Let’s get down to brass tacks here: Your car is a nightmare.
I don’t know you, and I haven’t seen your car, but I can say with relative assuredness that right now – this very minute – there are sippy cups or juice boxes under the driver’s seat, at least 5 random socks are having a sleepover party in the back, and based on the crumpled drive-thru receipts in the driver’s door storage pocket, you need to start eating more vegetables. (I don’t judge; my son once ate a meal straight from the crockpot in the car.) This all to say that your vehicle is really an extension of your living space, and you deserve better. (It’s also to say that pulled pork casserole is not the best “grab and go” option when dining in your vehicle is a must.)
You spend a lot of time in your car or van commuting to work and running errands. Why not make that time as pleasant as possible? Would family movie nights happen if your living room smelled like cheese and ennui? I didn’t think so. We take great care to create homes for ourselves and our families that are comfortable and welcoming. So why do we think we deserve smelly, messy, decidedly un-zen-like spaces in our vehicle, where we spend hours every day? Add to this that traffic is basically the worst everywhere now, and you’re forcing yourself to be in stress bubble rolling down a stress highway. No. Enough of this sh*t. This stops today.
Today we get our sh*t together and create the sweet-smelling, tidy transportation we richly deserve.
This can be hard to enforce, but we are all grown-ups here and flexing your tidying muscle is a good thing. Simply put, if something goes into the car, it comes OUT. The kicker: on the same day. If your kids are small this is going to be your responsibility for a while, but you can still have them help. Does your toddler take 14 Fingerlings everywhere she goes, or have a need for 28 comfort items for trips to the grocery store? It’s all cool beans, so long as they all go back into the house after the trip. Keep the car as empty of unnecessary items as possible (which is also safer for you, too) and you’ve won half the battle. This goes for everything you bring in, too: coffee cups, charging cords, junk mail flyers, and yes, even crockpots.
Following the “in and out” method will take a bit before it becomes habit (but you’re doing it, right?) so until it’s second nature for everyone in your family, you will need to perform Weekly Grossness Checks (WGC). These WGC take only half an hour or so and will make your daily commute to work, trips to the store, and carpool commitments so much more enjoyable that you may actually begin to look forward to them. Here’s a quick list of what a WGC consists of:
Every few months – say, once a season – give your car a good once over, inside and out. It’s actually very easy to do yourself, and should take less than an afternoon, given average vehicle grossness. It’s pretty much fail and foolproof, too, given the multitude of products available for individual car cleaning tasks. This “spa day” for your car will make you so happy, honestly; you will not believe how great it feels. And because you are doing it yourself, you’ll get out of it what you put in, so really get in there: take a cotton swab to the little vent fins, polish your rearview mirror, drag out the little steam cleaner and rid the carpet of all that ails it.
Remember to hit the following on the outside of your car, as well: Scrape and clean all the dead critters from your windshield and front end. (You will not believe how many there are once you take a close look at the area around your license plate.) Next, hit the brakes – literally. All that sooty brake dust on your rims does more than make your wheels less than stellar – it can actually corrode aluminum and chrome. Armor All makes a protective spray for this and you only need to let it sit for an hour on a hot dry day – so do it as the first step in your car care routine to ensure time for it to work.
Kids are amazing and bring joy, but they are also kind of gross sometimes and bring weird smells. Once you’ve brought the car up to par, keep it that way: Get yourself over to a Canadian Tire and pick up a selection of Armor All Essential Blends air fresheners. They clip right onto the vents (hanging diffusers are also available) so they work throughout the whole car. Pick a mood for yourself from five amazing scent blends covering moods like Energize, Awaken, Refresh, Focus, and Calm. Scent blends include Vanilla Lavender, Pink Grapefruit, and Eucalyptus Mint and more. So now when you’ve got a group of 14 year-old hockey players in the backseat, you can relax like you’re at the spa, not feel like you’re at a goat farm.
Leave the stress of traffic to the road and enjoy the space inside your car. You’ve worked hard to keep it clean and fresh, and Armor All Essential Blends wants you to feel as fresh yourself, and you can! Enter the #EscapeYourCommute contest. They’re giving away 100 Essential Blends air fresheners and 25 Way Spa prizes!
Getting your sh*t together doesn’t need to be stressful, and really, once you start, you’ll feel calmer all around. Having a soothing, zen-like atmosphere inside your vehicle is a great way to inspire yourself to gain control of other things in your life, too! Now, let’s talk about that messy, unorganized purse of yours….