header print

How to Render Your Car Organized and Clutter-Free

Just like the garage, the car is one of those things that gets cluttered and dirty quicker than you ever imagined. This is especially true if you have a big family, take long commutes, or travel a lot. In a blink of an eye, the car floor and the seats can get full of food wrappers, crumbs, dirty clothes, toys, half-empty bottles, and plastic bags.

As you can maybe tell from that overly detailed description, I too had the cluttered car curse at one point in my life. For years, I struggled to keep it neat and clutter-free, despite being a pretty organized person overall. Thankfully for all of us, I learned a lot about car organization through the years, and I’m really excited to share my 11 favorite car organization hacks with you today.


1. Start by cleaning and decluttering

Car Organization Tips cleaning car

Before you add any organization tools and tricks, take all the clutter out of the car (including the trunk) and deep clean the car. Now that you’re working with a blank canvas, you can start organizing the interior. 

To start, go through all the items that were in the car and only keep the essentials, such as sunglasses, documents, etc. People tend to store a lot of unnecessary stuff in the car, including spare clothes and shoes, towels, or kids’ toys. All these things create clutter in the trunk and the backseat, so unless you use these items on a weekly basis, keep them out of the car.

Keep the car tidy by speed-cleaning the interior every 1-2 weeks. Just put away any clutter, throw away any trash, and have a portable car vacuum handy for picking up any crumbs and dust. This weekly routine only takes 10-15 minutes, but it makes a world of difference.

2. Give every device a designated home

Car Organization Tips phone mount
Have no place for your coffee because you store your phone in the cup holder? Not only is this annoying, but it’s also quite distracting for you as the driver because you’ll need to look down to fish out the phone.
A smartphone mount like this one will keep your phone at eye level, helping you stay focused on the road and allowing easy access to your device for navigation and calls. And you’ll finally have a spot for that cup of coffee too - it’s a win-win situation!

3. Keep bags and clothes off the floor

Car Organization Tips - backseat hangers
Image source: Reddit
It’s easy to just throw your handbag and coat on the back seat and forget about them. The struggle starts later, when you need to retrieve those items, only to notice that your handbag is on the floor, and half of its contents are rolling around the floor.
A snake-shaped hook like this one (or any other car seat hook) is easy to install on the headrest, and it works perfectly for keeping your shopping bags, handbags, umbrellas, and clothing put and out of the way.

4. Use collapsible crates for storage and shopping

Car Organization Tips collapsible crate
Let’s be honest. Plastic bags are not the best grocery storage system in the world. Sure, they’re cheap and will get the job done in a pinch, but they tend to tear and spill their contents all over the trunk (not to mention that they’re quite terrible for the environment too).
Collapsible crates like the one in the image below are much better at sorting and storing everything from groceries to beach supplies. You can store a few of these crates in the trunk, or keep them in the garage and take them with you when you go shopping.

5. Use the back seat for storage

Car Organization Tips over-the-seat storage

Do you find that your car interior doesn’t have enough storage space? Parents, frequent travelers, and long commuters all need to store more stuff in the vehicle, and that’s perfectly fine. To keep the car seats clean and clutter-free, invest in one or two over-the-seat car organizers. You can easily keep toys, clothes, shoes, books, bottles, snacks, and even cleaning supplies and loose change in the pockets of these organizers. Just attach one of these organizers to the front passenger seat, and they’ll be fairly easy to access too.

Pro-tip: you can repurpose a shower organizer, a shoe organizer, or even a remote-control holder as an over-the-seat car organizer too.

6. How to keep the glove compartment organized

Car Organization Tips folder
To keep car registration, insurance cards, and other papers in order, buy a small accordion folder, and label each section accordingly. Store your documents in the folder for quick and easy access. Other than that, try to keep this area of the car minimal. Avoid storing too many cables and old CDs in the glove box, as this will make it difficult to find essentials like sunglasses or headphones.

7. Repurpose an old cereal container

Car Organization Tips cereal container
For long commutes, road trips, and the like, you can’t avoid having a garbage can in the car. There are specialized car garbage cans available for purchase, but it’s much easier to use an old cereal storage container like the one in the photo above for this task.
Just line it with a small plastic bag, and place it nearly under the car seat or in the back of the car. These containers typically have an airtight flip-top lid which means you don’t have to worry about spills either. 

8. Utilize the backseat space

Car Organization Tips backseat organizer
You’re not a fan of cluttering up the interior of the car but still need the extra storage space? No worries. Over-the-seat organizers come in a wider format too. These are perfect for the trunk, as the vertical pockets and pouches let you access essentials like tools and cleaning supplies even when you have a full trunk of stuff. Also, having its own compartment for every little thing is just so handy!

9. Another smart way to store groceries

Car Organization Tips grocery bags
Image source: Reddit

Here’s another way to use that backseat space to your advantage! Simply install a few car hooks on the back seats, and hang your grocery bags on these hooks while you drive home. This way, the groceries will stay put in the bags, and you don’t have to collect everything that spilled out when you get home.

Pro-tip number 2 - if you don’t have any car seat hooks on hand, you can use a carabiner clip to secure those groceries too.

10. Keep cup holders tidy with cupcake liners

Car Organization Tips cupcake liners
I know I’m not the only one spilling beverages and collecting crumbs in those cup holders, so I thought that you might find this trick handy. To prevent them from getting messy very quickly, place cupcake liners inside the cup holder.
It can be paper or silicone - it’s up to you. The liners will help catch all the crumbs and spills. When the liners get dirty, dispose of the paper ones or wash the silicone ones, and replace them with clean ones. Easy-peasy!

11. Store emergency supplies in the trunk

Car Organization Tips woman opening trunk

The fewer things you have in your car, the tidier and more organized it will look. But that doesn’t mean that you should keep next to nothing in your vehicle. In fact, we’re big believers that every person should have an emergency kit in the car, just in case. What should be included in such a kit? Here’s our list: 

  • First aid kit
  • Emergency roadside kit
  • Bug spray
  • A flashlight
  • Cleaning supplies (portable vacuum, paper towels, cleaning cloths, all-purpose cleaner)
  • Blanket.

It's best to keep this emergency kit in a sealed, opaque box for a neat appearance.

H/T: Womansday, Real Simple, Practical Perfectionut, Good Housekeeping
Next Post
Sign Up for Free Daily Posts!
Did you mean:
Continue With: Google
By continuing, you agree to our T&C and Privacy Policy
Sign Up for Free Daily Posts!
Did you mean:
Continue With: Google
By continuing, you agree to our T&C and Privacy Policy