Clear Your Car’s Clutter and Enjoy the Ride

We spend a lot of time in our vehicles, whether it’s going to and from work, carting the kids to various activities or embarking on a road trip. With such busy lifestyles, cars have become our home on wheels; a place to eat, fix our hair, make calls, and catch up on reading and paperwork (hopefully not while driving!).  This can take a toll on the inside of the vehicle, causing clutter to pile up and become an eyesore. Having a disorganized car not only prevents us from feeling comfortable and enjoying the ride, it can also be dangerous. Items rolling around in the vehicle can distract drivers and even cause injury in the event of a sudden stop or crash. Here are some easy organizing strategies and storage solutions to get your car clean and organized:

  1. Do a clean-out at the end of the day, removing garbage and any other items that don’t belong in the car; this takes less than 2 minutes but done consistently, it’s the easiest way to keep your car looking and smelling good.
  2. Keep a tissue box full of trash bags in your car to make daily clean-ups quick and easy.
  3. Keep wipes and dust cloths in the car and clean the steering wheel and dash whenever you find yourself waiting (i.e. picking up the kids).
  4. Place a small bin in your trunk or at the foot of the passenger seat to keep books, toys and papers contained. Collapsible bins provide a flexible storage solution, and a few pieces of Velcro on the bottom will secure the bin to the carpet so it doesn’t slide around.
  5. Visor organizers will keep CDs easily accessible.
  6. Hooks that slide under the headrest can hold purses and bags.
  7. Seat-back totes can carry everything from colouring books and crayons to maps and file folders.
  8. Front-seat organizers and console units that fit between minivan or SUV seats are great for the travelling businessperson who wants convenient access to files and a flat surface to write on.
  9. A small accordion wallet helps keep papers (receipts, directions, accident forms, etc.) neatly organized in the glove compartment. (However, originals of vehicle ownership, registration and insurance papers should not be left in your car; keep photocopies there instead and store the originals in a safe place in your home).
  10. Always place heavy items in the trunk to prevent them from becoming projectiles when you come to a sudden stop or get into an accident.

Being organized in the car is a safety issue, but it will also make you feel better about driving. It may even make your trips less stressful. Once you experience the benefits of a tidy car, it will give you the motivation to keeps things in order. Now, road trip anyone?

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This post has 6 comments

  • Celeste says:

    I have been guilty of having a messy car and I hate the stress it causes, I always feel like other people are looking in from cars that sit higher than mine lol

    I read your article and took the advice to heart. Now I drop my kids at school without the worry of them kicking out a stray food bag or piece of mail. Thanks!

  • Pam says:

    My 18 year old son was killed in a car wreck 8/6/10, and we had to clean out the vehicle after the crash, as well as search the side of the road where it happened for debris. I will tell you that having a vehicle full of stuff is a *nightmare* after a crash. My husband had his rings in the ashtray of the vehicle because he had just loaded some heavy things .. and we never recovered some of his rings. There were other things we probably never found either … but plenty that we did find scattered *all over* !! It was a mess. I keep my car as empty as possible since that date, and I also always zip my purse now because that stuff will scatter in a wreck as well.

  • Traci says:

    Everytime we get out of the car at home I ask my little girls to look and see if anything needs to be taken back into the house, especially if we don’t have bags or backpacks with us that trip. It is also a habit to throw away all trash while I fill up with gas. So I know at least once a week we have cleaned out the trash and seen anything that has been riding around with us for a while.

  • Darleen says:

    I am having trouble of letting go of stuff and have it in my car………… I have a friend who has the same problem in her home……… seems I decide to relax and take it easy when it comes to dealing with it and it’s still there…………I would like to know what items or products you might suggest that will make it easy to organize it all…………I don’t own a home……….my car is basically my home…..I have been displaced from my home for about over 10 years living at my mother and fathers home……’s been very hard to deal with………so I don’t deal with it……….I used to be very organized and together until my ex left me and left me to deal with everything all on my own and now I have developed a habit that I know I need to break out of………..

  • Susan says:

    I work out of my car and i struggle to keep it clean. I eat lunch it my car, and usually have a couple bottles of water in the passenger seat, along with my work bag. My cell phone is on the charger, lipstick etc. My trunk is full too. I will start keeping the trash bags in my car and carrying out all the trash every day. It is a way to start.