Experts say that cars lose a significant amount of their value the minute they leave the dealership, and it’s easy to see why. Keeping a car clean can be difficult. Stains and messes appear as suddenly as a pothole or black ice, and our cars are rarely ever as pristine as when we drove them off the dealership’s lot. And then there is the “stuff” that seems to take over no matter how often we try to corral it.
Using your car’s space to its full potential can help you keep it clean. It isn't hard if you have the right tools and tricks on your side. Below we’ve compiled a list of hacks to help your car be better organized.
1. Tidy Up Your Glove Box
For many drivers, a car’s glove box is a dark abyss overflowing with old papers slowly accumulated over the years. It often contains a car’s most valuable documents, along with its most random.
The first step to achieving an organized glove box is to remove everything and decide which items stay and which ones go. The necessities include important documentation like your insurance cards and vehicle registration, the car owner’s manual, and a flashlight for emergencies. We recommend keeping your important documentation easily accessible and safe from damage in a plastic sleeve.
2. Keep a Well-Stocked Emergency Kit in Your Trunk
No matter where you’re driving, what time of year you’re going, or who you’re with, it’s never a good time to have your car break down. With the right tools, getting stranded can be an inconvenience, but without them, it can be dangerous.
That’s why we recommend keeping a well-stocked emergency kit in the back of your trunk. FEMA has a list of basic items you should always have on hand for your car, plus overall emergency supplies such as water, extra batteries, a first aid kit, and more. You can purchase a premade car survival kit online or, if you already have all the necessities, pack them in a clear storage bin to tuck in your trunk or back of your vehicle.
Whichever option you choose, you’ll be happier knowing you’re prepared for whatever troubles you encounter.
3. Maximize Hanging Space with Carabiners
Do you ever find yourself shoving your umbrellas under the back seat or dumping your bags on your passenger’s lap? Know that there’s a better way to live available, and it’s with carabiners.
Simply attach these handy tools to the side or back of your headrests and you’ve got yourself an instant gym bag, umbrella, or purse hook. This strategy will help you make the most of your car’s vertical space and avoid having your personal items strewn across the floor.
4. Create a Tissue Box Plastic Bag Dispenser
There’s an endless list of uses for the little plastic bags we all get in the grocery store or pharmacy checkout lines. They’re great for stashing dirty objects, muddy shoes, random trash, cleaning up after puppies - and more!
But just having a bunch of loose bags in your car is not the answer. You can keep them organized by creating your own plastic bag dispenser out of an empty tissue box. Wait until your tissue box is empty and then fill it with plastic bags. If you want to be extra organized, try stringing the bags together by looping the ends of each bag to the handles of the bag underneath it. This will make it easier to pull them out continuously whenever you need to.
5. Keep Baby Wipes and Hand Sanitizer in Your Door Compartment
This tip speaks for itself. You’ll never regret having cleaning supplies on hand in case of a spill, and clean hands are a necessity now more than ever.
Buy baby wipes in the large economy size and don’t want to waste money on a “travel size”? Create your own reusable baby wipe holder with these instructions from a crafty dad. Have a case but it's looking a little worn? Dress it up with a little fabric and trim. Regardless of the type of case, having one will help the wipes retain their moisture longer and be more effective to help keep your car in pristine condition.
6. Contain Loose Change
If there’s one thing that unites humanity, it’s a shared loathing of long toll booth lines. Don’t waste time searching for change to pay your tolls when you can have your change organized and easily accessible nearby.
If you’re feeling DIY, you can stash your spare change in an empty gum or prescription pill container. On the other hand, if you’re feeling fancy, you can buy an official car coin holder at various retailers.
7. Makeup Bags for Kid Kits
Whether going across town or cross country, if you have kids along for the ride it is good to have activities and snacks ready. But these things can easily get scattered across the car. A small clear plastic makeup bag with a zipper can be the perfect thing to pack ahead with small treats, crayons or card games. You can make up a stack of these ahead of time and leave one per child in the pocket behind each seat or in the door bins. As they get used, the items/trash goes back in the bag. At the end of the day or trip, just swap out the bag for a fresh one and you are ready for another day on the road with your kids.
8. Catch Crumbs with Muffin Cups
Car cup holders seem to collect sticky drips that attract dust and crumbs with extreme ease, but cleaning them out is no walk in the park. Avoid the pain and hassle by placing silicone muffin cups in your car’s cup holders. They’re easily insertable and removable, and whenever the cup holders get dirty, just take out the muffin cups and place them in the dishwasher for a quick clean.
9. Keep Things In Place with a Stupid Car Tray
There are a million opportunities for spillage and mess in a moving vehicle. A sharp turn, quick stop, and surreptitious pothole are all culprits that contribute to a messy car.
With a Stupid Car Tray, you can help keep it cleaner with a durable and easy to use tray that keeps your items in place. It’s great for ensuring the things in the seat next to you are level and secure. And no greasy bleed through from the fast food bag onto your upholstery. For your back seat passengers, it can give them a surface for kids’ meals and toys. Extremely durable and easy to use, the car tray will be your first defense against a messy car.
Give Yourself a Reason to Smile
With just a few of the hacks above, your car can start to feel less chaotic and stay cleaner. And a cleaner car just feels good. So get organized - and give yourself a reason to smile when you get in your car every day.
Need a tray to start organizing your car? Find just your color or style here.