Things are starting to return to normal and we’re all spending more time in our cars. The car is one place that can easily and quickly get out of hand with clutter. Here are my top tips for keeping your car neat and organized this summer (and always)!
Car Organization Hacks
Now, I realize this is not always possible, but we try to not eat in the car often. Long road trips and busy days are exceptions, but generally, I try to keep all food consumption outside of the car. This cuts down on both trash and crumbs, two big culprits in creating car clutter.
At least once a week the kids and I work together to clean out the car. We remove any items that don’t belong in there. I drive a minivan and as much as I love all those cupholders (12!), the ones near my children tend to become receptacles for all kinds of fun things: used wipes, candy wrappers, rocks, leaves, and acorns. I don’t always check those, so once a week we do a cleanout and dump it all in the trash.
Take it Out
A general rule for our car is, “If you brought it in, take it out.” I make sure my kids know that if they bring something in the car, it is their responsibility to take it out. Even if it takes multiple trips, I want all the library books, crayons, and stuffed animals out of the car at the end of the day.
Take advantage of what your car has to offer. I’ve found that the seatback pockets are the perfect size to keep a travel pack of wipes, a few extra diapers, and a handful of plastic grocery bags (helpful for trash or the *occasional* car sickness episode).
Don’t Fill Your Space
While I think it’s important to utilize the space you have; I think it’s more important to not completely fill your space. A lot of us tend to fill any extra space we have, but the car is really not the place to do that. I try to think carefully about what I need to live in the car and what would be better to just grab when I need it.
I recently added a small basket to the front of my car. It currently holds sunblock, travel tissues, extra masks for the whole family, hand sanitizer, bug repellant, and a deck of cards. These essentials will vary from family to family and probably from season to season. These are the things I tend to reach for most often and having them in a basket right next to me makes it much easier.
Aside from my car manual, there are a few things I find helpful to keep in the glove compartment of the car. A hand-crank flashlight is a great idea, you’ll never have to worry about the batteries running out. We also keep a tire gauge and a multitool in there. Lastly, I throw any extra napkins, straws, and plastic utensils we get from takeout/fast food places as well. You never know when you might need them!
The back of my car is so big that it can easily get out of control with stuff. I added a large tote bag to contain the chaos. I like to keep an extra towel (or two), picnic blanket, reusable grocery bags, a first aid kit (REMINDER: check your supplies and replace anything that has expired), and jumper cables in mine.
Quick Wipe Down
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time to get my car detailed very often, but I do spend a lot of time waiting for my pickup orders for groceries, Target, etc. I’ve started to make that time work for me – I grab a baby wipe and wipe down the dash and front console while I’m waiting for my order to get loaded in my car.
If you find yourself struggling to keep your car organized, I hope these tips help!