This page is about how to organize a car. Now a days we spend a lot of time in our cars. Between commuting to work, grocery and other shopping trips, taking kids to different activities, the car can get very messy. So organizing the car in such a way that everything you need is within easy reach, will not only make travel safe and less stressful but also improve the efficiency of the vehicle.
First step when you organize the car is to take everything out of the car. Next step is to clean and vacuum the interior of the car. Then go through the things and group them into categories like “keep in the car”, “move elsewhere” and “trash”. You can further divide “keep in the car” items into categories like papers (maps, manual, registration and insurance documents), personal needs (water, tissues, hand sanitizer, sunglasses), travel needs (coins, parking or toll passes etc.) , entertainment needs (CDs, mp3 players), children’s items (books, toys, DVD player and DVDs), sporting equipment and gym bags, roadside emergency items (flash light, jumper cables or portable jump starter, first-aid kit) and seasonal things (ice scrapers, blankets).
Nest step when you organize the car is to find places to put the “keep” items back inside the car. There are a lot of economical storage tools available at supermarkets, auto shops and online that will help you organize the car and keep it clean and clutter free. But use the available storage areas first before buying any of these storage tools.
Keep the manual, registration and insurance papers, GPS, a pen, a small notepad with emergency phone numbers, a small flash light and tire pressure gauge in the glove compartment.
Some cars have storage areas for coins. Otherwise, put coins in plastic food storage bags and store in the side pocket of the driver side door. You can use separate bags for each denomination of coins if you prefer. It is a good idea to use a separate bag for the most used denomination of coin like quarters. This way you don’t have to dig through a bag full of coins to find that quarter(s).
Parking and toll passes can be kept on the driver side dash board or windshield. Use a double sided tape or masking tape to stick them (if they are not self sticking) so that they don’t move around or fall off.
Maps can be stored in the pocket behind the driver or passenger seat. If you don’t have this pocket, you can store maps on the side pocket of passenger side door.
Place the water bottle in the cup holder in the center console. You can keep sunglasses, hand sanitizer and tissues in the space underneath the radio and temperature controls. You can also put a non-slip grip pad on the dash board to put your sunglasses and phone. A standard grip drawer liner available at supermarkets can be cut to size for this purpose.
There is also something called a “Vent Caddy” (available at supermarkets) that clips to the dashboard vent to keep sunglasses, cell phones, pens, and other essentials within easy reach.
You can get car charger adapters to use your cigarette-lighter outlet to charge gadgets like cell phone, PDA, tablets and even digital camera/camcorder. This will be very useful especially when your job requires you to be driving around a lot. Remember to unplug them when the car is off otherwise it might drain the car battery.
You can use a container or a CD wallet for your CDs and keep it in an area that is accessible, but out of the way like inside the console between the two front seats. Otherwise there are visor organizers to keep your CDs out of the way and at your fingertips. Only keep in the car the amount of CDs that will fit in your storage unit. When you add new CDs to your car collection, remove the same number of old CDs to make room.
If you have kids, consider a pocket organizer that fits over the back of front seats to organize items like toys, books, games, DVDs, water, snacks etc. This will give the kids a place to keep their stuff organized. Unless you are going on a long trip only bring things that this organizer can hold. You can leave these toys and books in the car and change them out periodically.
Keep a plastic container with lid to put trash when you organize the car. Choose a convenient place to put it like the front passenger side floor. If you have kids or passengers riding in the back, keep it on the floor between the back seats. Put a non slip grip pad (or standard grip drawer liner cut to size) on the floor. Then use velcro strips to attach the waste container to the liner to keep it from moving around while driving. Empty it out at the end of every day.
Next space when you organize the car is the trunk. Use separate containers or crates for each category of items you typically keep in the trunk like emergency equipment and supplies, sports equipment and gym bags. Keep one or two extra crates or tote bags to be used for groceries and other shopping items. There are also portable collapsible trunk organizers available at supermarkets. These have compartments that allow you to group each category of items you store in the trunk. These are also useful if you carry marketing materials, sales samples etc. as part of your job. You can categorize, group and store them in different compartments making it easy to quickly grab what you need. Use non slip pad(s) underneath the container(s) to prevent it from moving around while driving.
Useful tips when you organize a car:
Once you organize the car, you can give somebody a ride without having to go and clean the car frst. Be sure to maintain it.
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