How Do I Organize My Car?

Car Organizing

Our cars: we love them, we abuse them, we live in them and we rely on them.  For many of us, being in the car is as much a part of daily life as eating. It is no wonder that they often look like war zones… coffee stains in the carpet, trash all around, smelly sports gear in the back, bags of items we intend to return, etc.  Still, we often find ourselves needing something in the car that we forgot to put in.

Here are some ideas to help you make smart decisions for maximizing your car’s efficiency:


In the glove box:

  • Insurance and registration cards
  • School/work directories
  • Tire air gauge
  • Car inspection/emissions forms
  • Car manual

In the center console:

  • A small zipper bag (e.g. a pencil case) with a couple of pens and pencils (sharpened)
  • A small notepad
  • An extra phone charger (handy if you get stranded and need to make calls)
  • Chapstick/lipstick
  • Hand sanitizer (great to have the kids use it whenever you pick them up from an activity)
  • Box of tissues and box of wet wipes
  • Gum/mints

In the back seating area:

  • Container for car toys if you have small children (soft toys are best in a car)
  • Car seats, if needed
  • Road atlas (for when you don’t have GPS access)
  • Container of retail store coupons (e.g. Bed, Bath & Beyond)

In the trunk/back:

  • Bottled water
  • Jumper cables
  • Umbrella
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kid
  • Towel and blanket
  • Duct tape (can be handy in many situations)
  • Reusable shopping bags
  • Ice scraper
  • Current sports gear
  • Water/food bowl if you frequently transport pets



  • Trash – designate a space in the car for depositing trash and empty it frequently (e.g. when you pump gas or pull into the garage next to a trash can.)
  • Out of season recreational gear – keep only what is in season now.
  • Receipts – don’t stash receipts (e.g. gas, cash machine) in your car. Instead, get them into your house and into a financial records system.
  • Returns – if you put a return item in your car, be sure to schedule when you will complete the errand.
  • Dirty cups/coffee mugs – bring them in and wash them.
  • Wallet/purse – never leave these items unattended in a car.
  • Electronics – don’t leave electronics in a car unless they are bolted down.
  • The car title – keep this separately in a secure place.
  • Piles of  spare change – it is smart to keep a little, but don’t let it overflow or slosh around.
  • Anything on the floor – it will get wet and dirty fast.



There are a variety of great tools for organizing your car, as well as many great DIY options. Here are a few ideas to get you motivated.

Trunk Organizer


Visor Organizer


Mesh Storage Bag


Back of the Seat Organizer


Car Trash Container


Reusable Poly Envelope

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If you are going to spend a lot of time driving around, it is worth the effort to get things in order.

What’s your best tip for organizing your car?