Lynne and T.J., owners of a truly messy car

Lynne and T.J. both work full time. T.J. coaches high school football, and Lynne finds herself constantly ferrying her kids around to their activities. "We are always on the go," Lynne says. "They change in the car, they eat in the car, they do homework in the car. It collects the books, the clothes."

Even though she drives a big SUV, there is so much stuff in the car that Lynne says there's only room left for two kids...which is a big problem since they have three!

"How do we organize and keep it all organized when we're always on the go?" Lynne asks.
Lynne and T.J.'s messy SUV arrives in Chicago.

Want to see just how cluttered Lynne and T.J.'s car is? With the help of Lynne's mom, The Oprah Show brings the vehicle all the way from Knoxville, Tennessee, to Chicago.

In the backseat, Lynne points out the piles of trash, papers and clothes. "There's my Crock-Pot!" she says.

The trunk isn't any better. "What we have here is an archaeological dig, as you can see, from top to bottom," Peter jokes. "There's sporting gear. There's trash. There's a ton of things in here."

This is one dirty car, but it's by no means hopeless. Peter sets Lynne and T.J. to work with the clutter crew. "We're going to give you a couple of T-shirts because you're going to get a little grubby along the way," he says. "In one hour, it's all going to happen."

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Lynne and T.J. tell Oprah and Peter Walsh what they found when cleaning their messy SUV.

Getting their cluttered SUV organized is a big job, and some of the items Lynne and T.J. find inside are truly amazing.
  • Clothes meant to be given as gifts
  • A sonogram picture of a friend's baby that was born almost one year earlier
  • Baby bottles ("Our kids are in fourth, fifth and sixth grades," Lynne says.)
  • A checkbook
  • A library book they've already paid to replace
  • Medicine
  • Their son's inhaler
  • Socks
  • "Oh, and some cinnamon rolls that were from at least early fall," Lynne says.
Peter says the keys to keeping a car from turning into a dumping ground are responsibility and routine. "Your car is the second most expensive investment you will ever make in your life," he says. "You have to own it. You have to maintain it. You have to honor and respect it."
Peter Walsh shares ideas on keeping a car clutter-free.

After all the clutter is out of Lynne and T.J.'s car, Peter helps them put back only what really needs to be there. First, he adds an envelope that clips to driver's visor to keep receipts and important papers in place. And, to keep the trunk from spilling over, he puts down plastic bins especially for groceries and the kids' sporting goods.

Peter says keeping a car clean is less about organization and more about establishing routines. "When you fill your car with gas, check the trash at the same time. Get the trash out of your car," he says. "When you get home, get the kids to get the stuff out of the car straightaway."

Get all the steps you need to declutter your car today!

Join Peter Walsh's Clutter Crew

In this car: visor organizer, The Container Store; trunk trays, The Container Store; TrashStash, The Container Store; Storage Master Cargo Organizer,; Oprah Quote canvas tote, The O Store
FROM: Oprah's Clean Up Your Messy House Tour: Atlanta
Published on April 16, 2009


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