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The other day, I had to drive the new employee around to show him his district. He immediately complimented my car for its cleanliness.
While I appreciated the compliment, I also remembered that my car didn’t use to be this clean. A few years ago, I was exactly in the shoes of my new hire. I was being driven around by a former military sergeant to see my district. His car was impeccably clean.
His clean car inspired me to pick up the habit of a clean car. I now have a car wash membership and every Friday I go by to clean out my miscellaneous mess from the week, vacuum the floor and run it through the carwash.
Since I do this every week, the entire process takes me less than 15 minutes to maintain. I can always put my best foot forward, and it takes me almost no time to do so.
So what does a clean car say about you? It says that you are someone who cares about what has been trusted to you. It means you can be trusted. It says that you are a disciplined person. Here are some other meanings that people assign to a clean car.
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You Appreciate Beauty
Cars tend to attract filth. Whether it is old food wrappers or a week-old gym bag, there are so many things that get left in a car.
You also drive your car in all types of weather. Dirty cars are so common that folks almost don’t notice them. Making the commitment to a clean car means that you appreciate beauty, even if no one else does.
Whiles folks may judge you and choose to not work with you because of your car’s messiness, they ultimately can’t convince you to keep your car clean.
Someone who consistently maintains their vehicle is a person who also has an inherent appreciation of beauty. They are self-motivated to keep their vehicle beautiful. They likely have beauty in other areas of their life.
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You Are Trustworthy
I have a landlord friend who makes it a point to see the condition of the vehicle his potential renters are driving. If they have a messy car, then you can be certain that your rental property will be left a mess as well.
While this seems like an unfair, unannounced test, you never know what landlords or potential employers are judging you by.
In our fast-moving society, decision-makers are looking for any little sign that
Your Are Disciplined
We often hear the adage about making our bed every day. (If you haven’t, I highly recommend you watch the embedded video). There is something anchoring about having a handful of things in life that you control.
Most of us want to accomplish amazing feats like becoming an NBA player or learning the piano. But every amazing feat starts with a small discipline.
When people see that a few key areas of your life are always put together, they will automatically recognize that you have the foundation you need to accomplish great things.
Clean cars speak to a disciplined mind.
You Are Committed
You likely work 40 or more hours a week. If you also take time to keep your car clean, it shows that you are committed.
Commitment doesn’t exist until life gets hard. When you are busy and taking time to clean your vehicle seems like too much work, it is the commitment that pulls you through.
It is one thing to run on motivation. Motivation is fleeting. Commitment is what delivers.
A clean car says the owner is committed to their goals.
You Understand Money
When I see someone driving around town with a dashboard full of food wrappers and 3 years of junk crammed in the back seat, I immediately assume they are extremely poor. Generally, this vehicle is also old, rusted and unkempt.
When you work hard and pay for something, you tend to value that item more. A clean car is more likely to last in the long run. They are much easier to maintain, and less exposed to grime and rust-inducing conditions.
Exterior contaminants such as road salt and bird droppings can ruin a car’s paint as well as the mechanical components.
Additionally, there is a correlation between poverty and messiness. While rich people can be slobs, it is rare for an extremely poor person to be neat. In college, I worked with the homeless, and only a handful of them made any effort to keep their surroundings nice.
While I might get cancelled for thinking this way, I tend subconsciously to think that messiness is a sign of poverty. I see it in my own life: the messier I am in my day-to-day life, the more likely it is that I struggle with my finances.
Cleaning up my vehicle makes me more likely to also clean my diet and clean my finances.
You Are A Reliable Partner
Whether someone is looking for a responsible business partner or a romantic attraction, a clean car delivers a good first impression. 51% of people will end the first date early if their partner shows up in a dirty car.
A person who takes care of their vehicle is likely to take care of their relationship.
On the flip side, do you want to partner with someone who is ok with messy cars? If they are willing to bury their feet in your month-old Mcdonalds wrappers, are they the type of person who pays attention to detail? Probably not.
A clean car makes your guests feel more at home.
You Are Detail-Oriented
Taking care of your car requires you to take care of the details. The stuff in your car is only there for you to accomplish your tasks this week. Additionally, you will likely have your possessions organized in boxes or gym bags to ensure that they are not stored in a way that makes them look like clutter.
My first hack was to get a gym bag for each sport. This means that I can make sure they are loaded in my car the day before.
I also carry an extra set of business casual clothes sealed in a plastic bag. This keeps them folded and nice should I accidentally spill something on myself. Not only is my car clean, but the entire persona I present is one of cleanliness.
I also have a little larger tool kit with flares, sockets, jumper cables and an extra car jack in case I have to help someone who is stranded. While some folks may view this as junk, all of these items are stored neatly in a way that minimizes their appearance.
The line between prepared and paranoid is thin, and I walk it carefully.
Protips To Clean A Messy Car
- Reduce the items in your car. Growing up, my dad used his pickup as a place to store items that he had no other place for. It was a never-ending pile of unfinished projects. Empty your car and set a new rule that every item in the vehicle must have frequent use and be an essential tool in your life.
- Every item has a place. Organizing your vehicle makes all the difference. In college, I practically lived in my car. But I also wanted to be able to pick up dates. So I had one tote for books, a gym bag for clothes, a toolbox for tools and a sleeping bag for naps. It was organized and attractive.
- Clean it weekly. Setting a regular schedule for cleaning your car is the most important piece of this puzzle. The first time you clean your car it may take hours. After that, it will get faster and faster.
- Keep cleaners in your car. I like to keep some window cleaner, some leather or vinyl shine, and a few no-lint rags. This makes it easy for me to shine my car anytime I am cleaning it.