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I got a new car.
The salesperson wants me to say, "I got a new car!!!"
I know that for sure since he commented on how unexcited I was at the negotiations and title signing.
Seriously, the salesperson can STUFF IT. My old car had been paid off for years! And while we can pay cash for this one, it cuts into our new house fund.
I think I actually growled at the salesperson when he commented on my lack of excitement.
And then, while my husband - who had asked to do the negotiating since he's "better at that stuff" - sat there like a wimpy marshmallow puff, his lips sealed close, considering taking the car since they had met our price point, I negotiated down by $111 just to make a point about how unexcited I truly was.
The salesperson asked if I was an accountant.
I didn't bust out with the whole, "I'm a lawyer and you just made me angry" thing. I just demurely announced that I'm not so good with numbers. Ugh.
This long story does have a point beyond the fact that car dealers should try a different, friendlier tactic.
The point is that I suddenly have to actually keep my car clean!
It's new and shiny and perfect. It doesn't smell or have moldy stuff - um, may those are french fries??? - under the seats. It hasn't been driven for 130,000 miles and through the infancy and toddler years of two babies, like the old one.
That means that my whole philosophy of car upkeep has to change. I have to actually do some sort of car upkeep.
(You can understand now why I was so grumpy about getting a new car, right?)
So I did a few things.
NEW RULE: CLEAN THE CAR EACH TIME YOU EXIT IT
I am serious. I explained it to the kids.
And this is the real key: I made THEM responsible for checking on whether I was doing it.
That virtually ensures that they will do it.
CAR TRASH CAN
I put a car trash can in the car, along with liners and the accompanying lid.
I made my oldest in charge of emptying and relining the trash can whenever we get home and it is full. He earns electronics time for doing it.
The kids must use it. I put it in the back of the middle console, so all of us can reach it.
CAR CLEANING ONCE A MONTH
It's going in my planner. Vacuum, empty out anything that doesn't belong, wipe down surfaces.
Oh, but not the kids' areas. THEY clean that part.
USE A CAR TOTE
I use a tote bag with an open top, since it is only going to be sitting in my house, in my launchpad area, or on the front seat of my car where I'll need to be able to grab my sweater or gloves from it.
I use a list in my planner for stuff that can't go in the tote until morning, like my laptop or cell phone. (See the blue strip below.)
My purse and work tote are separate from this bag. This bag is for day or car specific stuff, like my snacks, water bottle, weather gear, or errands stuff, like a shirt to be dropped at the cleaners.
DESIGNATED HOME FOR EVERYTHING IN THE CAR
Maybe it's overkill, but I am putting a list of where everything is in the car in my planner, in the files section.
Flat tire kit? Trunk, 2nd level, far right.
Registration and insurance? Glove Box, bottom level, white plastic envelope.
Cell charger? Plugged in, but storage location in Glove Box, top level.
Just writing the list makes me think about keeping the car organized!
The car is a Kia Soul, by the way.
But not in green, as I am not that exciting! My dad thinks it is super ugly. I kind of love it.
But do NOT tell that salesperson, okay?
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