How to Organize Your Car

How to Organize Your Car & Keep It That Way

Do you avoid offering to drive when meeting up with friends because your car looks (and maybe smells) like a landfill? If so, don’t despair.  Many people struggle with this, but I’ve got you covered.

Let’s face it.  We spend a lot of time in our cars driving back and forth to work, school pick up and drop off, errands, shopping and road trips.  Without a place to keep things while in the car, garbage and necessities can pile up.

organize your car

Remove the Mess

Before you can organize your car, you have to declutter it. Fortunately, cars are smaller than garages so this won’t take as long as you think it might.  To do this, grab two bags (or a bag and a box).  One will be for garbage and the other for things that need to stay in the car (like your owner’s manual, etc.).

Start by working your way through every area of the car.  I like to start with the seats then move to the floor and then the center console and glove compartment.

As you work your way through each area, remove EVERYTHING from the car (some items will go back, but for now, remove everything from the car), including the trunk.

Give the Car a Good Cleaning

You can go to a local auto detailing shop or do it yourself. If you do it yourself, remember to use a carpet cleaner for the floor and seats.  When cleaning the dashboard, don’t use any product that has alcohol as an ingredient.  It will dry your dashboard and could crack in the sun.

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In a future post, we’ll talk about deep cleaning your car but, for now, here are some great car cleaning hacks:

  • Use a foam brush to dust between the air/heat vents
  • Use olive oil on a rag to polish your dashboard (after you’ve cleaned it well)
  • A toothbrush, baking soda a a bit of water will work great to remove stains from seats or the floor.

organize your car

Time to Organize

Well, it’s time to PLAN to organize.  Before you can organize your car, you need to have a plan. The trash is gone and now you are left with a box or bag of things that need to stay in the car.  If you don’t have a plan for where to keep those things, the car will end up a mess again in no time at all.

A plastic cereal dispenser works great for trash and stays need.  Alternatively, you can use a plastic food shopping bag and hang from a knob to keep trash off of the floor.

For the papers in the glovebox, pick up a large-sized coupon organizer.  Label each section and drop the appropriate papers in it:  emergency roadside assistance, battery and maintenance information, emergency contact info, etc.  Place this in the glove compartment with your owner’s manual (it probably won’t fit in the organizer).

Consider a visor organizer to keep your sunglasses, extra pen, etc.  I also tuck photos of loved ones in mine to glance at when I need to smile. (It also helps me to keep from killing them when they mess up my car!)

On the road, you’ll get receipts.  You may want to keep an envelope in the car to keep them in.  I keep the envelope in my purse.  I put all receipts in there and once a week or so clean it out putting the receipts in their proper home for tax time.

An inexpensive shoe organizer or back of the seat organizer (Amazon has quite a few for less than twenty bucks) will keep the kids toys and books neatly stored.

Keeping It Clean and Organized

Now that your car is clean and organized, you’ll want to keep it that way.  Here are a few of my favorite tips:

  • Each time you fill up your gas tank, empty the trash.
  • Each time you get out of your car when you get home, bring a few things with you to keep the clutter down.
  • Use a travel mug to avoid to-go cups piling up in the car.
  • If you can manage it, don’t allow anyone to eat in your car (This one is just too tough for me to enforce – sometimes you just have to do it!)
  • Use all weather floor mats.  They are much easier to clean mud off of than carpet.

For a ton of great car cleaning hacks, check out our recent post HERE (AUGUST 17 post)

Do you have a great tip on how you organize your car or clean it?  I’d love to hear about it!  Post in the comments below.

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Until Next Time…In Him,

Sue

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