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Car Care: Giving Your Car Some Extra TLC For A “Smoother”, “Cleaner” Ride

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

I happen to be one of the biggest “neat freaks” around, and even when my house looks “lived in”, it drives me insane, as I prefer to keep it up to museum quality standards with everything neatly and securely dust-free and in its home. Yes, we are the type of family that at least tries not only to wash the dishes (immediately) after every meal (which is a MUST) but to also wipe them dry and put them away so counter are free and clear and always pretty much ready for unexpected company.

Still, though I “am” organized and fastidious about keeping things where they belong, my vehicle somehow seems to get “out of control” at least where clutter is concerned. And, I’m not alone. From dirt, sand, snow, etc from my shoes and boots, to drips of coffee which I wipe as I see them falling, and a deluge of dust, my car has become an eyesore.

Well, now even I will have no “excuse”, as experts offer advice on how to keep our “home” away from home, and on wheels, tidy.

Necessary Amenities:
· An MP3 player to cut down on clutter from CDS
· An emergency kit the with a battery-operated electronic safety flare, portable jump-starter, tire sealant, flashlight, batteries, bottled water, nonperishable food, blanket, rain poncho and first aid supplies.
· An umbrella
· The vehicle owners manual, your insurance card, registration and maps (best stored in your glove box).
· Some colouring or activity books for kids or some small toys to keep them amused while out on the raod.

Ditch the following:
· All toys with loose of small pieces that slide around and get stepped on.
· Newspapers and magazines, unless you are really reading them
· Seasonal gear, pack only when the season they serve is in full swing and when they will get the most use.
· Toss anything your haven’t looked at or used in three months or more.

Keep it clean by:
· Minimizing mess by allowing only ONE toy per child, and remind them to take it in the house and put it where it belongs once you’re back home.
· Use cargo netting (if your vehicle is equipped with it) to store groceries, sports and/or dance equipment, and other sundry items.
· Keep wet-wipes close at hand making frequent clean ups and upkeep easy
· Invest in a large tote or box that you fill with items you’ll need for the next day. Pack it each night, bringing it to the car with you each morning and bringing it back into the house at the end of each day.
· Keep plastic bags handy using them to stash trash.
· Invest in a portable, handheld vac that can he charged in the car

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