Safe in the Seat

11 Tips to Keep Your Car Organized

Many of us have a goal to “get organized” in a response to stress and frustration in our day-to-day life. When you set this goal, you probably had a few rooms in the house on your list, but did your car come to mind?

Our vehicles are an extension of our home. This additional “room” has to serve a lot of functions between carpool routes, grocery runs, and road trips! It can be hard to keep everything tidy, and a cluttered and disorganized car can not only be stressful, but it can even be dangerous. 

Stowing necessities in your car is convenient, smart, and safe! You don’t want to be caught at a birthday party without diapers or be stuck at the park without bandages after a tumble. Keeping all of these items in your vehicle, though, can make it cluttered, and any loose items can become projectiles in a crash. Safety should obviously be your top priority. Yes, even when it comes to car organization.

Below we’re sharing a series of tips to keep all the important supplies in your car organized, while also being mindful of the safety of your precious passengers. Check out our 11 tips to keep your car clean and organized!

11 Tips to Keep Your Car Organized 

Here are inexpensive and easy ways to organize your car. These tips will bring order to your vehicle, and the tidying should only take an afternoon once you collect the supplies! Grab the whole family and make an event of it. 

1. Consider Function First

No matter what your vehicle looks like on the inside or the outside, it’s important to remember that appearance shouldn’t be your number one priority. Some tips in this list might be unconventional and create what you’d consider an eyesore, but we recommend choosing function and safety over aesthetics.

Think about how your family actually uses this space. Pinpoint the areas that get the most cluttered or dirty, and make it work for you! Do this even if it means adding something that takes away from the beauty of your interior. 

Additionally, not all the prettiest organizing options are the safest. In the event of an accident, anything in the car will pinball around your vehicle at dangerous speeds, so consider only soft items or things that can be strapped down. 

2. Pack Away Trunk Items

Like we’ve expressed, anything loose in the car will become a projectile in a crash. Not only are bulky items like spare tires and strollers dangerous, but small items are too, because they can travel much faster and fit in tighter spaces.

Umbrellas, ice scrapers, flashlights, water bottles, and jumper cables are probably all sitting in the back of your car, ready to slide around at even a slightly sharp turn. These items need to be packed away and organized not only to give you sanity, but to maintain the safety of the vehicle. 

Soft zipper closing storage bags or backseat organizers work great for stowing away all the items safely! Remember, bigger is better, because there will be less room for the object to move around! Use a cargo net to place loose items you might not be keeping in the car, like sports equipment or beach supplies, for the adventure of the day!

3. Find a Safe Place for Purses or Diaper Bags

Purses and diaper bags don’t stay in the car, but they’re always in there when your family is headed out! You’ll want to put these items somewhere easily accessible, but also safe. There are a few options for bag placement in your car. 

Purse Holder*

A purse holder connects to each of the front car seat headrests and provides a convenient opening for your purse. This way, it has a place where it will fit perfectly, rather than sliding around the console lid or passenger seat! 

Accessing your items while driving will also be a breeze with this option. You will want to make sure the holder has a tether or add one using a bungee cord or clip to prevent it from spilling onto the floor during a U-turn or jostling around in a collision. 

*Be aware that some vehicles prohibit anything hanging from or attaching to the front seats, usually due to advanced airbag sensor systems. Check the airbags section of your vehicle manual before purchasing products like these to make sure this is a safe option for your car.

Under the Seat

Though your purse won’t be accessible while driving, pushing your bag under a seat or in a space under the center console if an option is a great way to tuck it away safely and prevent it from cluttering your car! It will be no problem to access once you arrive at your destination.  Zip or button it up so objects inside stay put in the event of a crash.

Buckle it Up

If you are used to tossing your purse or diaper bag into the passenger seat, add one more step! Buckle the bag onto the seat. This way, it won’t spill, slip, or become a projectile!

4. Create One Place for Kids’ Essentials 

Having a collection of children’s essentials is a great idea for a busy mom like you to remain stress-free. Whether you forgot to pack wipes in the diaper bag or your child went through their first outfit and their backup outfit, your car kit can be a lifesaver. 

