Here are six easy steps to cleaning out and organizing your car:
1. Empty your car
Take everything out of your car. Throw away any trash.
Determine what stays in your car and put all other items away where they belong in your home.
Sort and categorize remaining items.
- Console items (pens, paper, hand sanitizer, coupons, change etc.)
- Emergency items (first aid, jumper cables, flashlight etc.)
- Children’s items (toys, CD’s, books etc.)
- Sporting equipment
2. Set up your command center
This area (usually your console) will include the things that you use each day such as notepads, change, coupons, and ponytail holders.
Consider using small plastic containers with lids, drawer organizers, or Ziploc bags to hold these items.
Use your glove compartment to store items that are used less frequently such as Band-Aids, napkins, and a set of plastic utensils. Organize separately the mandatory items that stay in your car like your owner’s manual, registration and proof of insurance.
3. Create a mobile file box
If you don’t use a briefcase then consider purchasing a mobile file box to organize work papers, medical/emergency papers, school papers, or even vacation plans.
A mobile file box saves time and keeps important papers at your fingertips when moving from your car to office to home.
4. Contain children’s belongings
Use a bin, tote, or crate to store all items that you use to entertain your children in the car.
Set limits and use only one bin. Have your children decide what items will remain in the car.
Put items away into the bin when you get home from the last trip of the day.
5. Organize the trunk
Use bins or trunk organizers to categorize and separate sports equipment, roadside emergency equipment and supplies.
Add another bin or two for groceries or other shopping items. This bin can be used for returns, dry cleaning or even for gathering items from the car to take inside to put away each day.
The key to staying organized is daily/weekly maintenance.
Before everyone exits the car, remind them to do a sweep and pick up trash and their other belongings (backpacks, gym bags, games).
Spend 5 to 15 minutes every Sunday prepping your car for the week by removing items that don’t belong and putting things that stay in the car in their appropriate bin.
It is a great feeling to have a place for everything and everything in its place. Get creative and have fun with it. Play some music! Remember that there are many items you can use for car organization around your home as well as in stores. Depending on your family’s needs try out some different things to see what works best for you. Plastic caddies, folding totes, or hanging storage for the back of car seats are great items to add to keep your car tidy and functional on a daily basis.