Conquer Car Clutter

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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 Driver Cup Auto Organizer Imagepockets (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.”

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Car trunk organizers

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Is your trunk full of junk–or does it just look that way?  A cluttered jumble of sports gear, gym clothes, toys, emergency supplies and other miscellany can make any auto look junky. (Not to mention the frustration of trying to find space in there for bags of groceries.)

The trick to organizing your vehicle’s cargo area is in choosing car-friendly containers to help create and maintain order.  Here are three examples of handy car trunk organizers that can speedily transform your mess-on-wheels into a tidier ride:

  • The Expandable Cargo Tote is a three-section organizer that lets you fold away any unused sections (an unlikely scenario,Expandable Cargo Tote Image but it’s nice to have the option). The tote also features three mesh pockets for stashing small supplies, side handles for easy carrying, and Velcro fasteners on the bottom that attach to your car’s carpet flooring so it stays in place during transit.
  • The Folding Trunk Organizer is a four-compartment container that adjusts to fit cargo areas in cars of all sizes, from large SUV’s to compacts.  The accordion design expands from 10 x 12 inches to 40 x 20 inches. Each compartment is large enough to fit a paper grocery bag; the fourth compartment also has a removable divider that sticks in place (with Velcro) to create four sections ideal for safely transporting wine bottles.
  • Designed for SUV’s and crossover vehicles, the Trunk Cargo Organizer is a five-pocket Trunk Cargo Organizer Imageelasticized mesh storage system that hangs (via adjustable snap-on straps) from back seat headrest posts.  Three of the pockets are large and stretchy to accommodate big and/or bulky items such as soccer balls, while two smaller pockets are at the top–easy to reach from the back seat so they’re ideal for stashing frequently used items.

More types of car organizers can be found here.

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Auto trash container organizers

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Cars would be so much easier to keep clean and uncluttered if they came with a built-in garbage disposal.  Or even better: how about a handy trash receptacle that also offers storage options for disposable supplies such as Kleenexes, napkins and hand wipes?  (All typical car clutter contributors–as you may have noticed in your own or others’ vehicles.)

Luckily there are several types of auto trash container organizers designed to make life easier and tidier. Here are three that are especially efficient:

  • The Auto Litterbag and Tissue Holder attaches around a headrest andAuto Litterbag and Tissue Holder Image provides a roomy trash compartment with a spring frame that closes tightly to keep trash and odors contained, and a sealed-vinyl interior that’s leak-proof and easy to wipe clean. A separate compartment holds a standard-size tissue box, and two mesh side pockets keep wipes and bottles handy.
  • The CarNap is a unique customizable mobile napkin dispenser and trash disposal solution. You can strap it onto either a headrest or center console, making it easy for anyone in your car to access. It includes two swivel hooks for holding a litter bag (such as a plastic grocery bag), plus a dispenser that accommodates both standard-size and fast-food paper napkins.
  • The compact Car Trash Bin (also available large and extra-large sizes) is designed to sit Car Trash Bin - Compact Imageon the floor–it features a weighted bottom with Velcro to grip the carpet and keep the trash bin upright; rigid sidewalls prevent collapse, and a Velcro-closure lid ensures that trash is securely covered. The leak-proof vinyl interior keeps messes to a minimum (you can also line it with a small plastic trash bag). Two mesh side pockets offer storage for whatever small items you want to keep handy.

 

 

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Car seat organizers

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On the road again?  You can make road trips less stressful (and daily commutes easier too) by utilizing front-seat organizers for storing your cell phone, water bottle, tissues, sunglasses, chapstick, snacks or whatever else you like to keep handy.

Here are three different types of car seat organizers designed to make your driving life easier:

  •  The Car Seat Storage unit is spacious enough to store all your driving necessities, with an interior pocket that features a side pocket and an adaptable divider that can be removed to create a larger compartment. Car Seat Storage ImageThe outside of the organizer has front and side mesh pockets for storing items that need to be kept within reach and easily visible.
  • The compact Driver Pocket gives you a convenient place to empty your pockets before you embark on any car ride.  It attaches to the air vent with a flexible strap and actually provides two pockets: a mesh pocket in the front and a back pocket lined with soft fabric.
  • The swing-away Front Seat Car Organizer minimizes driver distractions by keeping accessories handy and safely secured. It attaches to a headrest with straps and has handles on either side so it can easily swing to the back of the seat to make room for a passenger.  There are seven storage pockets, including one with a soft protective lining for glasses, and outer mesh pockets for holding smaller items.
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Answer: Car Visor Organizer

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Q. I recently bought a Car Visor Storage Band.  Unfortunately, my visor is very small, and it doesn’t fit. Ideally what I would like is something that will fit horizontally along the long side of my car visor. I don’t care if it covers up both sides of the visor, I just need something that will hold securely, and I can clip little handheld walkie talkies to the back of. My car visor measures 14.5 inches by 5 inches. Do you have anything that would work for this?

A. Your car visor’s 5-inch height is indeed narrower than most visor organizers.  The Visor Registration Wallet is 5 inches by 10.5 inches so it should fit. Visor Registration Wallet Image If you’d prefer a different type of visor organizer, the Grid-It is only slightly larger at 5.25 inches by 13.55 inches.

 

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Keeping your car clutter-free

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Trunk Organizer with Cooler by Picnic at Ascot Image

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.

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