Out of sight, out of mind? Not really. In part five of our spring-cleaning series, we ask an expert how to turn your car from a claustrophobic coffee-cup tomb into a “mini sanctuary” on wheels.
Old sneakers. Festering forgotten coffee cups. Three pairs of wonky just-in-case sunnies. Cars can quickly become a dumping ground for crap you’d never dream of leaving piled up on the dining room table, and yet they stoically take us from A to B, quietly copping the literal trash we throw their way.
“I think it’s because you can shut the doors and it’s gone,” says Sally Flower, a Melbourne-based professional organiser trained in the Japanese art of KonMari tidying.
Last month we asked Flower – whose business Home Sanctuary is built on the idea that small changes to our environment mean big benefits for our wellbeing – how to spring clean our homes.
Her advice was to mindfully remove things that don’t make you happy, give the things that do a proper place to live, and that way create a spotless sanctuary to rejuvenate you at the end of each day. The same ethos can be applied in the place a lot of us start our days: the car.
“I think the reason that cars get so messy is because you can close the doors, park it in the garage and it’s like a room you don’t have to go into,” Flower says.
“You’re often taking things in and out of the car and you probably don’t have extra hands to take out the stuff that’s junk or clutter.”
Step one: ready … yourself for your day
Flower says it’s important to remember a car isn’t like any other space, such as a house or an office, because it’s mobile and not temperature controlled.
“[If] you’ve got things like old sneakers or if you have food in there it’s probably more likely to rot or smell than it would in a house. So in my view it’s almost more important to declutter that because it’s not a normal space,” she says.
“And often with a car you can’t get out for long periods; you can’t just walk into another room.”