how to clean the family car

step 1. get a helper. preferably a really cute one that enjoys steering wheels. like, enjoys them so much they make him epileptic. its' kind of scary how much he enjoys the driver's seat.
step 2. ( i use this method when cleaning a bedroom too)  get one trash bag for trash (duh) and one basket for things that belong somewhere other than the car.
step 3. start digging. don't be ashamed at what you find in your car. there's no judgy judgy from here. i've found everything from moldy grapes, when i couldn't remember the last time i bought grapes,  to chemistry flash cards  when i hadn't had chemistry in 10 years. and don't forget the sippy cup of milk that's so disgusting you just throw away because the thought of unleashing that biohazard makes you dry heave.

step 4. take a deep breath and step back. try not to go into the house and yell at your children for being absolute slobs. better yet, make them help. (See step one) i didn't let them help this day because they were sleeping in. (something that NEVER happens around here- oh blessed peace and quiet i missed you)

step 5. take out your vacuum and vacuum. you don't need to go to the car wash, ours works just find.

step 6. i recommend wiping down all the hard surfaces where fingers touch, door panels, drivers dash, steering wheel, basically anything that is filthy (trust me, everything will be). when i'm in a hurry i'll just use plain old baby wipes.  i try to use a disinfectant when i have time.

step 7. step back and enjoy a clean car. because it's not going to last long, let go of the idea of "always keeping the car absolutely sparkling clean". because you'll be mad at yourself in your kids in about 5 minutes into the first errand.

this is just after one week with 4 kids. and i drive the car probably only every other day. crazy huh?

* DISCLAIMER* i am not a clean person.  as a right brained person, i struggle a lot with staying organized and consistent with things. being a mom of four kids can make this either a. really fun for my kids because i'm flexible and b. really stressful and overwhelming for my kids because of all the chaos.

i'm getting better over the years at learning how to clean the house and the children and keep the little bodies fed and happy. and then i have down times where i can't handle the thought of cleaning. one thing i've found is that i HAVE to clean out the car once a week. more than that, and it's just a ticking time bomb.  when i've waited, oh say, just 4 weeks to clean out the car- i can fill up two trashbags of trash and two baskets of things that belong in the house, not the car. despite what my kids tell me, towels DO belong in the house.

*aunt hattie! thanks so much for the bath stuff. the girls' are loving all of it! perfect for summer too : )

****UPDATE***** I think it's hilarious I wrote this post. My car was messy for about TWO YEARS after this! ha


my name is becky kelly said...

oh i totally do the garbage bag and laundry basket! I remember one day a few years ago (i think i blogged about it) i cleaned my car and found like 9 shoes (yes, an odd number) and 11 cups or something like that. insane. the things they bring into the car.... frustrating.

Bowler Family said...

Put the toilet paper back in!! Trust me, it's worth having around!!

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