During the summer, we tend to spend more time in our vehicles, driving children around town.  For us, it’s play dates and swimming pools to putt-putt golf and a trip to the movies.  Some days, we are non-stop, and because of this, my car gets less and less organized and more and more messy.  
Just yesterday, I found three straw papers, a mint wrapper and two half eaten french fries.  (Or maybe it was one french fry broken into two, but still…) the mess is driving me crazy.  I like clean, and I’m not finding it.  At least not over the summer.
While I am okay with a mess sometimes, I can’t let it take over our time in the car.  Especially since we travel so much. 
tips for cleaning out the car
When considering cleaning out the car, I remember Sort, Sanitize and Safety.
To start, we SORT everything in the car.  We pull everything out, then go through it by putting everything in piles: What goes in the trash, what goes in the house, what needs to be returned to a store and what can go back in the car.  We always find way too many things that belong in the trash or brought inside the house.  Before we put things back in the car, we sanitize.
Using a heavy duty vacuum, we start the cleaning process by vacuuming all carpets and nooks.  We then wipe down the dash board, steering wheel, side door panels and gear shift.  (Don’t forget the cup holders, as that’s a spot we usually remember when we think we’re done!)
Finally, we make sure everyone stays safe.  Check all the installed car seats for proper installation, then make sure the windows are clean.  I like to clean the mirrors at this time, too, as those can easily be overlooked.  If you have children, this would also be a good time to make sure you have placed a few books near car seats for them to stay occupied while buckled in their seats.
All in all, cleaning our car takes about an hour, with everyone’s help.  It’s easy to get lost in day-to-day tasks, but a clean car will make your trips even more pleasant!

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