How to Organize Your Messy Car (and Keep It That Way)
Do you think twice about giving someone a ride because your car is a perennial mess? You aren't alone. For many of us, if it didn't have four wheels, that would probably be the untidiest room of our house. But there are smart ways to fix this without much effort.
Clean Up And Manage Your Trash
Like with any organizational job, the first step is to clean up the mess already on your hands. You'll be surprised how much trash there already is in your car, so grab a couple of trash bags so you can
tackle that clutter
Once you have decluttered the car, you need to start
Before you start organizing your car, recognize that such trash and junk is going to build up again, so you need to have a plan for that. One of the best things you can do is to
repurpose a plastic cereal dispenser as a trash can
When you fill your car with gas, check the trash at the same time. Get the trash out of your car. Similarly, when you get home, get the kids to get the stuff out of the car straightaway.
If you are already running short of space and don't know where you can fit in the trash receptacle,
Ziploc bags can be recycled as trash bags
For those bags that really shouldn't do double-duty with food, I store them in the car to act as self-sealing trash bags. That way, when my kid eats a banana and is left with the (rather fragrant) peel, she can seal it up in the bag and throw the whole thing away when we get home.
Whether you choose the trash receptacle or the Ziploc bags, make sure it's easily accessible wherever you store it. If it's a pain to reach the garbage bin or bag, you won't end up using it and add more clutter to your problem.
Organize Your Car
After the cleanup comes
I took the papers and items I wanted to have stored in my car and divided them into categories, printed the category names on my computer, cut and folded them over the card stock inserts that came with the organizer before inserting them into the sleeves. Then it was simply a matter of filing my items into the right pockets.
Next, tackle the things that you know clutter up your car all the time, like your gadgets. You won't leave your phone behind, so it's best to invest in a good car mount for it. The Wirecutter says the
best smartphone car mount
you can buy, but some might find it a bit steep at $47. Personally, I'm not a fan of those that grip on the vents because they block the air, but if you want a cheaper solution, then this
DIY mount made from binder clips
Don't ignore the visor.
Attach a grid organizer
You will often come across receipts and bills in the course of travelling around your car, some of which might be important while others might be worth chucking. But when you're in the car, there's no need to make that decision. Store an envelope in your car-perhaps even in grid organizer-and chuck every receipt and bill into that, suggests Walsh. Every Sunday, inspect it for what needs to go into your home receipt folder and what should be thrown out.
The car is also a good place to repurpose old shoe bags or shower caddies, says Buzzfeed. Hang them behind the front car seats and zip-tie them to the headrest. It's instant, organized storage for several smaller items in your car. In the video above, Buzzfeed also suggests attaching a cargo net to the roof so that you have a "storage hammock," but that seems a bit out there to me.
Now that you have your car clean and organized, there's still one rule you should adhere t
Take one item with you when you leave it