we are able to fit everything we need to comfortably. Not to mention, being able to tow things as well! We had a different Explorer a few years ago, but that one was totaled in a tornado (and that vehicle literally saved our lives) and so when searching for a new vehicle, there was no question we were going to get another Explorer. It’s a cheaper SUV without having to pay the SUV price. The Intrepid, well, it has a dent in the side and sounds pretty rough, but that car costs us barely anything as we have the cheapest insurance on it and we have yet to nickel and dime it. What a blessing! It has over 186,000 miles and we know it’s not going to last forever, but until it dies, we will drive it. When it does die, I think we will consider getting a van. I know, I know, welcome to the “mom” world, but that is what we are thinking at this point.
We have also started to practice the rule – take everything out that you took in – and we have not had a cluttered car since. In fact, someone once made the comment that we had the cleanest car they had ever seen. I chalk it up to following this rule. Granted, we do not have children, but you can still apply this rule! Teach them to pick up after themselves. It can be done!
Keeping your vehicles organized and thinking about why you own what you do, really puts clarity into having a purpose for everything you do and everything you own.