4 Days Before:
- Start dreading that it’s almost time to clean out your car again.
- Look at your calendar and decide when you want to spend an hour dealing with it this week.
1-2 Days Before:
- Try to take a random item out of your car each time you get out of it so it won’t be so overwhelming on cleaning day.
- Do as much laundry as you can to prepare for the load of dirty clothes, socks, shoes, bathing suits, and hats that you will inevitably find in your car.
- Find 4-5 empty grocery bags to use for sorting items. Put these bags in your car. Do not put them on the chest freezer in your garage and then drive off without them.
- Go to an expensive, self drive through carwash (with free vacuum if possible). Try to go during an off peak time so no one will give you dirty looks when you stay 20 minutes longer at the vacuum station than the 10 minute maximum time.
- Have your car washed in the automatic car wash. Try not to hyperventilate while inside the claustrophobic car wash coffin. Distract yourself by surveying the inside of your car for to prepare for a plan of attack.
- After exiting car wash, try to find a vacuum bay without cars nearby (see #6).
- Start somewhere simple, like the driver’s seat. Empty all of the trash out of door pocket, center console, then start vacuuming the seat and floor. Don’t even try to vacuum the floor mat. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Just remove it and put it aside for the floor mat machine.
- As you start to get your momentum, head to the front passenger seat. Remove all the trash, empty cups, extra Chickfila straws, and jackets. Begin your sorting into grocery bags. A bag for clothing/shoes, one for trash, one for recycling, one for toys, and one for dishes. Pray that you will only need one bag per category.
- When you finally have mastered the front seat and have thoroughly vacuumed, it’s time to take a shot of tequila and head to the backseat. *If the backseat of your car is like mine, you may want to take two shots.
- Keep on sorting the crap into the bags. Hope that you don’t find many things that don’t fit into those categories.
- Don’t get caught up on trying to figure out what things “used’ to be. For example, old fruit, it doesn’t matter if it used to be a strawberry or a raspberry. At this point, it is bordering on foul wine, so just throw it away.
- Once everything is sorted, try to make a guess as to how many pounds of cheerios, pretzels, stickers, and dirt are remaining. Vacuum up those 17 pounds
- Look at your watch and breathe a sigh of relief when you realize that you are only 5 minutes over your time allotment. In the next breath, freak out because you haven’t touched the trunk yet.
- Open your trunk, grab any trash you see, then creatively move things around so that you are able to vacuum underneath them without actually removing them from you car. Some of these items may include- a yoga mat, cycling shoes, tennis rackets, cooler bags, an air compressor, a diaper bag, and a box of random crap that you haven’t touched/sorted through in four years. Of course these are hypothetical examples.
- Realize that you are hot, sweaty and out of energy. Slam the trunk to head home only to realize that you still have floor mats to put through the machine.
- Haul those to the machine and pray that no one steals your wallet or iPhone while you are away from your car for 3 minutes.
- Check your tires to make sure they have plenty of air. Yes, this is not part of cleaning your car but when else are you going to do it??? If you are lucky (like me), you might find a nail in one of them.
- Get back in your car to head home. Be thankful you went over your allowed time by only 14 minutes this time.
- Once home, use windex to clean your dog’s “nose art” off the inside of your car windows.
- Carry all the category bags inside and start putting it up- washing dishes, doing laundry, and trying to figure out how to keep that much crap in the house and out of your car next time.
- Enjoy your clean car for approximately 1.5 days!