How to organise and declutter your car

Ever had that moment where you have an unexpected passenger in your car? A workmate? A date? Parents? Must they sweep sand and crumbs off the passenger seat before getting in? Can they sit comfortably between the soccer ball, backpack, box of tissues, magazines and miscellaneous food wrappers on the floor? No? Well, it’s time to get organised.

Everything must go

The first step is to empty your car completely, the boot, glove box, booster seats, under the seats, literally everything that is not attached to the vehicle itself.  Congratulations! You can see the footwell on the passenger side for the first time this year! Look at all that space!

Details, details

Use a damp microfibre cloth to wipe hard surfaces. Use a separate clean cloth to wipe the inside of the windshield. An old toothbrush is super handy for removing crumbs from the crannies of your car. Pull out the foot mats and give them a good thrashing. With the details taken care of, it’s time to get the vacuum cleaner out and give your car a good going over.

Fur real

For many pet owners, dogs in cars is a way of life. Remove pet hair from cloth seats by spraying lightly with a fine mist of water and rubbing your hands, rubber gloves over the fabric or a damp microfibre cloth over the material. Don’t forget to keep your furbaby safely restrained when travelling in the car with either a harness or travel crate.

Get sorted

Now that you can see everything that you’ve been hauling around with you, it’s time to make some decisions. When it comes to decluttering your car, your two main questions are: does it belong in, or out, of the vehicle. Time to sort the contents of your car into two piles – one to keep, the other to toss.

Out of the car

Rubbish is one of the most common things to accumulate in vehicles, so sort that out and into an appropriate bin. Keep trash organised in future with this handy tip: use a plastic cereal storage container with a flip-top lid (an empty plastic baby wipes tub works too!) as an in-car garbage bin. Flip the top and top the rubbish in, then empty at the end of the week to keep accumulation at bay.

Stash and stow

The key to an organised car is having everything in the right place. If you have toys in the car, invest in a seat caddy or small tub on the floor of the backseat. Power cables, phone chargers and other gadgets should fit in the centre console. Sports gear? First aid kit? Have a dedicated storage tub in the boot to hold these items. Other things to include here are a picnic blanket, a small torch, and folding umbrella, so you’re ready for anything.

Get organised

Use your glove box to store motoring essentials like your service log book, rego papers and insurance paperwork so that these things are to hand in an emergency. A notepad and pen are also handy items to store here.

Decluttering is the new black. A clean and tidy car is a pleasure to drive (and a welcome sight for your passengers). Even better, these small acts of organisation and care may even show a positive return when it comes time to sell your car…