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Tidy your car like a ninja

A clean and tidy car interior, backseat
Click to enlarge

Here are my top tips to keep a well-ordered car

Last month, when I was telling about the advantages of keeping your car free from clutter , I promised to share my car tidying secrets so that you, too, can offer lifts without apologising. They’re a bit basic, now I come to write them all down: but they really do work!

Have a bin

A bin is basically a place that you put rubbish. The presence of a bin means that passengers – and you – will know exactly where to put sweet wrappers and coffee cups. It is strange that more manufacturers don’t admit that drivers and passengers generate litter and just install them as standard, but there you go. You can just carry a plastic bin bag, perhaps hung on one of those stick-on hooks. Or there are plenty of inexpensive car litter bin options on the market, some liquid-proof, some collapsible, for example.

Stop using your car as a storage space

Your car is not your shed. As I said in my previous car tidying post, driving around with bulky items in your boot is not good for fuel efficiency. Unload purchases as soon as you get home, and find a place for them to live.

If you don’t have room for that footstool and that crate of spare computer parts at home, put them in your storage unit. They will be safer from theft and from the dramatic temperature changes the average car boot experiences.

And unload out-of-season items when the weather changes. There is no need to be carrying a beach umbrella, picnic blanket and camping chairs after the start of October. The chances of your needing them for an impromptu beach trip as slim to none once the clocks go back. And after the threat of snow passes at the start of April, bring your snow shovel and snow socks into storage until winter comes round again.

Look out for nifty car organisers

Parents, in particular, know the value of backseat storage. One tip is to hang shoe organisers on the back of the front seats so that your small passengers can stash their toys and snacks instead of dropping them into the footwell.

There are dividers specifically designed to help you organise the space in your boot. They stop your groceries spilling out and rolling all over; and they can be used to corral anything muddy or wet.

You may also want to stow things like a first aid kit and tools for basic roadside repairs in the boot.

Have a weekly cleaning routine

Finally, make it your habit to give the car a clean each week. Here is my six-step car cleaning blitz.

  1. I remove the rubbish – it’s easy because it’s all in the bin!
  2. I remove cargo that shouldn’t be in there.
  3. I shake out the floor mats.
  4. I run a handheld vacuum cleaner over the seats – just quickly. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
  5. I swipe a cloth sprayed with a drop of glass cleaner over the windows.
  6. Wipe down the dashboards with a specialised cleaner (shops like Halfords have an extensive range of car cleaning products .)

Follow these easy tips – particularly the weekly routine – and you’ll give yourself a safer, smoother, more efficient ride.