Thursday, November 9, 2006

Legally Condemned

My van is always a mess. Right now you’d be hard pressed to find a path to walk from the front
two captains chairs to the middle seats. There are about 2 feet separating the two, probably 6 square feet in
all. Every inch is covered. If not for the spot under the brake and
pedals, I’m not sure that anyone would be able to admire the lovely gray carpet. I take a small bit of pride in the fact that
most of the stuff that is sprinkled haphazardly all over the inside of my
vehicle is not trash. It is a
combination of things: coats, sweatshirts, shoes, toys, raincoats, umbrellas,
diapers, wipes, some hats, some of my son’s school drawings and, of course, a
little bit of trash. These are the
things that accumulate uncontrollably in my day-to-day existence.

My husband is a gem and while his vehicle could probably be
legally condemned based on the decaying mess that lines his interior, he does
take pride in my van. It is, by far,
the nicest vehicle we have ever owned and he understandably wants it to look
nice. So, every two weeks or so he will
take my van to the car wash and clean it out for me. He washes the outside, picks up the trash, organizes everything
else, wipes down the interior, and vacuums the entire thing out. It is such a pleasure to get into my van the
next day. I look it over with pride
thinking that this time I will do what it takes to keep it clean. By the next morning, the personal items have
already started to gather on the floor. I try to bring them in each time but it is such a hassle to get the kids
out of their car seats, into the house and provide them with whatever food or
drink item that they are demanding at the time; that I rarely find the time or
the energy to go through the van and pick it up. 

Why I allow my vehicle to get as dirty
as it does is a mystery to me.  Most days my house is
relatively clean. I would have to be on
my deathbed for the floor to become so littered with clothes and toys that it
was barely visible. When it comes to my home, if a friend is coming over I
clean it obsessively before they arrive. I don’t even make the effort to clear a path in my van when my friends
ride in it. Why? Because every Mother I know has a van or
car that looks like mine. For some
reason, vehicles have some sort of cleanliness “get out of jail free”
card. We are not judged by the interior
of our cars the way we are judged by the interior of our homes.  The
exterior of the car is much more important. I’d rather have a filthy Mercedes than an immaculate Saturn.


  1. Yes my van is the same way. I am like you and I am grabbing out things like kids, diaper bags, my purse, and whatever else I need to grab.I don't think about it until I get into the van or out of it, but when I am getting out again I have the same stuff I had before. It is a vicious cycle! I hate the winter and all the accesories that go along with it. Right now behind my seat is my jacket, scarf, elizabeth jacket, garrett's jacket, one or two hats of elizabeth's, so cd's and some other items.That is great your man cleans it for you! Tell him to talk to paul next time we see you! I heard this thing one time to try and think or your car like this, when you get into a wreck everything in your car becomes a hazard. If you were in a room with no gravity everything would float around, well if you got into a wreck and flipped it would be somewhat the same effect. Your umbrella could poke someone, a coffee mug could hit someone in the head. They said try to make sure it is under the seats or in your case the stow and go. Sorry didn't mean to bring down your blog with scary driving stuff just wanted to let you know. Now this info is much easier to send along then practice because my van is a disaster although it is free of coffee mugs and my umbrellas are under my seats!

  2. Good info, Melinda. I don't know why it is so hard for me but I am going to try to keep it free of heavy loose objects.

  3. I knew I wasn't the only one!

  4. I have yet to meet someone who keeps theirs CLEAN other than my Mom and she doesn't count b/c she doesn't have small kids.

  5. I'd really like to clean the inside of Linda's car. She seems to have the same problem you do with car interior.