Clutter-Free and Organized Car
Getting your Car Prepared and Organized
by Lorraine Brock
This is the time of year that our cars often become cluttered from Christmas shopping, or we have to clean the car out to get ready for a holiday road trip. If this sounds like your car, you may be ready for some great car clutter organizing tips.
Have you ever been in a parking lot and noticed the car parked next to you with papers, fast food packages, kids’ toys or athletic gear, and other items scattered all over the floorboard and the seats? How can anyone find anything under all that clutter, much less be prepared for an emergency? Through personal experience, I have learned what items are important to have in an organized car.
I remember ordering a salad at a drive-through and reached in to grab my plastic silverware. Since it was nowhere to be found, I had to either not eat or pick at my salad with my fingers.
Another time, I was in an accident and pulled out my disposable camera (now you can use your phone camera) to take pictures for evidence. I’m thankful I had taken pictures because the other party had a different story a few days later.
It is true that some of the best ideas come out of necessity, and knowing what you should carry in your car is no different. I have developed a great starting list for having your car packed, prepared, and organized for any situation.
- Plastic silverware, straws, and napkins
- Food and water (crackers, bottled water)
- Paring knife (place in a toothbrush travel holder safely away from kids)
- Extra cash ($20)
- Products for contact lenses
- Notepad, pen
- Old blanket, sheet, or towel (to be used to protect items when hauling, for cleanup, or during cold weather)
- Clothing (sweatshirt, hat, gloves)
- Jumper cables
- Flashlight with batteries
- Basic tools (screwdriver, wrench)
- Spare rope (for tying items down)
- Extra cellphone with car charger (Make sure the battery is fully powered first as deactivated phones can still call 911 for emergencies. This can be used if your primary cellphone is not working.)
- Medicine (cough drops, headache medication)
- Hand warmers
- Kids toys
- Plastic grocery store bags
Now that you have these essential items in your car, let’s talk about creative ways you can store and keep some of these items organized. Consider using an empty tissue box to store plas
tic grocery bags under a seat in your car. These bags have come in handy over the many years of sports with my three sons. During football season in Texas, both the practice and the playing fields can become quite muddy. Usually it means taking off muddy shoes with your hands and putting a towel down on the floorboard of your car to protect your carpet. This can create quite a mess to people and your car. Instead, I use a grocery bag to take the muddy shoes off my son’s feet and store them in the bags during the ride home. There are also many possibilities for using grocery bags when traveling – dirty diapers, trash, cleaning up after your pets, etc. Just make sure you check the box often to keep it filled with bags.
Keeping children’s toys organized in the car seems to be a big issue for many moms. Try using empty wet wipe boxes to hold a few toys or a back-of-seat organizer to hold larger items. To prevent having a car full of toys, have a designated set of toys that stay in the car and do not go inside the house. Also, do not allow inside toys to be brought to the car. When my boys were little, certain toys stayed in the car at all times. This kept the toy clutter to a minimum.
Once you have cleaned and organized your car, the solution to keeping it that way is to check your car each time you arrive home. Open all your car doors and check the seats and floorboards for any trash, bags, papers, or anything that does not belong in the car. Clean up spills and vacuum crumbs or dirt the day they happen. It is a good idea to keep some cleaning items like rags and a mini vac in the garage so you do not have to go inside the house.
Keeping your car clutter-free is one way to decrease stress and family chaos and allow you to enjoy holiday shopping and travel.
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, SheKnows.com, and Daily Candy Kids. To get more information about Lorraine, visit www.GetOrganized.ws.