Quick Car Organizing Tips

I love quick and easy organizing that pay big dividends.  We work from our cars, tote kids around, commute, run errands and use our vehicles daily.  In fact, recent numbers estimate that the average American spends roughly fifteen hours a week in their car!  Why not make that time more pleasant and efficient?  * Estimated time to complete the project: 10-15 minutes*

1.  Clean out the trash daily.    Like most organizing projects, the upkeep is much easier if it becomes a habit.  Maintenance can save you a ton of time here.  Grab two grocery sacks:  one will be for trash, the other will be for items that DO NOT belong in the car.  This is a great job for even the littlest family member who needs simple chores.  Fill both sacks up and clear that car out.

2.  Make it a pleasant environment.   Smell has a hug impact upon our moods and I love a car that doesn’t smell like sweaty sports equipment or old Cheezits.  There are tons of options, but I like to keep it simple and cheap.  The dollar air-fresheners fit perfectly in my cup holder and I can open them just a crack for a nice scent.  I’m sure you could use essential oils or whatever you find most appealing.  It does make a big difference.

3.  Corral your stuff.  I am in love with Rubbermaid’s new auto totes.  (Costco has them for less than $20 bucks right now in the three pack.  What a deal!)  They grip the car floor or seat and have so many uses.  For minivan drivers with a narrow trunk area, these are made to fit perfectly lined up and in-between the captain chairs. You can assign each family member a tote to organize car toys or sports equipment.  I love that they work well for mobile office uses too.  Hanging file folders fit perfectly on the outer rim of the tote.  Another great option is a basket or one of the other awesome organizing totes that are on the market for cars.  (If you decided to go this route, make sure the totes either collapse or can nest so you can free up car space when needed.)

4.  Load it up, move it out.  Get things that need to leave the house put in the car.  It sounds easy, but piles easily accumulate in garages and on our counters.  Get library books, Goodwill items, post office parcels, store returns and necessary paperwork that require a car trip loaded in the car.  You will be able to avoid additional trips because you will be prepared.  While you’re on the way to work-put the bills in the mailbox.  If you’re grabbing some prescriptions at the pharmacy, grab the bag with your store return.

5.  Be prepared.  Take five minutes and grab essentials that you often wished you had in your car.  Some ideas are a blanket (cold sporting events), extra set of clothes in a Ziploc bag for kids/babies, bottles water, snacks, wipes, a flashlight, meter change, sunglasses, sunscreen, tissue and whatever you find yourself grabbing often as you leave the house.  This is also a great time to open up the dark abyss of the glove compartment and make sure that your insurance and registration are current and easy to find.

6.  Suck it up.  Take just a second and vacuum.  It makes a HUGE difference.  I know that in our town there is an inexpensive, drive-through car wash that offers free use of their vacuums so you kill two birds with one stone; your car will be clean inside and out.  It doesn’t have to be perfect, just a quick vacuum job will do.

Now when you jump in the car, you will have what you need and you can enjoy the ride.  Do you have more ideas of how you organize your car?  Feel free to share in the comments below!

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  1. I needed this!! Thank you for motivating me. I have an awesome 3-part organizer that I got when I hosted a 31 party. I need to clean it all out and organize my van. It gets messy real quick with the kids. Something else I need to do is organize the DVDs in the van. I’m thinking I will get an old CD case that fits several and keep the individual DVD cases in the house. We practically live in our van. It would be nice if it was clean (and smelled good). 😉

    • Thanks for your sweet comment Jolene! My primitive blog is being revamped this month and will be easier to navigate and filled with ideas that really excite me! Until then, there’s a fun series that is on my Facebook page that started today about paper. I wish I could see your awesome, clean van because then I’d be seeing you and your family. Thanks friend. Happy organizing!

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