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Spring has sprung! It’s time to clean out that clutter! Don’t know where to start? Start small – clean out your car! Here’s my advice on how to get your car in shape for those days when driving with the windows down is a must:

What you’ll need:

  • Some sort of dusting cloth. {Personally, I just like to grab a Swiffer cloth (the ones you put on your Swiffer to clean the floor) and just use that as my dust rag. It’s quick, simple, and easy – plus, it really picks up that dust so you’re not just scooting it around your car.}

     

  • Any kind of wet disinfectant wipes . {I tend to use Clorox wipes}

  • A small, battery powered vacuum. {Actually a very good investment. There are lots to choose from, and most of them can be easily charged. Its a great thing to have for quick messes around the house, in the garage, or duh, in your car.}

  • Garbage bags. {To clear out the clutter}
  • Soap {Either dish soap or car soap, take your pick. Either works.}

  • A car sponge

     

  • A hose
  • A bucket
  • A few paper towels {for checking oil and wiping your hands}
  • A clean soft rag {to dry your car with}
  • Oil {depending on your findings in step 3}
  • Coolant {depending on your findings in step 3}
  • Windshield washing fluid {depending on your findings in step 3}
  • An air freshener. {I’m in love with Bath & Body Works SCENTPORTABLES}

          

Step 1:

If you’re a college student like me, or well, just disorganized and busy, then your car probably looks like you live in it. My friends and I joke about living in our cars all the time because of the amount of our belonging strewn about in the backseat, trunk, floor, pockets, etc. Shoes, jackets, water bottles, food wrappers and school papers take up just about every inch of our vehicles. So to start off the cleaning process, it’d probably be best to clean out all the stuff that doesn’t need to be in the car. Throw all the trash, wrappers, bottles, and old papers into a garbage bag. Then take anything that belongs in your house like shoes, jackets, bags, etc, and take it inside and put them away. And don’t forget to check the trunk! Now that you’ve decluttered your car, you should be ready for step #2.

Step 2:

Take your dust rag, or whatever you choose to use, and dust off the dashboard, wheel, cup holders, and any hard dusty surface you can find. Then take your vacuum and vacuum up all the leaves, dirt, crumbs, and whatever else there may be on the floor. Make sure to lift the mats, move the seats to get underneath, and even vacuum the seats themselves and the trunk. Once you’ve gotten all the loose dirt, take some disinfectant wipes and wipe down the steering wheel, dashboard, emergency break, cup holders, ect. This way you can get off any sticky residue and wipe your car clean of those winter germs.

Step 3:

Next, pop the hood of your car and perform a routine check. Check the oil, coolant, windshield cleaning fluid, etc. Refill anything that is low with the correct fluid. Once that’s done, turn on your lights and check each one to make sure you don’t have any bulbs out. Last, but not least, check your tires. Make sure the air pressure is where it should be and touch up any tires that need a boost.

Step 4:

Now that the inside of your car is nice and clean and up to date, it’s time to give your baby a bath. Fill your bucket with soapy water, grab your sponge, and wash away all the dirt and grime your car picked up during those cold months. Once you’ve done that, make sure you dry off your car with a soft rag so there isn’t any streaking as the water dries.

Step 5:

Once that’s done, it’s time for the finishing touches. Restock your tissue/napkin supply in your glove compartment, make sure you have all of the appropriate records needed for and in your vehicle, add a fresh scent with a pretty new air freshener, and add in anything you keep in your car like a jacket (just one), an emergency kit, hand sanitizer (the mini ones are great to keep for when you’re on the go), a small nail file, etc.

Now you’re ready for a clean spring on the road!

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Reduce your road rage with this expert advice

By Lori Murray Posted February 11, 2010 from www.womansday.com

If your daily commute is fraught with traffic congestion, road rage and irresponsible drivers, you’re not alone. Since 1987, the number of miles driven in the United States has increased 35 percent, while the miles of pavement increased by only 1 percent, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That’s too many automobiles and not enough roads to accommodate them all. Fortunately, the following sure-fire tips will help to alleviate the angst and put you on the road to a healthier commute.

1. Don’t rush. Perhaps nothing is more stressful than not having enough time to reach your destination, so plan ahead. “Take a few minutes in the morning or in the evening to set your intentions,” says Terri Kennedy, PhD, MBA, president of Power Living Enterprises and Yoga Alliance board member. “This puts you in control of your day.” Plan what you will wear and gather everything you need—cell phone, keys, lipstick—in one place.

2. Relax your body. Mentally scan your body from head to toe to find the tense areas, which will probably be in your shoulders, neck, head or back. Then physically drop those areas, says Leslie Mendoza Temple, MD, medical director of the Integrative Medicine Program at NorthShore University Health System. This will help to release the tension.

3. Practice breathing exercises. Reduce stress by slowing your breathing. Simply inhale through your nose and then exhale. Gradually increase the exhalation phase so that it is longer than the inhalation phase, says Dr. Mendoza Temple, increasing the ratio from 1:2 to 1:3 and then 1:4. “This calms the heart down immediately,” she says. “When you think about breathing, you can’t really think about much more, which makes it a positive distraction.”

4. Sit up straight. Like breathing, being conscious of good posture helps to eliminate negative thoughts. “Make sure your shoulders are toward the back of the seat and your lower back is supported. Elevate your hips a little so they are higher than your knees, and don’t hunch forward. You don’t want tension between your shoulders,” says Maryanna Klatt, assistant professor and mindfulness meditation researcher at Ohio State University.

5. Take alternate routes. Drivers who have a choice of routes feel more in control of their commute, and a change of scenery helps to alleviate boredom. Even a regular route takes on new meaning when you notice small changes like flowers blooming in someone’s yard or a new building under construction.

6. Listen to books on tape, a podcast or relaxing music. This puts you in the right frame of mind, which is a great alternative to hard-core news that could elicit frustrations. “Choose something that enriches your life so the commute is enriching you rather than draining you,” says Klatt.

7. Don’t multitask. For every two seconds you look away from the road, you are twice as likely to be involved in a crash, according to the American Automobile Association. So put away any hand-held devices, apply your cosmetics before you start to drive and satisfy your food cravings off the road.

8. Avoid road rage. This is all about being in the right frame of mind. If you’re not rushed and you’re not multitasking, you will be more relaxed and less likely to react in a negative way. Use the breathing exercises or count to prevent yourself from reacting negatively. “Pause and say, ‘How can I respond with compassion?’ The pause allows you to calm down,” says Dr. Mendoza Temple.

9. Plan ahead. Use your car’s GPS to navigate and/or equip yourself with a paper road map. You’ll be prepared if you’re unexpectedly forced to take an alternate route.

10. Carpool for the social aspect. If you enjoy being with the other carpoolers in your group and the conversation is good, time passes quickly. It also keeps your driving manners in check since you will naturally behave better.

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