On average, Americans spend one to two hours in their cars every day, and having it clean and organized makes the times spent there, less stressful.
Organized is Safer
Safety is a good reason to have a well-organized car. Items left loose fly around like small missiles during accidents or if braking hard. These projectiles can cause injury to passengers in both the back and front seats. Besides flying objects, a cluttered car causes driving distractions, a top reason for injury and fatality accidents. People remove their hands from the steering wheel to fumble for things in the car. By keeping the car neat and organized, you remove the temptation to reach for something while driving, making the trip safer.
Remove the Excess
Start with the organization, removing everything from the car, including the messy glove box, side and back door and seat pockets, and child car seats. Keep what’s needed, like title and insurance and other necessary items.
De-Junk the Trunk
Once you organize and clean the trunk, start de-junking the trunk. It’s amazing how much useless weight we carry in the trunk without realizing it. It’s like transporting another passenger in your car. Start by removing anything you don’t regularly use, leaving only essential emergency supplies. Store lawn chairs and car cleaning supplies somewhere other than the trunk.
Remove and store seasonal supplies, like snow and mud traction equipment until that season or if you take part in off-road activities. Take a hard look at what you store there and if it’s not essential, remove it. By shedding the extra weight, you improve wear and tear on your tires, and it gives gas mileage a boost, saving money with each mile driven.
Once you finish de-cluttering, vacuuming, and cleaning, it’s time to organize the essential items in your car. The list below shows what we consider necessary items for cars. Add to the list, what you consider your essential personal car items. The finished list gives you a storage map of where to store your items and the amount of storage you need.
- Owner Manual for Your Car
- Car Registration
- Insurance Paperwork
- Writing Pad and Pen
- Tire Pressure Gauge
- Charger for Your Phone
- Trash Bag or Holder
- First Aid Supplies
- Single Use Camera
- Extra Change
- Water and Packaged Food Snacks
- Hat, Coat, and Blanket
- Jack and Spare Tire
- Road Kit with Jumper Cables, Tire Patching Kit, and Flares
This list covers the essentials always needed in a car. Anything else depends on your family’s needs. Tissues, DVDs, CDs, trip games and toys are necessary for families with children, just remember to keep the items to a minimum, only carrying what you need. For those with young children, try using soft or cloth toys when possible.
Once you have your supplies together, need containers to keep things organized. Avoid using organizers that hang over the seat due to possible injuries during sudden stops. Use seating organizers that anchor to the seat bottom or a non-moving car part. For the trunk, look for compact and customizable trunk storage and organizers. Collapsible organizers help keep groceries and supplies, secure in your trunk and fold up for easy storage.