We recommend using a soft-sided caddy or basket to hold all your kids’ necessities. Just make sure all the items inside are soft. Small toys, diapers, clothes, and blankets are great to stick inside the caddy and won’t pose any threat in an accident. More on car toy storage and projectile prevention HERE.

5. Designate a Trash Bin 

It’s happened to everyone: You finish your takeout burger or your kid blows their nose, and there is NOWHERE to put the trash. So, where does it end up? Shoved in the cup holder or tossed onto the floor. Quickly, your car can become a gross pit that would never fly inside your home! 

Get a car trash can with a lid that can clip to one of your seats. Make sure it’s accessible to everyone (add two if you need to) and make this your designated area for trash. No more excuses for throwing those wrappers and used wipes on the floor. 

6. Upcycle Round Tissue Containers

Your car is full of round cup holders. Use them to your advantage! Take cylinder tissue containers and upcycle and refill them. Place them around the car to hold tissues (obviously), plastic sacks, and trash bags. 

Next time you’re coming home from a muddy soccer game, easily pull out a plastic bag from your tissue containers and drop in the wet shoes! No more mess in your car and no searching under the seats in hopes of a stray grocery sack.

7. Organize the Console and Glove Box

Be honest, what does your glove box and center console look like right now? Probably pretty cluttered. Do you really need the last four years of insurance slips and parking passes in your glove compartment? What about that Shania Twain CD? Does that really need to be in the console with the scratched sunglasses? 

Start by removing all unnecessary items. Then replace those with well-organized necessities. You can use photo containers, acrylic organizers, zipper pouches, and file organizers with a label maker to ensure your items are easily accessible and super satisfying to look at!

Aside from all of your obvious paperwork, other good items to keep in your organized console and glove box could include medication, hand sanitizer, tire pressure gauge, first aid kit, chapstick, pens, stain remover sticks, and chargers!

8. Use Shower Caddies for Car Meals 

No doubt one of the messiest things you and your family do in the car is eat! When you grab takeout on the way home or pull out the packed lunches, wrappers and food can get everywhere! 

Our best tip is to use plastic shower caddies to disperse food throughout the vehicle. The kids will have an easy way to hold food and prevent it from going on the floor. It’s also a convenient place to hold the utensils or garbage after they’re finished! 

Just make sure that when your caddies aren’t in use, you have them tucked away in one of the bins in your trunk! We don’t want those flying around either, even if the plastic isn’t very hard.

9. Keep Pop-Up Laundry Baskets in the Trunk 

After a shopping trip or a road trip, you are bound to come home with more things than what was in your trunk when you left. Pop-up laundry baskets can hold the shopping bags, dirty clothes, or any other extra item you gained along the way! 

The best part of using these pop-up baskets is that it prompts you to remove items right away, rather than leaving them for later. We know that once we say that to ourselves once, it all piles up! When you’re not using these, simply collapse them and stick them between your bins!   

10. Clean Your Car Weekly

To keep your car clean, schedule a time to tidy it weekly. Just like the other rooms in your home, a normal cleaning routine is vital for upkeep. You wouldn’t let your bathrooms go months on end without a good clean, so why should you let your car? Plan fifteen minutes a week to tidy it up, and it’ll never get too bad! 

11. Strap Everything Down

Lastly, anything you have in your car that’s loose, even those bins we were talking about earlier, should be strapped down with bungee cords or clips. Think about how heavy a spare tire, stroller, or lug wrench is! To keep your family safe, make sure these items are secure. 

It’s time to clean up & organize your car, ladies and gentlemen!

Okay, you’re all ready now! Make a quick list of items you need to order on Amazon or pick up from the Dollar Store and get to organizing. You can also check out our video on our favorite safe products for the vehicle. You’ll have stress-free road trips and daily commutes with a tidy car that works for you and your family. Also, don’t forget to check out our courses & consults if you’re looking for more ways to be safe in the seat or need help choosing the perfect car seat for your family.

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