Is car clutter driving you crazy? (Sorry, that pun was intentional.) If so, you’re not alone. Automobiles of all sizes have a well-known tendency to attract and hold clutter.
You already know you need to remove all the stuff that doesn’t belong in your car–that’s the simple part. But what can you do about the stuff you really need to keep handy when you’re in the driver’s seat? I’m talking about necessities: sunglasses, cell phone, tissues, pen or pencil, notepad, cleaning wipes and whatever else you want to be able to reach easily while you’re behind the wheel without taking your eyes off the road.
Fortunately there are auto organizers designed to keep those necessities right at hand yet out of the way. Here are three I recommend for conquering car clutter:
- The Driver Cup Auto Organizer fits in any cup holder and features a rear cord port for charging a cell phone, three soft pockets (fabric-lined for safe storage of glasses and small personal electronics), and a mesh front pocket for holding ear buds, change or cash. The rubber cord port lets you easily charge your cell phone or MP3 player while you drive.
- Another space-saver is the Driver Pocket Auto Organizer, designed to hang from the dashboard vent via a two-way clip. It has one large pocket with rigid sides to keep it open, plus a small front pocket; both pockets are lined with padding to protect your electronics.
- A larger option is the Automobile Catch-All Organizer which fits neatly on a seat, console or floor of any size vehicle. It includes a large main section with a movable divider; two outside mesh pockets; a corner pocket; and a lid with Velcro closure. Reinforced sides keep the unit sitting upright, and bottom grip-strips make sure it stays in place.
For more tips on this topic, read “Keeping your car clutter-free.”
Nowadays there are multiple types of car organizers available for each area of your auto: glove compartment, seats, dashboard, visor, floor, doors, and trunk. Some have a specific purpose (such as sunglasses holders that clip onto windshield visors and notepad-and-pen systems that attach to the dashboard), while others are more versatile, such as:
- The Trunk Organizer with Cooler has three roomy compartments for typical trunk stuff plus a removable cooler that can be used separately–great for groceries, picnics or travel.
- The Automobile Catch-All Organizer makes it easy to store and access all the usual front-seat clutter culprits. It has a roomy storage section with a movable divider on the inside and mesh pockets on the outside.
To help prevent your vehicle from filling up with discardable debris, I recommend keeping easy-to-use car trash containers handy in both the front- and backseat areas. Trash receptacles come in two styles: stay-open and closable. Which type you choose depends on the types of trash you create — and in which area. For example, let’s say food-related discards regularly create compost in the backseat. A sealable container that attaches to the back of a front seat (facing the backseat) may be a good solution. If papers or other trash pile up in the front seat, an open-topped minibin that sits between the seats or on the floor may be the best bet.
But no matter how wonderful your trash-stashers are, they’ll quickly become useless if you’re not in the habit of dumping out their contents frequently. So establish a regular ritual: Each time you stop to get gas, take a moment to empty the trash.
The best way to maintain an organized, clutter-free car is to move stuff out of it. To lighten your load, adopt this simple strategy: At least once a week, remove everything that doesn’t belong in your vehicle.
Just make sure all that stuff doesn’t end up in your garage.