Don't Be a Hoarder With Your Car, It Will Make Every Trip Miserable

Cleaning your car should be a process you do on a regular basis. While preserving your vehicle's value, it also makes it nicer to be in, which is where you spend the most time while using your vehicle. With that in mind, many people just wash the exterior of their cars and do a brisk cleaning of the interior, while others do a full detailing. There is something in between, though.
BMW i3 trunk 31 photos
Photo: Screenshot from YouTube video by Bjorn Nyland
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I wash my car about twice a month, and I vacuum its interior less often than that, mostly because I do my best to keep it clean. Despite my best efforts, it is not perfectly clean every day, but it is fine most of the time.

Except for those moments when you are stuck in traffic, and your eyes gaze at little bits of dust here and there when, whenever I see those, I take my time cleaning it as soon as possible – think hours, not days.

Do not imagine I lose my mind if there is a spot of dirt on my car, especially in the winter, as I have figured out that it must not stress because of things that are beyond my control. However, there was a thing that was supposed to be entirely under my control, and I had it slip through my fingers. It is the trunk where I have shamefully hoarded things.

As usual, I just needed a bit of a nudge to get my gears moving, but I decided to clean it. The process involved taking everything out and splitting it into three bags.

Hyundai Ioniq trunk
Photo: Screenshot from YouTube video by Bjorn Nyland
The first one was for things that needed to be discarded. The second bag was for things that should be in the house or the garage, but I left them in the trunk, and the third is for things that must be in the trunk.

Sounds easy, right? Well, if you are also a hoarder with your vehicle, you know what I am writing about. It took me two hours to sort through everything in the trunk, clean out the pockets of the doors, and organize the glove compartment. The latter was neat in comparison to what I had left in my vehicle's trunk and the door pockets.

Once I sorted everything, it was time to vacuum the trunk, along with the rest of my vehicle's interior. That took just a couple of minutes, and then I was back to sorting what I decided to keep inside my car. Most of the things I kept were stowed in a trunk organizer. The latter is an item that I am not sure whether I would recommend.

Kia Soul EV trunk
Photo: Screenshot from YouTube video by Bjorn Nyland
A trunk organizer is meant to help you keep your things in one place in the trunk. My advice is to get a small one so that you are not tempted to place many things in it. Instead of an organizer, it becomes a hoarding facilitator.

For example, mine has three compartments, and I used elastic straps to make it stay put using the factory-installed hooks in my trunk. The goal was to stop having things move around in my trunk. Mission completed, but it was a double-edged sword because I ended up having too many things in it.

As a result, I had a collection of replacement light bulbs, replacement fuses (I never used those, but I keep buying them), and even two first aid kits. While I hope I never have to use the latter, I managed to sort everything to a reasonable outcome.

Adakiit Car Emergency Kit
Photo: Amazon
I have learned something from my KonMari-style experience in trunk organization. First, do your best to avoid hoarding. It will make your trunk unnecessarily cluttered, and you will not find what you are looking for despite having it "in stock."

I forgot I had light bulbs, so I just bought another pair whenever one was burned out. Since that happens less often than once a year, it was easy to forget I had them.

Second, if you do use a trunk organizer, check its contents at least once a year. Make sure you have what you need in an emergency, inspect your fire extinguisher to be sure it is still valid (they expire), and never let your stuff pile up in those organizer boxes past the top edge of the box. It is that simple.

The best part of all the work was that I got to enjoy more space in the trunk, and opening the trunk was a refreshing venture, instead of the usual "where am I going to put this bag" predicament. It was a cathartic process, and I am sorry I postponed cleaning my trunk for so long. Learn from my story and do better.
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Editor's note: For illustration purposes, the photo gallery depicts several dirty vehicles and trunks, as well as other vehicle interior, instead of the author's vehicle.

About the author: Sebastian Toma
Sebastian Toma profile photo

Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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