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Organizing Mobile Clutter


School’s back in full force and calendars are filling up with practices, games, and after school activities. Weekends are planned with Friday night football, tailgating and church picnics. With today’s hectic lifestyles, we often find ourselves in our cars more than at our desks or in our homes. No longer is the family vehicle used just for driving to work and school. Our automobiles have turned into mobile offices, dining rooms, and homework stations. Many times we grab the mail on the way into the driveway and there it stays. A quick change of clothes can happen in the back seat when running from one ball field to a dentist appointment. We can be in a carpool line and still close sales deals. We’ve all eaten a hamburger while on the highway and have dropped French fries under the front seat, where they stay even though we tried squeezing our hands between the seat and console to get them. With more and more time spent in our cars, it’s important we take the time to declutter our mobile areas just like we do our homes. This 5-step approach is the same “decluttering” method used for your kitchen and your kitchen counter on wheels!

  • Sort: Put like items together. Ketchup packets, straws, koozies, and loose change are a few of the things that overwhelm a small space.
  • Purge: Throw away fliers, tattered papers, and expired coupons. Pull out sports drinks and lunch bags that are rolling around the floorboard. Make sure all the ink pens work. Remove everything that’s not needed for the season. Ice scrapers and pool toys can rotate a spot in the trunk. Sports gear also requires removal from the back seat at the end of the season.
  • Assign a storage place: Keep any papers in the glove box that have to do with the actual car maintenance such as car insurance, registration, and the owner’s manual.
  • Use containers: Trunk organizers are perfect to corral loose items like jumper cables, gloves, and extra tools. Use a small basket in the front seat to make exiting the car easier when carrying in purses, briefcases, packages, mail, etc. Consider giving each child their own tote to keep homework supplies, movies, or games that will keep them occupied for long stretches in the car.
  • Enough is enough: Once you have plenty of napkins, don’t ask for more at the drive-thru window. Keep a trash bag handy to remove the crumbled grocery lists, homework papers, tissues, and hand wipes.

Next time you say, “We can take my car,” you’ll know that the front seat is inviting and clear of football cleats, file folders, and half-empty water bottles. It’s that simple.