car convertible pinkIs your car your home away from home? For many of us, that seems to be the case. In fact, the affection we can feel for this seemingly private space is significant. Our cars become part of ourselves: like a marriage, for better or worse. Keep to the better side of things by honoring your commitment to keeping your car clean. Here are a few tips on doing just that:

Trash: too many times we stuff receipts, fast food wrappers (no!), and a world of assorted other non-essentials into the many nooks and crannies of our car. Take a moment when you stop for gas to empty any bits of trash and clutter that are making a home in your car. If it helps to keep a trash bag in your car, here are some fun examples of how to do so from our friends at Pinterest.

Clean: there’s a difference between “messy” and “dirty”. Keeping a car clean goes beyond the first step of picking up clutter. Whether you wash your own car or take it to a car wash, regular cleanings will reveal your car at its best. For deep cleaning tips, check out this guide from Real Simple.

Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 6.59.44 AMKids: if kids ride in your car, you’ll need a trash bag in the back, and you’ll need to set some guidelines (“rules” seem so harsh) for what may and may not be eaten in the car. You might even consider following these guidelines yourself when there are no kids in the car. For down-and-dirty specific kid-proofing tips, see this guide from Lifehacker.

You don’t need to drive an expensive car to take pride in your vehicle. Keeping a clean car has nothing to do with money. Our cars reflect us in many ways: are we practical? Elaborate? Casual or formal?  Do we sport bumper stickers that declare “Don’t Laugh, It’s Paid For,” or poke fun at ourselves with “A Clean Car is a Sign of a Dirty Mind”? Our cars can be political billboards, taxi service, emergency vehicles, conversation starters, and private getaways. Show them a little TLC and keep your relationship rolling right along.