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Drivers are averaging more time spent in their cars than ever before, so it stands to reason perhaps that some have turned their vehicles into a home on wheels – but how tidy is your home?

It’s where dad makes his calls, the kids eat their snacks, and mom fixes her hair and make-up. Before you realise it, the car has accumulated too much “stuff” in it – mobile phones, pens, sunglasses, wallets, tissues and lose change. Clutter, like cans and plastic bottles may look innocent enough, but when the car is in motion these items can roll forward and lodge under the brake or accelerator pedal, preventing the driver from operating the vehicle properly. Loose items on the dashboard can fly upon braking, causing the driver to lose concentration on the road.

Car buyers have consistently highlighted the centre console as one of the top frustrations for drivers because it either isn’t big enough to store items like a purse, or it doesn’t have the slots that people want for small gadgets. Ford South Africa suggests these five handy tips to keep the car free of clutter and safer for the driver and passengers:

  1. Keep an errand basket on the floor or in the boot. This basket is for the “to do” items you need to take care of during the day, be it taking clothes to the dry cleaner, collecting a parcel from the post office, or getting food for the cat. This will keep all these miscellaneous items organised in one place.
  2. Trash is inevitable, as we spend so much time in the car. Have a ready supply of plastic grocery bags in the car to keep used tissue paper, sweet wrappers and empty cans stored. Empty the trash when you refuel or when you arrive home.
  3. If you eat in the car, make sure you vacuum stray crumbs or deal with messy areas right away. This will help keep your upholstery and carpet in tip-top shape. Keep a pack of baby wipes in the glove box for cleaning up an unexpected spill or wiping sticky hands before they smear your car’s interior.
  4. Declutter when you get home every evening. Do not just shuffle the miscellaneous items and trash from one part of the car to another but deal with each item as soon as you touch it. Picking up after yourself (or your kids or pets) daily will prevent a mess from building up.
  5. Every car should have an “essentials box” in case of an emergency. Items include drinking water, high-energy snacks, a flashlight and extra batteries, jumper cables and so on. Pack them properly into a box with a well-fitting lid and keep it in the boot.

Keeping your car clean and clutter-free can take time and discipline. But if you already have a vehicle that houses your belongings neatly and safely, you’re well on your way to a car interior that even mom would approve of.

Source: Ford South Africa. Images: Pixabay

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