How to Keep a Car Organized

April 09 2015

By Pat Bernabei

It’s a joke between just about every busy parent – “my car is a rolling wastebasket,” I saw recently on a Facebook post.

It’s simply the sign of a busy life. For sure, “clean out the car” is at the bottom of everyone’s to-do list. It’s not exactly priority, is it?

But just for now, let’s put it at the top of that list. I’ve got a few easy ideas that can quickly organize your car into a “rolling sitting room.”

Here goes:

Tip #1: Do a ten-minute clean of your car. Toss out any garbage and use a spray bottle with a yummy scent to clean off the doors and dash and coffee holder. Once it’s done, see how much better you feel! When we’re organized, we’re happier.

Tip #2: Stow your CDs with visor organizers.

Tip #3: Enlist in a good-sized storage basket for the kids’ stuff. Anything that doesn’t fit goes back into the house. Every so often, rotate the basket’s contents to keep kids interested. Btw — some organizers might suggest a hanging shoe bag for the back of a car seat. I recommend the basket because more times than not, something will not fit into those small shoe holders. Then what? The basket works best.

Tip #4: Keep a garbage bag in the car, for you! The kids should have their own system in the backseat (Tip #7). Either place your garbage bag in an obvious spot like between the driver and passenger seats or in another easy-to-reach area, like behind your seat.

Tip #5: Only use the glove compartment for important documents like the owner’s manual, vehicle registration and a list of emergency contact names and numbers. Any other important safety item like a flashlight and a tire gauge can be stored in a separate emergency kit in the back of the car.

Tip #6: Is your emergency kit updated? Take a look and include these items, too, besides the Bandaids and sunscreen: booster cables, flares, reflective tape, help sign, tire gauge, screwdriver, pliers, first-aid kit, old towel, jug of water and motor oil. Hint: Use a big-enough plastic-lidded container to store these items.

Tip #7: Pack extra unperishable food like protein bars and drinks inside a storage basket and leave some space for if you want to bring a cold-item lunch carrier. Store a few plastic garbage bags inside your food basket so that the kids can tuck their garbage away easily. All garbage gets carried into the house, just like the groceries do. Messy hands? Also include a package or two of wipes.

Tip #8: When you do a tidy each season, think about your car organizing systems – are they working for you? Did something crop up that you still need a solution for?

Need help with organizing or planning your move? I can be reached here:

Thanks for reading!


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