DIY Car Organizer

The wind is howling and the temperature is dropping – time for a little DIY project!

Many of us live in our cars, and therefore keep a lot of things inside of them. Unfortunately, these items can end up in a cluttered jumble, so I thought I would share with you how to make an organizer to fit into the center console of a car.

Of course, everyone’s car is a bit different, so although I am providing dimensions for the organizer I made, feel free to adapt this design to one that fits inside of your car.

The first thing I did was gather supplies for the project. I used:

  • Foam core (1 large sheet)
  • Graph paper
  • Pencil
  • Exacto knife
  • Cutting board
  • Ruler
  • Glue

My next step was to empty out the console and wipe it clean. Here is what I wanted to organize:

Car Clutter

[Note: this a good time to clear away any items you don’t need to keep in the car!]

The next step was to measure the dimensions of the console area, taking note of anything that was “sticking out” into the space (in my case, an outlet.) This is how mine looked:

Measure your console

Now came the “thinking” part. I sketched a few ideas out on graph paper until I had a design that I thought would hold all of my items. I made space to hold my pens & pencils along the back, and smaller items closer to the driver’s side. I decided to make a base (piece #1 in the drawing below.) This would be one large piece, with three flaps folding up on three sides. I only made three flaps so that the left side would be open for easy access to the outlet. This piece is optional: you can simply build the center unit (pieces #2-#6) and let it freely “float” in your console. My base piece measured 10 3/8″ square, and then I cut corners out of the top right and bottom right corners. The corners measured 2 5/8″ by 2 5/8″.

Here is the aerial design:

Aerial View of the Organizer

Now I needed to decide how tall each piece would be, making sure that they would be tall enough to hold my belongings in place, but not so tall as to make it difficult to reach inside. Here are the elevation drawings for the center pieces. Note that I notched out pieces so that the foam core could interlock. Also, on piece #3, I drew a dotted line to indicate where a fold would be.

Elevation Drawing of Pieces 1
Elevation View of Pieces 2

Now it was time to start the cutting. I used my Exacto knife to cut out each of the pieces of graph paper.

Cutting out the templates

Then I traced around these templates onto the foam core, and then cut them out.

Transfer templates to foam core

Next it was time to cut the folded edges, which is easily done on foam core. Simply cut only halfway through the board on the back side – much like you would score a piece of meat – and then gently “snap” it towards you. This is a photo of the base piece, upside down, so you can see how the folds work.

Cutting a fold

The next step was to fit the inside pieces together at the notched out points. Pieces #2 and #4 have their notches facing down, while pieces #5 and #6 have their notches facing up. Piece #3 – the one with the fold – has its left notch facing down, and it’s right notch facing up. This gives the structure stability. If you want, you can dab a bit of glue on the pieces before assembling.

Fit the pieces together

The last step was to set the inside piece into the base and fill it up. Here is how it looks now in my car…

Finished Car Organizer

You can see how I am able to plug in my phone charger. Yes, the cord drags over the top of the organizer, but I can still reach my items.

I love having my items organized so I can easily grab what I need. It is a big improvement over the mess of loose items which I had before.

Not everyone enjoys a DIY project, but I thought it was fun. What do you think? Would you make yourself a car organizer?