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10 ways to turn your car into your HAVEN

October 7, 2010

photo courtesy of Gustavo Minas


The kind of car you drive actually DOES matter. What kind of car do YOU have? {No, I’m not talking about the make & model.}  This is the 1st post of my Surround Yourself with What You Love series.  I’m starting with the car because it’s one of the easiest kinds of “surroundings” to transform.  If you’re like me, your car is like a second home. Making it feel a little like home can do wonders.

You could argue, “If I just had a new car, my travel troubles would be solved!” But the realities are:

  1. Most of us don’t have the funds to run out and get a new one.
  2. If a few good habits are not in place, that “new car feel” won’t last very long, and
  3. Rarely will the excitement of that new car {or new…shoes, house, pool, fill in the blank} permanently elevate our “happiness quotient.”

Don’t get me wrong… I LOVE the smell of a new car {and I’m still crazy over a pair of shoes I got six months ago – would like to create a display for them in my house… maybe too tacky?}, but since my car has 125,000+ miles and a new car is not in my future, I’m working with what I have.

Here are 10 ways to surround yourself with what you love: in your CAR {aesthetically categorized by our five senses}:

SIGHT:  Add some ORDER & keep it CLEAN  {assuming these are 2 things you like}.

1.  Remove EVERYTHING from car:  to make it quick {and not get distracted with what to do each item} throw everything into a big garbage bag or bin.  **Important! Keep crucial car items {wallet, vehicle registration, cell phone} in separate container!**

2.  Clean car – inside and out {at a do-it-yourself or full service one, by a detailer, or with the help of your little commuters at home}.

3.  Put back items that should stay in car; sort / purge / handle the other stuff {preferably within 24 hours}, and keep car stocked with what you DO need.  {I’ll share what I keep in mine in my next post.}


4.  When returning home, take out EVERYTHING that does not need to stay in your car. {I have a car tote I use to take things from house to car and back to house again.} Make sure that all of that “stuff” is handled that same day.  {Share this job with ALL passengers.}

5.  Wash your car once a week, if possible. {I have a $4 car wash I’ll drive through and then use vacuums provided.  It’s one of my cheap thrills.}

SMELL: Keeping a clean car helps!  And …

6.  If you are a car scent kind of person, search for one you love.  No settling!  {Although I’m personally NOT a fan of scents offered at car washes, I have found some elsewhere that I like.}

TASTE: I actually look forward to the drive to school in the mornings.  Sitting down with my coffee – even if it’s in the car – is a treat.  In the afternoons or early evenings, I’ll bring my water {I’m trying to get more H2O into my day – read here for tips} or green / black tea – a little detox for my car ride!

7.  Have a stash of {somewhat healthy, if possible} treats you can grab when heading out the door. 

HEAR: There’s nothing quite like the sound of whining kids, simultaneously beeping DS’s, and your own thoughts, “I’m going to be late!; Move out of my way!; Oh, I just know I’m forgetting something.”  {I’ll address these under “FEEL”.} For the good sounds:  What do you love listening to? Me?  I LOVE my music. And sometimes, books on tape {especially for longer car rides} – great for children as well.  And there are times when nothing other than SILENCE will do.  {Get to know when you need to hit the “mute” button!}  And I love “happy child” voices:  funny how when I follow #9, I hear these much more often : )

8.  Have favorite music readily available. Change periodically.   {I’ll create playlists/CD’s for different moods – including classical which has quite a calming affect on us all.}  Before a road trip, make a trip to your local library and check out a book on tape – or CD.  {I LOVE our library!}

FEEL: Okay, this is a little harder than the others:  I know EXACTLY when the horrible drivers are on the roadways:  WHEN I’M RUNNING LATE! Of course those “horrible drivers” are out there all the time, but it’s funny how I notice MANY, MANY more when I’m frazzled.  And there’s not a lot of {surrounding yourself with what you} LOVE going on when I’m feeling that way. My solution:

9.  PREPARE the night before! This one is HUGE.  Think through your next day.  Do EVERY SINGLE THING you can before going to sleep: pick out clothes {including accessories}, pack your gym bag / lunch / snacks; plan breakfast; set up coffee; have all errand & work-related things complete/ready to go; charge your phone.  Put what you can next to the door.   If you have passengers {CHILDREN!} have them to do this, too. It’s one of THE BEST HABITS you can help them develop.

{This includes filling up your tank when you’re not pressed for time AND knowing where you’re going and how long it’ll take … mapquest or gps it in advance!}

10. Get comfy! If you tend to be chilly, keep a cozy sweater handy.  {Luckily I have my seat warmers – one of the BEST inventions, seriously.}  Is your seat comfortable?  If not, you can make it more supportive {BTW, making your seat more supportive is much easier than making some of the people in your surroundings this way!!* see future post below *} with a lumbar car product. {I had to add this because of a recent car trip that took a toll on my back.  I literally had to put my wallet against the small of my back – desperate, yes!  Google: “lumbar support car” for products.}

My next post: be well stocked:  what I keep in MY car

* And coming later in October, surrounding yourself with PEOPLE you love. In the meantime, pay close attention to how you feel when around other individuals. {And then there’s your HOME, STYLE, FOOD, CALENDAR… lots of surroundings that you can enhance!  Stay tuned…}

8 Comments leave one →
  1. October 7, 2010 8:13 pm

    Hi Angela,

    I loved getting this new post slipped into my inbox– and LOVE your new series idea– Can’t wait for the next installment, this one was great.

    So…what is your favorite scent and where did you score it???

  2. October 7, 2010 8:52 pm

    Hi Lisa! It’s great to hear from you!! I’ll share with you the scent I typically use in my car – although they were out of it last time I went to get so I’m trying something new. (I’m open to any recommendations from anyone out there : ) BTW, I’m LOVING your wellness program… I have to catch up to this week’s topic but that’s one of the many things I love about it. You can do it on your own schedule. One (of the many) things I’ve changed is drinking a glass of water before getting out of bed in the morning. This has been huge. It’s a simple thing to do and you start the day doing something healthy. That’s been a hard one for me and making this one change seems to have made something click. And that was just week one! Can’t wait to check in again on the forum and to see the new materials!

  3. October 8, 2010 8:39 am

    This makes so much sense! I have never sat down and thought about how much better my day would be if I took the time to “take care of my car”. What a simple way to surround myself with love and happiness. I look forward to more in this series!

  4. October 14, 2010 2:32 pm

    Thank you, Emily! And when you have a little passenger it’s just as (or even more?!) important – as you probably know now! Getting myself more organized has helped me tremendously in adding those extra little things – which make a BIG difference – to my surroundings. Thank you for following and for your comment!!


  1. Stock your car! This is what I keep in mine… « Beautiful Order – Inside & Out
  2. Love the ones you’re with « Beautiful Order – Inside & Out
  3. Surround yourself with what you love: HOME « Beautiful Order – Inside & Out
  4. My all-time favorite blog & how it changed me « Beautiful Order – Inside & Out

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