I spend a lot of time in the car – commuting for work, carpooling the kids, and just plain traveling.
I drink coffee on the way into work, the kids often have snacks and drinks, and sometimes I’m so busy running errands that I’m eating lunch in the car. So, there can be crumbs, trash, half eaten snacks, partially full drink bottles, and God knows what else in the cracks and crevices of my car.
As I’ve shared before, I have had to come up with some very creative ways to use my commuting time, since it takes up 40 minutes in the morning and 40 minutes in the evening, each day. That’s 1 hour and 20 minutes. It’s a necessary evil that I cannot avoid right now.
Here are five easy tricks I’ve learned to prevent messes in the car:
1 – Cover the back seat.
A blanket, towel, or thin bathroom rug makes the perfect crumb- and spill-catcher. Put it under the car seat(s), says Hint Mama, and the non-slip backing keeps it in place while providing a barrier between your car’s upholstery and spilled drinks. T(be sure to check the car seat experiation while you’re back there.) To provide full coverage, you’ll need to cut out openings for the seatbelts, but after that, you can easily remove the rug to shake out the crumbs or stick in the washing machine if needed.
Make sure the car seat is properly installed and the seat covering doesn’t interfere with the car seat’s stability because safety is more important than catching spills!
2 – Protect cup holders.
No one enjoys cleaning up the sticky residue, crumbs, or gunk that always ends up in the bottom of the cup holders. (My car has eight cup holders!) You can avoid this by “placing silicone muffin cups at the bottom of each cup holder. If they get sticky or dirty just throw them in the sink or dishwasher, put clean ones in the car, and save yourself the half hour of frustration!” (Thanks for the tip Jillee!)
3 – Use a tissue box for trash.
I love to use an empty tissue box as a mini trash can for the wrappers, packaging, and empty bottles that always get left behind. Having a designated place to store this trash until we fill up for gas or get back home has made it a lot easier to keep the second (and third) row of my car clean(er). I wonder why there’s not that same amount of trash in the front row (where the adults sit 😉 )?
4 – Protect carpets with inexpensive rubber mats.
Knock the dirt, rocks, and other debris from your shoes off before getting in. Then, cover your car’s original carpet mats with a cheap set or “urn the mats upside down if they have a rubber backing. Another option is to cover the carpet with cheap plastic carpet liner.” (Thanks for this tip Lifehacker!)
5 – Prevent things from dropping under front seats.
Have you ever dropped your cell phone, keys, French fries, jewelry, coins, makeup, parking cards, or other items down that dreaded black hole that is the gap between your vehicle’s seat and center console?
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Every single day, there are accidents and deaths reported in the news of people looking away from the road reaching for a fallen phone, or other items. This is why Driver Distraction has now overtaken Drunk Driving as the #1 killer on the roads, and the reason companies like Allstate Insurance make commercials like this to wake people up:
Visit their website for more information. Thanks to Drop Stop® for providing me with a unit to test and one for a lucky reader!
More Ways to Make the Most of Your Time in the Car:
- Make the Most of Your Commute: Using Commuting Time Efficiently
- Using Commuting Time Effectively
- Tips to Reduce Distracted Driving
- How Podcasts Can Help You Get More Done
Would you like to try DropStop for yourself?
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