I pride myself on the fact that for the first five or so years that I owned my one and only car -- my 2003 Mazda Protege -- my friends would remark on my car's "new car" smell. I know that the "new car" smell is simply a result of (most-likely-bad-for-you) chemicals coating our cars' interiors, but I am happy that I kept my car clean enough for long enough that it seemed like a puppy rather than a big boy for a long time.
Now that I am in my eighth year of owning my car, I know it has lost that "new car" smell, but it still remains remarkably clean. One secret is the trash stash...
Tip 61: A designated trash bag in your car can work wonders for keeping your car clean.
I know this may seem like an obvious idea, but I'm always surprised by the number of people who do not have a designated way for dealing with trash inside their car. For my college graduation, my sister gave me a Trash Stash (official brand). Seven years later it finally bit the dust and disintegrated. For about two months this spring I drove around with no trash stash as I searched for a new one that would work for me. During this time trash would build up in my car -- a gum wrapper here, a napkin there -- and pretty soon I was disgusted with myself.
I searched at The Container Store for a trash stash, but all of their solutions were entirely too big for my modest little Protege and would take up the entire back seat. I was happy to find this flat Thule bag at Target. The bonus is the magnet that keeps the bag locked together and keeps trash and smells from escaping.
Trash stash victory!