We’ve been enjoying some beautiful spring weather in these parts the last couple of weeks and I was so ready for it. It has really lifted my spirit to see some blue skies and sunshine. We spent a gorgeous week last week in the lovely Dorset seaside town of Lyme Regis. It is a place very close to our hearts. My parents have a holiday home there so we are extremely lucky to be able to spend a fair amount of time in the town and because we do, the children have grown up knowing and loving it. It is also close enough to home to be able to take our pup in the car with us and the added bonus of having her and chasing her around on the beach has made our time there even more precious.
We arrived home on Sunday afternoon and it was straight back into the breach with a full-on week of tearing around. I had intended to get going with several projects but life took over. I remember when I was young if anyone would ask my Mum what she was doing the first week we kids were back at school she would say ‘Oh, I’m digging out!’ Meaning that we had created such a disaster zone during the holidays she literally had to spend a whole week getting things back to normal! So, that’s what I’ve been doing. Digging out. Having said that, we were away for the second week of the holidays so we weren’t even here to make a mess! Just demonstrates the havoc created in week one! Holidays do create quite the tidal wave of washing though don’t they?!
So, having done very little of anything interesting, I thought I would share a quick tip which might be useful to some of you in the way it has been for me (whilst interspersing a few pretty yet random pictures to keep us all going!)
I don’t know about you, but I have always found keeping the inside of my car from looking like a rubbish dump virtually impossible. The last two cars we have bought, I have vowed never to allow the children to eat in the car but there is always that emergency situation when you have no opportunity to feed them anywhere other than in the car (I’m talking about that packed lunch during the mad dash from one after school club to another with no gap in between or the occasion when you leave straight from school to head off for a weekend away and you need to arrive before dark.) Anyway, long story short, I never seem to be able to stick to my guns and even though I insist all rubbish be removed, it never seems to quite work out and over time, we end up with a car full of mess.
months weeks, I have to face the music and clear everything out. An average haul usually consists of at least 5 empty drink bottles, several food wrappers, a few hairbands, used wet wipes, napkins, several pens and pencils, a toy or two, a dog lead, a pair of socks (don’t ask!), a hairbrush, multiple hoodies, 2 umbrellas, a couple of ties, a school jumper and a jacket or two. Half of these items will have been the subject of several house-wide searches and not once will it occur to any of us to look in the car.
In order to tackle the problem, on the advice of my sister, I purchased one of these:
This shall henceforth be known as ‘the car basket.’ Mine is actually boring black and not lovely red polka dots like this one but as it was on sale for less than £5, I can live with that. They are available on Amazon and eBay in various colours but the prices do vary. The car basket has been a revelation in keeping our car clear of clutter. It is used as both storage area and rubbish bin. I keep a plastic bag inside the basket for litter alongside everything else we need for our journey. I take it in and out of the car every time we enter or exit the vehicle. This is the key to the success of the car basket. Bring it into the house with you….every. single. time. Never be tempted to leave it in the car. Once inside, empty the rubbish bag, and take any other items out that will not be needed next time you leave the house.
The car basket is also useful for helping me to remember things. Anything I know we will need for our next trip goes straight into the basket. Just think of something you need to remember tomorrow morning? Pop it in the basket. No time to come home between work and school pick up? Stick a drink and snack in the basket for the kiddo’s now. Weather forecast good and you need to remember sun-hats for the children for school tomorrow? Put them in the basket. No waiting around for it to slip out of my head again.
There is an additional bonus feature which is also a game changer. The top of the basket has a zip that goes all the way around. This means that not only are you able to completely hide the contents of the basket from any undesirables that might come snooping through your car windows but also, the dog can’t get her nose in the side to get to any of the contents before we leave for school! Win-win!
I keep our basket in the hallway when it’s in the house and load it up as I go. When we’re in the car, it sits in the middle of the back seat. This is the most practical place for us to put it as we only have the two children but it could go in the boot or on the passenger’s seat just as easily (though I would recommend putting it out of sight when you leave the vehicle).
Does anyone else have any quick and easy tips for keeping the car clutter free? Please share them in the comments. It may seem like such a simple thing but this one little item has really made a difference to the amount of time I spend grovelling around in the footwells of our car – and that can only be a good thing!! Until next time….xoxo!
P.S. You can read about another in-car tip here.
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