Organizing the Car {31 Days: Day 17}

I've been learning recently that a major part of using and loving what you have is taking good care of your stuff. And I must admit that I've been really, really bad at that with something I use every single day - my car. I have a love/hate relationship with my nearly 10 year old Jeep. It has served me really well for the most part, but I'm not a fan of the terrible gas mileage or the expensive repairs I've had to have recently. I've done a pretty good job with things like schedule maintenance, oil changes, etc., but when it comes to keeping my car clean and organized, I've been failing miserably. It's kind of sad. I used to take such pride in keeping my car clean and tidy, and then for some reason over the past few years, it's become a total disaster zone.

So, when I started this series, one of the first things I put on my list of topics was cleaning and organizing my car. I finally took a stab at beginning to clean and organize it this week, and I figured I'd share some of my progress with you today! 

I started with the trunk. Here's a really terrible photo of the before. Brace yourself:

That's one messy car - and one grainy photo!

And here's where I am today:

Big difference, huh? Sure, there's still a giant circular stain from an old tire, but what a difference!

What I did was very straightforward. I started by taking out all the junk and trash and sorted through it. I kept what was supposed to be in the car there (and organized it - getting to blue bin you can see in a sec), threw away trash, and took anything that belonged in the house inside. 

The next day, I took my car to the carwash and spent a well-worth-it $20 to have it vacuumed out and washed. I can't remember the last time I did that.  

Besides that squeaky clean awesomeness, my other favorite part is my new "car essentials" kit I put together. Now this is by no means a comprehensive collection of items, so if you're looking for what to keep in an emergency kit or something, this isn't the place! There are a few things I like to have on hand though in case I need to fix or clean something in a pinch. If it's anything major, I'm calling AAA. Just sayin' :). I don't pay for that service for nothin'!

I already had this large Scout Junque Trunk in our apartment - where it was doing a great job accumulating clutter - so I cleaned it out, found homes for its former contents, and designated it as my car essentials tote.

I placed jumper cables, paper towels, windshield wiper fluid, a flashlight, a flare, duct tape, wrench, screwdriver, ice scraper and a towel in here. The size is WONDERFUL for corralling these necessary, but clunky items, and I know it won't tip over - kind of an important quality in a car tote. :)

So that's as far as I've gotten with my organization. It's nothing fancy, but at least the bin is pretty snazzy-looking. Next I'd like to hit up the front areas like the center console and glove compartment, but that'll have to wait for another day. I'm hoping that giving this big ole piece of machinery a good clean out, pampering and a little organization will help keep me motivated to take care of it better. Going through this process also reminded me that it's a huge privilege to even have a car, let alone one that works just fine, and gets me where I need to go.

Do you have any car cleaning or organizing tips? I'd love to hear 'em!

Read the series from the beginning...

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  1. I'm so impressed! Thanks for the reminder about taking care of what we have. My car takes a beating, too. I need to clean it out.

    Also, I hear ya about calling AAA. When I learned to drive, my dad said, "You don't need to learn to change a tire, just call AAA." That statement sends some of my co-workers into a tizzy, but I'm totally ok with it. It's not like I live in the middle of nowhere!

    Enjoying your series!

  2. Super cute tote! Just a safety note, you may want to consider switching to something with a lid/zipper closure on top. If you were hit at high impact, since your trunk is open to the rest of your vehicle, the belongings in the tote could fly throughout the vehicle (that wrench especially worries me!). Just a thought :)

    1. Casey! I hadn't even thought about that. Great tip. I'll have to get my search on for a good bin with a lid!

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