Organize for Success® Turns 10
In honor of this month being Clean Car Month, today, let's cover my top 10 tips to keep your car clean. Here are ways to spring clean your vehicle inside and out this upcoming weekend:
10. Create a clean slate. Remove everything, throw away any trash and decide what will be kept. Clean everything off from the floor; then, empty the glove compartment, center console, door pockets, trunk and any hidden storage areas.
9. Give the outside of your vehicle a good bath. Roof, windows, tires, wheels, bumpers and everything in between needs to be cleaned thoroughly, particularly to remove any remaining pollen. To clean headlights, smear toothpaste across each plastic lens cover and, then, rub them with a soft cloth; rinse the toothpaste off with cold water and wait for it to dry.
8. Don't forget to clean the inside, too. From the front windshield to the rear windows, including the dash, gauges, floor, seats and every nook or cranny that needs dusting, cleaning, wiping down and vacuuming to be ready for summer travels.
7. Add a trash bag for future purging. Whenever you stop for gas, pull this out and empty it while your gas is pumping.
6. Group like with like. Whether it's pulling all coloring materials together, segmenting off each child's goodies or corralling related materials for technology, cleaning, emergencies and shopping, the concept of grouping similar items applies as much to your vehicle as any other functional space in your life.
5. Contain what you retain. Now that you know which items are being kept, have grouped them with similar items and are planning for putting them back in the vehicle, you can choose which, if any, organizing gadgets or gizmos you will need and, then, put them to good use. It's always good to have a fabric bin of snacks that will hold up equally well in the heat and cold so you are equipped to stave off the early symptoms of "hangry", feeding yourself before getting angry. Additionally, I encourage you to keep another fabric bin full of car cleaning supplies so you can maintain your vehicle's cleanliness throughout your travels.
4. Perform regular maintenance services. The entire weight of your vehicle rests on its tires, not to mention how well your vehicle connects with the pavement as you drive along; make sure to regularly check the condition of your tires. Yet, don't stop there; regularly get your oil and filter changed while checking the battery, charging system, antifreeze level, windshield wipers, engine, brakes, exhaust system and headlamps.
3. Stock your glove compartment. You'll want to make sure a hidden storage space keeps convenient your owner's manual, vehicle registration information, auto club details, accident report form, notepad, pen, flashlight, tire gauge, paper napkins and re-sealable plastic bags for everything from park rocks to wet clothes as well as any items you use frequently.
2. Boost your preparedness. Be ready for emergencies year-round, not simply during winter weather months; make sure you have a kit in the trunk or rear space that includes jumper cables, another tire gauge, flares, reflective tape, a help sign, a screwdriver, pliers, first aid kit, work gloves, blanket, old towel, rags, adhesive remover, jar of water and motor oil. Schedule time on your calendar this fall for adding a winter weather survival kit with candles, waterproof matches, energy bars, large plastic garbage bags, rubber bands, cat litter, a collapsible shovel, an extra blanket, heavy socks, gloves and a warm, winter hat.
1. Adjust your driving as needed for greater fuel savings. I think it's a constant battle to follow these guidelines, but those pennies pinched add up: Accelerate and brake more smoothly, slow down, reduce idling, keep tires properly inflated, avoid adding extra weight to your vehicle, close windows at high speeds and consolidate trips so there's much less stopping.
Which are your favorite tactics for getting or keeping your vehicle clean? Will you try any of those listed here?