Your vehicle is so much more than just a way to get from here to there. It can also be a mobile office, carpool vehicle, sports team transport, short term dining space and vacation transportation. Some people call it the busiest room in their house with the kitchen next in line. Today’s article is going to help you organize your vehicle to keep things easy to access and safely stored when not in use.
To start you need to set aside about an hour. This allows time to sort, assess, clean, containerize and put things back into the car. The first step is to take everything out of the car. You can set it on a table outside the car or put a tarp on the ground. Try to keep the distance of how far you walk from the car to a minimum. With everything out, give the dashboard, seats and console a wipe down, sweep off the mats and/or vacuum the carpet.
Next you need to sort and assess what you have, and decide what needs to stay with you on a daily basis. It might be things like
- Phone charger and electronic devices
- Reusable shopping bags
- Kids toys and art supplies
- Office supplies
- Kleenex and handy wipes
- Sports equipment
- Emergency kit
As you assess, decide what stays and what goes. Try to get it to only what you need to continuously accommodate. Keep in mind, the more you keep in there the more you have to manage.
Now that you have a clear picture of what is going to stay in the car, you need to containerize it because if it’s not in a container it will ‘float’ all over the car and trunk. Loose objects in an accident can become deadly weapons as they fly around inside the car. Definitely avoid the exposure to this happening by using every storage area available inside the car and/or using lightweight storage containers to store items under the seat, inside the glovebox or the console. Other areas to consider are the pockets behind the seats and in the door.
Here are tips and tools to keep items organized and easy to access.
Office supplies or colored pencils/crayons use a DVD case, craft sorter or small fishing tackle box. Sometimes the containers have movable dividers so you can adjust the inside to accommodate your items. If the container is 2” high or less it will slide under a seat or slip into a back seat pocket for storage.
Charging cords, gum, lip balm, change, etc. – use small, soft-sided containers like Ziplock bags or repurposed clear plastic linen containers that pillow cases come in. You should label the container with a peel and stick label or a peel and stick business card holder that will hold your label. Flexible containers keep like things together and bend when putting away and taking out.
Garbage – use a plastic gallon cereal container with a snap on lid and flip top to hold a small plastic shopping bag. This is your new garbage can in the back seat! Repurpose empty kleenex boxes to hold extra small plastic shopping bags for future use.
Emergency kit, shopping bags and groceries – use a trunk organizer to hold your emergency kit and reusable shopping bags. When you come out of the grocery store, place the bags in the organizer to prevent bags from tipping over and things rolling around in the trunk. Also make sure to utilize the cargo nets and tethers to cover objects in a cargo hold area if not in a trunk.
Transport stuff from home to car and visa versa – use a flexible, reusable tote that goes from the ‘launch pad’ in your home into the vehicle when you are leaving. The soft sided canvas totes with handles are easy to carry and put in the vehicle. In the house they are the container you put items to return to the store, library books to take back or the birthday/hostess gift that’s going to the party. In the car it works to keep items from getting under foot and keeps them easily accessible.
10 minutes – the magic amount of time it takes to keep your vehicle clean and organized. Try to do this on a weekly basis and you will be amazed at how great it stays looking. Put a reminder in your calendar to stay consistent.