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What to Keep in your Car to Stay Organized

Submitted by on July 12, 2011 – 2:47 pmNo Comment

Zoom Zoom Zoom…that’s what so many of us do here in the Dallas area. The average American, including myself and other stay-at-home moms, spends about 2 hours a day in their car. The more kids they have, the more time is spent in the car whisking kids back and forth to activities, grocery shopping, doctors’ appointments and the list goes on.
While my sons are all older teenagers, two of them still rely on me to drive them to various places on any given day. We have a general rule that requires them to give me 24 hours notice if they want to go somewhere or have me pick up one of their friends. If it’s less than 24 hours, they can still ask, but they can expect the answer to be no. This family rule has done wonders teaching my kids to plan better and at the same time keeps me from living in my car.

If I do have to spend time in my car, being organized with the contents or even how I park in a crowded parking lot is all about planning. Being prepared ultimately saves time, money, and frustration. I grew up with the trunk of my mom’s car always packed half full with blankets, jugs of water, crackers, fully loaded tool boxes, and jackets for “just in case”. While there are certain times these items might come in handy here in Texas or elsewhere, it’s not really feasible to think the average American family would keep such contents now in the back of their vehicle. Plus, how many of us would know how to use the tools in the box anyway.

So what do you keep in your car for “just in case”? Well that truly depends on where you live and the lifestyle of your family. A professional organizer is one person that knows not only how to get an area of your home or office organized, but can offer advice on the space in your car too. Organizers have the skills to plan your space creatively with the right products to give you the most function.

One of the best products for organizing items in your car is an over-the-seat organizer. This can be placed on the back of the passenger or driver’s seat to hold kids toys, books, snacks, games, and much more. You can pick these up at local stores but some of the best ones I have seen are available over the internet.
Besides the standard items most people carry in their car, a few other suggestions are pepper spray for safety, a pad of paper and a pen for writing quick notes, and a pouch for keeping your coupons for local store discounts. Also, consider a small pill box full of headache medication and a few extra pills for any family member who takes prescription medication. This is especially important in dad’s car as he does not carry a purse that might contain extra medication. Having basic meds in the car will save you from return trips home to get what you forgot. Be cautious about pills that might be affected by heat or cold and check the expiration dates periodically.

For emergencies, I keep two important tools in my car. The first is one I have never used, but in a crisis it could save a life. The window breaker and seat belt cutter by Coleman can be used to shatter a window and cut a seat belt if the car was submerged in water. I hope never to have to use it, but having it in my car makes me feel safer when I think about what could happen while driving over a body of water.

The other item that I have in my car at all times I have used for emergencies and non-emergencies. I stopped to help someone in a car crash years ago and they needed a place to sit besides the hot concrete. An old sheet served the purpose very well. In my blog video you will see that I recently had a flat and used my sheet for placing the dirty flat tire in my car, thus protecting the carpet. A sheet becomes a versatile tool in any car.

With the onset of technology we don’t have to keep quite as many things in our car as we once did. Having a phone with internet takes the place of maps, mileage logs, a compass, or an emergency phone list. But there are still things that every car does need in case of an emergency. Remember that being organized is being prepared and being prepared is being organized.

Lorraine Brock is a professional organizer, family coach, speaker, and founder and owner of Get Organized!. Get Organized! is a professional organizing company in the Dallas, Texas area. Get Organized! specializes in organizing and de-cluttering homes as well as implementing systems in the home for better family management.
A popular media guest, Lorraine has appeared on Dallas’ two top morning television shows: Good Morning Texas and Good Day Fox, and has been featured on various radio outlets. She has been hallmarked in many local, regional, and national print and online magazines, such as the Dallas Morning News, The North Texas Kids Magazine,, and Daily Candy Kids. To get more information about Lorraine, visit

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