Worth repeating: Organizing your car

3 September 2020

I wrote this post a few years ago and when I stumbled across it today, I decided to share it again. I have a different car now and can no longer use my knitted trash can, alas. But I got another hand-made trash receptacle for my car, which I love. If you, like me, are spending less time in your car these days, now might be a good time to organize it. You’ll have a fighting chance of keeping it organized!

Last week, a client asked me to help him organize the console and glove compartment of his car. I think that’s the first time I’ve been asked to organize a car and it was fun! In no time at all, we had his car organized so that he can find what he needs easily.

Perhaps because I had so much fun with my client, I decided to organize my own car today. In my case, the console is pretty much empty and the glove compartment under control, but the cargo area and back seat (full of organizing supplies) needed some love and attention.

Organizing a car is like organizing any space, just on a smaller scale. Here are the basic steps:

  • Empty the area in question (glove box, console, cargo area)
  • Sort the items into categories, putting like things together
  • Toss the inevitable trash
  • Take inside the stuff that belongs inside (I can guarantee there will be some)
  • Donate the car gadgets that seemed like a great idea but you never use
  • Start putting away the stuff you know you want to keep in the car. Start with the items you use most often and put them in the areas easiest to reach from the driver’s seat.
  • Put the “just in case” stuff in the farthest away storage spaces—you really want to keep close at hands the items that are used regularly.

Here are some storage ideas we used for my client:

  • Ziploc® bag to corral his food items in the glove compartment
  • Stacked accessory boxes in his center console (which is square-ish), with the most used stuff in the top box, without a lid. Tucked underneath in an accessory box with a lid were items he wanted in the car but didn’t need super-easy access to.
  • The pocket in the passenger side door for the owner’s manual, so it didn’t take up valuable space in the glove compartment.

Don’t forget about your wastebasket! Putting wrappers and other trash items in a receptacle is probably the single best thing you can do to keep, your car looking clean. I absolutely love the hand-knit basket I put in my car (I knitted it before I bought the car and it fits perfectly into the spot in front of the console! Here’s a picture:

A felted knit basket makes a great car wastebasket

If you like the idea of a decorative, hand-made wastebasket, there are no shortage of options for car trash cans on Etsy.

Now that my car is clean and organized, I’m off to get it washed and detailed! When I think about how much time I spend in my car, I realize I should do that more often!

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About Janine

Hello! I’m Janine Adams — a certified professional organizer based in St. Louis, and the creator of Peace of Mind Organizing®.

I love order, harmony + beauty, but I believe that the way that you feel about yourself and your home is what truly matters.

If you’re ready to de­clutter with a purpose and add more ease to your life, you’ve found the right blog — and you’ve found the right gal.

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