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Carpool season is upon us once again! Back to school means a lot of things to a lot of people. Excitement. Anticipation. Dread. A fresh start. Hopefully you’re looking forward to the new school year but even if you’re not, I think these tips will help get your car, and in a small way you, better prepared for the adventures ahead. Being organized helps life go smoothly but too often our poor cars go overlooked. A clean and well stocked car can be helpful for giving us a sense of calm in a seemingly never ending stream of errands.
- – Remove all the summer junk. I use the word junk in a kind way. Remove all summer camp crafts that never made it inside, library receipts, kid’s meal toys, etc. etc. Take two bags out to your car and put the trash in one and the keepers in another.
- – Vacuum all of the sand and dirt that has been collected through the summer. While you’re at it you can remove car seats and get all the crumbs and cheerios that have settled there.
- – Give the leather a nice cleaning with a dry cloth and the windows a wash. Microfiber rags and water are great for both of these tasks.
- – Add items you want to have on hand just in case. Think about last school year, what were the items that you or your kids kept continually forgetting? Maybe it was a pencil or a lunch for the kiddos. Whatever it was pack a few extra in your car for those days. Stash some power bars or small bags of almonds on hand for forgotten snacks or meals, maybe a pair of earrings for you for when you’re running behind, or a sudoku book for the car pick-up line. Maybe you need a tube of deodorant for days you dashed out the door or just a new cell phone charger. Try and think ahead and plan for the unexpected.
- – Double check your car’s maintenance schedule. Does it need any regular work? A top off on the window spray?
- – Make sure everyone riding in your car is riding in the correct seats. Because children grow and the laws (and just recommendations change) it’s a good time to stop and make sure you’re following the best recommended protocols. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website has important tips on seat belt fit and position. It also has information about how to install car seats as well as guidelines on selecting a car seat or booster based on your child’s age and size.
(Related: 1 Car Seat Rule Many Don’t Follow)
Treat your car like an extension of your home, wash it, love it, stock it, and enjoy it and it will be there for you.