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When you visit a car lot like a Nissan dealer in Waxahachie TX, you get mesmerized by how pretty the car is and imagine driving around in style. The new car smell is intoxicating and everything is bright and shiny. It feels good to get behind the wheel of a new car.
Unfortunately, those with kids understand how short-lived the excitement is. The problem is that the car gets dirty very quickly and loses its appeal. Family cars are not meant to impress anybody, but at the same time, we want the car to look nice and be a pleasure to drive.
The key is to have a routine to keep it clean so it doesn’t get out of hand. Getting a car detailed is expensive so it is much better to prevent it from getting too messy, to begin with. In this article, we will go over what it takes to keep your car clean when you have kids.
In This Post:
1. Get Organized
Think about your desk at work or your kitchen and how they are set up. Everything has its place so that you can work efficiently and effectively. When they are not organized it is really difficult to get work done. And in the kitchen, it makes cooking a chore when you can’t find what you need.
The same holds true in the car. There should be a place for everything so that you don’t have to drive in a mess. Have a system so that it doesn’t take much effort to make sure that things don’t pile up.
There are a lot of storage systems designed for cars that make setting them up easy. For instance, there are hanging pockets that can be placed on the backs of the front seats so things like books can be put away when not being used. They usually have multiple pockets so various things can be kept there and in one place.
For the cockpit, you should also have a few little places where you keep your own things so you aren’t adding to the mess with things that you need.
2. Have a Trash Receptacle
Having a place to put trash is kind of tricky. For starters, there may not be much room so you can only have a small one which defeats the purpose. And larger ones can look quite ugly which also defeats the purpose.
Avoid things like hanging a trash bag from a door handle as this is bulky, ugly and simply gets in the way. Instead, have a container with a lid like one you would have in the kitchen to store food. This is good because it is big enough to keep things like wrappers and banana peels without taking up a lot of space. It is also good in case there is something stinky that needs to be thrown away later.
The key is to only have it for one use. In other words, throw trash in it during the trip and then empty it as soon as you return home.
3. Be Smart About Food
As every parent knows, when a child gets hungry, it is hard to maintain control. They get cranky and start melting down. This is why snack time has to happen even if you’re in the car.
Many snacks are messy and will end up taking a long time to clean up. Think about what kind of mess you’ll be cleaning up later. Will that cookie crumble into bits? Will something spill and get into the carpet never to come out? Think about the type of snacks that cause no mess. Apple slices don’t usually stain or stick to a carpet if they fall on the floor. Bananas should be sliced up in a container rather than eaten with the peel since that will make a mess if it doesn’t get into the trash bin right away.
Have a snack strategy that you can use to avoid the most common messes in the car.
4. Make Rules and Enforce Them
This tip is directed toward people with older kids. Kids younger than six or so will have trouble following rules and remembering things. For those with kids old enough to follow directions and remember the rules, set some up to keep the car clean.
The first rule is that anything they bring into the car has to come out when arriving home. Whether it is a toy, clothing, or the remnants of food that they’ve eaten, it has to come out. This will make it easier to clean since you won’t have lots of debris lying around.
Another rule is that they use the storage system that you have in the car. Before getting out of the car, things need to get into their storage space. And using the trash bin in the car is a must when they have wrappers or other things that would normally be thrown onto the floor.
5. Do a Deep Clean
Even when following all of these tips, it will be impossible to maintain a spotless car. There will be cleaning that needs to get done at some point no matter what.
Take some tips from car detailers on how to properly clean a car and do a deep clean a few times per year. You can drop the car off to have it done, but this is expensive and you’ll be without your car for a day.
Use wipes to clean up all the hard surfaces like the dashboard and steering wheel. Cup holders get really gross so make sure to spray them well and use a cotton swab to get all of the crevasses clean. Sprinkling baking soda on the floor before vacuuming will get rid of any odors trapped in the fabric.
Keeping a car clean with kids is a lot of hard work. It takes focus and discipline to make sure it stays that way. It is far more work to have no system and have to clean it up after it gets trashed though. Staying on top of it will make life much easier.