Some of us use our cars as an “office on wheels” and some of us use them to simply haul our kids from one place to the next. Either way, we all could benefit from better organization of the inside of our vehicles. Our car’s cabin is one of the few areas of our lives that’s transparent to our friends and to the public. Anyone can glance inside the windows of a car and know immediately if the owner is controlled by clutter or has the clutter under control.
Any organized environment relieves stress and, in the case of a moving car, probably adds a margin of safety. Most would agree that digging through a stack of junk to find a Kleenex while driving in traffic is hazardous, at best. To obtain a clutter-free car interior, do the following. Empty out the interior, one section at a time, and replace only those items that you really need. A general rule of thumb is, if you can’t see what you need without having to dig then the space too full. Once you clean out the space and decide what needs to go where – then show it to everyone in your family. They need to understand that things must be returned to their designated ‘home’ after each and every use.
Businesspersons who work out of their car do not want their files to be a mess and/or covered with food stains. You want to make the best use of your time while you are traveling in your vehicle. To do this, the tools of your trade must be easily accessible. Also, systems need to be implemented to make taking paperwork from the office to the car easier. Getting your car organized for business travel reduces your stress and increases your productivity.
Things You Must Do
- Remove the trash everyday – fast food papers, water bottles, junk mail, etc. I have a kitchen-sized garbage can in my garage right by my van. When everyone gets out they take the stuff they brought with them (backpacks, gym bags, groceries) and any trash. This is done every time. No exceptions.
- If you have been grocery shopping, double check to see if anything fell out of a bag or if a bag was accidentally shoved into a dark corner. One of my friends did not check his car carefully after a trip to the grocery store and left a half-gallon of milk to bake in the Alabama summer sun. Trust me, spoiled milk is not an odor you can live with in your car.
- The same goes for spills. If you’re on the road, wipe up the offending mess immediately. Do a thorough clean as soon as you get home.
- Clean out the glove box. The only mandatory items for this space are the car’s owner’s manual, registration, and proof of insurance. I also like to keep fast food napkins in mine (for emergency spills). All other items are optional and are not recommended. Remember, the more stuff you have in your glove box, the less likely you will be able to find what you need when you need it.
- Assign a home for the necessary items that live in your car.
I Have Researched Car Interior Organization And Have Found The Following Items To Be Quite Useful
- Eyeware clip – Always know where your sunglasses are with this bright red clip that attaches to your sun visor. Target $4.19
- Refresh you Car! – Solid air freshener that can attach to any horizontal surface. It can also be placed inconspicuously under the driver’s seat. Target $1.99
- Catch All – You can use this as the place for your cell phone or other small items that you always want on hand. Target $4.99
- Sun Visor Organizer – Holds 20 CDs that you can easily see and access. It also contains a mesh storage pocket for small items. Target $9.99
- Large Trunk Organizer – The 2 compartments make it easy to contain your groceries, sporting goods and other trunk items. It folds compact and flat when not in use. Velcro straps keep it compact. Target $14.99
- American Red Cross Basic Emergency Preparedness with First Aid – This kit goes beyond the essential first aid supplies with the addition of a light stick, survival blanket, poncho and a checklist for additional supplies. The kit comes in a bright red waterproof zippered pouch. Target $9.84
- AAA Road Kit – This kit comes with 102 pieces including heavy duty battery cables, tow rope, flashlight, batteries, work gloves, poncho, tools, duct tape and more. This is a great emergency kit that everyone should have in their vehicle. It comes in a compact bright red zippered bag and is perfect for your trunk. Target $32.99
- Portable DeskTop – Letter paper sized box that has a clipboard on the outside and 2 compartments on the inside. In one compartment there are six different sections to hold office supplies and the other compartment carries paper work and notepads. It opens on the side to minimize the spilling of contents. Office Max $6.80
- Car Tablet Holder – Consider purchasing a car tablet holder either for yourself or your children; if you have any that is. If you are likely to be spending a lot of time on your tablet in your car, you don’t want to have to worry about where you will put it if your arms start getting tired. I would recommend you to have a look at iBeani.co.uk to see what holders they have, then compare these with others to try and find one that suits you, your children (if you have any!) and your car best.
- Foldable Shopping/Storage Cart – A compact design and heavy-duty collapsible wheels make this a great bag to have in your trunk. The entire bag folds up into a handy pouch. When fully opened the pouch creates a zippered front compartment on the shopping cart. Brightly colored so you can’t misplace it. Office Max $29.99
- Expanding file with bonus coupon pocket file. The large file has 12 slots to store coupons or other letter size papers. The smaller folder is perfect for gift cards and stores frequent buyer cards. This way, you always have the coupons or gift cards with you. Bright red color makes it easy to find in the car. Office Max $10.99
- Personal-size blanket – Warm and fuzzy blanket folds and rolls compactly for easy storage in car. Perfect for those long road trips or to pack in your carry on bag.
- Office Traveler – This passenger seat organizer is a must have for any road warrior. I picked this one out for my best friend because of the multiple pockets. It has a central zippered compartment perfect for snacks. But the thing I liked best is that it is easy to carry from car to office. Its made out of nylon so it is easy to clean and it this makes it light weight even when fully stocked with all your office supplies. A compartment in the rear makes it easy to store files upright and at your fingertips. Storage is provided for notepads and even a laptop. The design slopes to the front for easy access and the entire unit is surrounded by handy cubbies for drinks, pens & pencils, a cell phone and chargers. It fastens securely to the passenger seat and can be zipped up. Target $39.99