How To… prepare a car kit.

An overlooked part of housekeeping is car keeping. Most housekeepers, be they bachelors and bachelorettes, housewives or househusbands, will run a car. Even if they don’t, there’s a high probability that someone else in the household owns and runs a car. However we tend to view the car maintenance and care as a separate thing to the household, the exclusive property and duty of the owner, rather than a shared commodity and space that needs to be kept in order.

Just as a housekeeper may clean their partner’s office or help them tidy up the gym after a workout, a housekeeper can help with the maintenance of the car by providing a kit that the driver can keep in the boot in case they need anything in particular.

If you are not the main driver, make sure to speak with the car owner about what they use in their car, what they would like to have and what they find themselves running out of. Feel free to make suggestions once they are done to ensure that everything has been accounted for, but don’t push anything on them they may not find useful. That said, here are my suggestions.

This is part IV of my ongoing “housekeeper’s kits” series. Part I, Part II and Part III at these links.

1: The bag.

I would say something heavy duty. Compartments aren’t essential as long as everything that stains or smells is well-sealed, which it should be anyway. A plastic tote bag, that has strong handles, can be easily moved from car to car and that you only need to glance into to see what you have, is ideal.

2: The cleaning products.

Cars need to be cleaned. All sorts of spills happen in them, dirt gets trodden in and the usual dust accumulates. So having some cleaning products in the car is useful.

My suggestions:

-sick bags

carpet cleaner

leather cleaner

-window cleaner and sponge

air freshener

-de-icer (lemon and vinegar water is fine)

3: The paintwork.

Paintwork can be chipped or damaged. Previously damaged paintwork or paint on older cars needs attention for possible rust damage and fading.

My suggestions:

car-suitable rust remover

file for paint

straight-to-rust hammerite

straight-to-rust spray paint in the right colour

4: The patching.

All cars start accumulating damage eventually. Everything from chipped mirrors to torn seats. To keep on top of it, keep a patching kit in your car kit.

-needle and tapestry thread

-vaseline

duct tape

WD-40

-super glue

5: The repair.

Sometimes something serious will happen to the car. You will at least need the tools to make it safe again, if not to fix it up yourself where possible.

My suggestions:

-spare wheel, wheel bolt spanner and car jack

allen keys

-gloves for handling electrics

-spare fuses and bulbs

fob batteries and screwdrivers

6: The topups.

These are things your car consumes that you normally top up at the garage or when home. But sometimes they run out in unexpected locations or at inconvenient times. Having an emergency refill can save you.

My suggestions:

-parking money

-fuel jerrycan

-windscreen fluid

-bottle of water

-oil

Keep an eye on your oil and fuel. They can expire after a while in a jerry can or bottle, so make sure they look healthy and from time to time refuel out of your jerry can and refill it, to keep the jerry can fuel fresh.

7: Breakdown safety.

These are things to keep you safe in case of a breakdown or accident on the road.

-two cones

-high-vis jacket

-pocket torch

8: Relevant documents.

You may not always have all your documents with you. But try and keep a photocopy of your driver’s license and tax papers, or at least the relevant reference numbers, somewhere on the car at all times, just in case you need them.

And those are my suggestions for a car kit that will never leave you or your loved ones stranded!

What additions would you suggest? Anything that you really wish you’d had at a certain point? Anything you say in the comments will be added to the kit!

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

How To… freshen up.

So we’ve looked at our handbag contents and the basics we want to have to freshen ourselves up a little. But freshening up properly is also an art. Immaculate makeup makes messy or dirty hair stand out. Or smeared makeup can ruin a look completely. So what shall we keep on us to make sure we’re properly freshened up? And how do we go through the steps?

1: Your kit.

Depending on how long you’re out, you’ll want more or less. You can keep all of these on you at all times, but it isn’t necessary to go beyond the essential. For 0-3h: lips, eyes, comb, baby wipes, hair spray. For 3-7h add: makeup bag, hairbrush, aftershave, deodorant, nail kit, mouthwash. For 7h+ add: razor, tweezers, dry shampoo, baby oil, chewy toothbrush. For busy, sweaty or intense jobs, regardless of hours: lips, eyes, dry shampoo, hairbands, baby wipes, aftershave, deodorant.

2: 0-3h. Polish up.

If you’ve been running around a lot, been working for a few hours or just not quite feeling the love, this is what you’re going to do.

Wipe your armpits, neck and chest.

Touch up your lips, eyeliner and concealer.

Fix your hair.

3: 3-7h. Fixing up.

You’ve been on your feet a lot, maybe spilt coffee on your trousers, had to run from one office to another, had lunch or a snack and had an itch on your face that smeared your makeup a little. This process sounds like a lot, but is very quick and leaves you looking 9am-fresh.

Wipe your face down first, then your armpits, neck, chest and crotch. Then, pat armpits and inner thighs with a baby wipe moistened with aftershave, to kill any bacterial overload.

Make sure your nails are clean and not damaged.

Wash your mouth out.

Reapply your makeup.

Reapply deodorant and fix your hair.

4: 7h+. Sorting out.

So the work day is over or almost over and you haven’t had a chance to fix up, maybe not even to polish up! And to boot, there isn’t much time to tidy up, let alone to have a shower. You want to feel better, look nice for when you’re home or going on a date or meeting some more important clients and you have your freshening kit on the ready.

First of all, start chewing on your chewy toothbrush.

Now wipe down your face, armpits, neck, chest, crotch, hands and feet.

Pat every fold and crevice with an aftershave moistened baby wipe.

Use baby oil on dry feet and hands.

Check and fix up your nails.

Brush your hair and apply dry shampoo.

Reapply your makeup.

Reapply deodorant.

Brush out the dry shampoo.

Spit out the toothbrush and rinse your mouth.

5: Job specific.

If your job is very messy, sweaty or active, then here are some hints to help keep you fresh.

-First of all, if you’re not already doing it: dress for your job. Heavy makeup for a primary school teacher not only looks odd to parents, but will be ruined within hours. Think practical.

-Wipe down sweat every morning, use the aftershave trick and once it’s dry, apply 48h deodorant. This cleans you from night sweat, kills bacteria and locks in future sweat and smell.

-Keep spare hairbands, nail polish and a small sewing kit on hand. If you’re likely to break something once a week, keep spares just in case.

-Keep some good quality, skin-safe fabric cleaner at work. You never know when coffee, permanent marker, ketchup or oil may strike!

And that is how to freshen up.

TTFN and Happy Hunting.

How do you freshen up? What is your job like? Do you have any helpful hints to share, or any tricks you’ve picked up over the years? Would love to hear them!