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How to Organize Your Car

Messy car trunk full of bags

Get on the road to organization by decluttering and organizing your vehicle. Organize your car to give yourself a quick win, a much more functional space, and to build your organizing muscles for tackling bigger projects.

The first crucial step to organizing your car is to completely empty it. It might be tempting to skip this step. Things don’t get organized as well if you’re looking at one thing at a time. Clearing your car enables you to organize based on how much space you need and where you need those particular things.

Next, as you’re removing items from the car, put them in category piles so that you can see all you have of each type of thing. Being able to assess one category at a time makes it easier to let go of items when you see you have more than enough and helps you plan the storage needed for each category.

Organize Your Car Into Categories

  • Glove compartment items including owner’s manual, proof of insurance, tire pressure gauge, car repair receipts, and a flashlight.
  • Vehicle maintenance and emergency supplies including jumper cables, tire jacks, flares, first aid kits, etc.
  • Electronic devices might include charging cables, phone mounts, adaptors, media players and the like.
  • Entertainment on-the-go with magazines, books, and games for passengers.
  • Personal care items including tissue, hand sanitizer, lotion, make-up, wet wipes, or medicine.
  • Reusable grocery and other shopping bags.
  • Car kitchen items napkins, plasticware, salt and ketchup packets, and more.
  • Work-related materials like a laptop, files, or tools.
  • Kids’ items might include toys, coloring books, snacks, and on-the-go items.
  • Activity bags for the gym, pool, sports, hobbies, playgroups, or other items that you need outside of the house.
  • Pet supplies including a leash, water bowl, waste bags, and toys.
  • Comfort items like lumbar support pillows or a blanket.
  • Outdoor provisions with umbrella, sunglasses, a hat, gloves, or other clothing.
  • Anything specific to you or your lifestyle.

Declutter, Clean, Organize & Maintain

Beyond the items that you want to carry in your vehicle, you may find all sorts of things you’ve left there but don’t want to make space for. These might include trash, packaging, toys, store returns, and more. Trash, donate, or put them where they should live in your house or garage. Otherwise return them to the people and places they go.

Taking everything out of your vehicle offers an excellent opportunity to clean it thoroughly. You might choose to do it yourself or have it professionally detailed. Vacuuming upholstery, cleaning floor mats, and wiping down the doors and dashboard are much easier when the car is empty.

With the items that you want to put back in the car, think about who needs to reach them and where. Use the built-in car storage including pockets in the doors and behind the seats, glove compartment, middle consoles, and more. You might also add storage solutions like bins, trunk organizers, a trash can, and other containers. These will help you keep everything tidy and easily accessible.

To maintain a clutter-free car, make it a habit to regularly take things inside your home. You can do daily or weekly cleanouts, and schedule seasonal organizing sessions as recurring appointments on your calendar.

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