This is The Best Tip Ever!!
I'm about to Change. Your. Lives.
Sweep out your cars-- with a broom and dustpan. If you need to, keep a little broom right under the front passenger seat.
Let's come clean ladies (and as many men who read this blog). If you have children, your car gets pretty bad, worse than you'd ever admit. You may be obsessed with keeping it clean (as I am at times), but it doesn't matter. It gets bad. Look in the cracks of the car seats and you'll still find nasty remnants of things you are certain you have never fed your children.
If you don't have children or a messy car, try this. Take a broom and dustpan to Walmart (or Trader Joes if you prefer cleaning organic messes). Park next to a well-used mom vehicle. Wait until you see a semi-frazzled but still smiling mother pushing her overflowing cart from the store with her restless tots. Smile at her from a distance, say you are doing public service, and offer to SWEEP out her car. She'll think you're weird, but she might just let you. It will be an education (or a walk down memory lane).
Honestly, sometimes I just WISH I had some random kind person who would show up and clean out my car. Actually, that reminded me!! I learned this broom trick from a friend who showed up one morning when I was sitting in the middle of a morning mess trying to get motivated. She just started cleaning my kitchen. She said, "Let me clean, you put stuff away." Then, she swept the black mat in front of my back door. It's the mat that catches the dog dirt and outside mess. (My kids play outside more here, which naturally means they get dirtier. I love it but oh the mess.) My sweet friend scrubbed the mat with a broom and got it cleaner than I've been able to do it with a vacuum. Genius. Changed my life.
I hear her voice often when I get overwhelmed with mess and don't know where to begin-- "You put things away, anyone can clean." I start with picking up and assign the cleaning to a nearby child. (Thanks Stef!!)
Anyway, I applied the broom principle to my car, and found equal satisfaction!
You will all learn what an amazing tool that little broom is in a dirty car. It works in car seats, door frames, and rugs. That little broom cleans rugs better than gas station vacuumes do.
Don't forget to scrub around the legs of the benches or in the grooves of the door.
A broom has become my favorite tool to clean my car, door mats, and kitchen rugs. Think-- short, swift strokes, like a broom scrub brush. It's magic.
The broom might not help with the random shoes, toys, pieces of bread, or moldy sausages (ahem), that you might find hiding in your vehicle. But, it will keep your rugs clean.
Baby wipes work for any other car mess-doors, windows, leather, etc. Baby wipes should be stored in the car along with an extra diaper if you have more than one child.
My organizing friend Taneil says she locks the door to her van upon reaching her driveway (locking the children inside). She kindly but firmly insists that her children bring every last sock with them out of the car. When they still leave lunch boxes, homework, shin guards, and underwear on their seats, she hunts them down and drags them back to clean up their messes. They know she will check and that she WILL follow through and come find them. So now they keep the car clean. Well, all but two of her kids. Haha. And, even though she is the Queen of Clean with children, her car carpets still get messy. So, I know it's universal.
Try the broom.
It especially works great when you only have one minute to clean a huge white van before picking up the sweetest, childless, wife of a professor your husband works with. ;)
PS- Todd is home from Germany and not feeling well, poor guy. He "doesn't think it's Ebola", but might head to the doctor to make sure. Poor guy. I am very compassionate, but he knows me too well to miss the laughter behind my concern.
PPS- Jakob and Anna were last to the car this morning. I ran back inside to encourage them. I was curt with Anna and she was sassy in return blaming me (not the fact that she slept in) for her tardiness. I asked how on Earth this could be my fault. She said in her best 7th grade voice, "You ALWAYS make me brush my teeth." Again, my laughing eyes gave me away. Sometimes my sense of humor trumps my compassion. Often I laugh and tease when I should comfort and soothe.
I think this is why they ask Todd to take out their splinters. ;)