“Does this spark joy?”

That is probably a question you've asked yourself before throwing something out recently. Admit it, you've probably tried the Konmari method some time recently because your friends or relatives are doing it on social media. Or, you at least tried to, but failed to actually clear out stuff because you like collecting junk memorabilia.

Sparking Joy: 5 Steps to

'KonMari-ing' is a popular trend these days thanks to Marie Kondo's hit Netflix show, Tidying Up With Marie Kondo, where she teaches people to live a simple life by decluttering and discarding things that no longer ‘spark joy’ in their life. Be it an old shirt, gadgets, or even memorabilia, if it no longer 'sparks joy' then it is okay to toss it away or donate to those in need.

Sparking Joy: 5 Steps to

While your house or at least your room have been subjected to this treatment, what about the inside of your car? When was the last time you cleaned your car’s interior anyway? With all the traffic around the metro, you may as well consider your car’s interior as a living space of sorts. So if you’re gonna try and live the Konmari life, you may as well extend it to your car as well.

If you want to try to follow this trend, how do you start? Well read on.

Sparking Joy: 5 Steps to

1. Don’t leave junk inside your car in the first place

For starters, you shouldn’t be leaving junk or trash inside your vehicle to begin with. Not only does it make your interior a mess, but it also gives people the impression you yourself are messy to begin with. Worst case, the trash you leave behind inside the car may be used food wrappers which could attract bugs, cockroaches or even rats. Not exactly the passengers you want to have on any journey.

Should you really have no choice, do remember to bring the trash down once you get out of the car. That way, you’ll keep the inside of you car neat all the time. No, do not even think of throwing trash out the window while driving. Marie Kondo will not be pleased, nor will the MMDA officer who will fine you for littering.

Sparking Joy: 5 Steps to

2. Clean your interior regularly 

You may be careful not to leave trash inside your car, but it may not be the same case for your passengers. We are not saying your passengers will leave trash inside your car, but sometimes they may accidentally leave litter and forget to bring it down once they have gotten off. If they happen to be sitting in the second or third row seats, it’s likely you won’t notice the trash until something starts smelling funky or when you end up cleaning out your car.

To avoid trash from accumulating in the first place, make it a habit to at least take out the trash more often than usual like once a week. If you have frequent random passengers, it might help to have some kind of trash bin for occupants on the second and third row for good measure.

Sparking Joy: 5 Steps to

3. It’s not just garbage

Sometimes, people leave their clothes and shoes inside their cars for an extended period of time. For people on the go, it’s understandably sensible since it’s easy to just leave them inside the car for convenience of changing from office to house wear or vice versa. We suggest not leaving them lying around the carpet though. It may be better to have an overnight bag to put all your stuff in. This makes it much easier to keep in the trunk or rear seats. Your passengers won’t have to put up with your mess of clothes as well.

If your clothes are used, do bring them out of the car to be cleaned. Try not leave used clothes in the car as it may cause your interior to smell like sweat or whatever you ate for lunch. Not a nice smell to have. If needed be, have a laundry bag handy and take it out of the vehicle as soon as possible.

Sparking Joy: 5 Steps to

4. Don’t eat in the car

While it is tempting - and sometimes unavoidable - to eat in the car, it also results to having crumbs and specks of food. Leftover food left in the car is also the worst as it can attract insects to infest your car’s interior. From small fire ants to cockroaches, having garbage and leftover food in the car cause these creepy crawlies to call your car home. Though it might not be from trash, spillage, be it food or drinks, can also be another cause to having pests. Not to mention soft drinks and coffee could soak and stain your seats.

To avoid this, it’s best to just not eat in the car. Ordering take out is fine provided everything is in a sealed container and your drinks can be held by your cupholders. If you need to hydrate, limit your drinks to a bottle of water so that if it does spill, it can easily be cleaned. If you do happen to eat in the car, remember to throw the garbage and leftovers out asap.

Sparking Joy: 5 Steps to

5. Sort your tools and trunk space into boxes

Every car needs a decent set of tools to keep going, and any driver who’s worth his salt ought to know how to use and store them. Should you need to carry a few handy items to keep your vehicle going, make sure to store them all in a box so they’ll avoid rattling around your trunk. Do remember that your vehicle - unlike your room - moves, so that means you’ll have to find a way to secure all your items in the trunk. Failure to secure these may cause damage to your trunk liner or may cause random annoying noises from the back. It will probably sound like your car is broken, but for all you know that’s just your tools. That said, it would be best to invest in a rubber cargo tray/trunk liner so everything stays in place even when in motion.

Sparking Joy: 5 Steps to

Following these 5 steps will go a long way into making your daily commute a bit more peaceful. A clean and clutter-free space supposedly makes for a productive and livable environment, and with all the traffic we have to put up with in the metro, surely you could use a little peace and quiet on the road.