Car clutter stresses me out. I love tooling around town in my spotlessly clean vehicle with nothing in the passenger compartment but my purse. In my business however, an empty car can be a tough order to fill. Professional organizers often find themselves hauling items to and from client sites, taking donations to Goodwill, bringing clothing to consignment stores, or carting products from The Container Store all over town. So much for the empty car of my dreams, huh? If you’d love a clean, clutter-free car too but it always seems to elude you, here are five tips and tools to help reduce car clutter and be proud of your ride again.
1. Don’t be a rockstar.
I’m amazed how many people don’t have a trash container in their car and my sweet, amazing husband is one of ‘em. He’s like a rockstar in a hotel room. OK, maybe he’s not that bad, but he tosses scraps of paper and other items he doesn’t need on the floor, preferring to do a giant clean-out every few months.
A simple solution to the trash issue is to just keep a handful of plastic grocery bags in your glove box, in the driver door well or in the pouch behind the driver’s seat. These bags are free, disposable and make great little trash bags. When the bag gets full, tie it up and toss the whole thing in the garbage. For a more elegant and attractive trash solution, invest a few bucks in this nylon, leakproof trash container which hangs on your seat.
2. Corral kids’ stuff.
From little toys to crayons, drawing pads, video games and sippy cups, all manner of paraphernalia accompanies your kids into the car and you know it’s vital to keep the munchkins occupied while you drive. Hang one of these nifty car organizers on the back of your passenger seat to corral the items things that would otherwise end up rolling around on the floor and under the seats.
3. Eliminate junk in the trunk.
If you’re tired of things rolling around making noise and getting lost in your trunk, make your (car’s) back end work for you by dividing up space like you would any other large open area. Nab one (or more!) of these divided trunk organizers to conveniently and safely store extra motor oil, windshield washer fluid, paper towels, and jumper cables. Put a second one in your trunk for groceries, sports equipment, books, your first aid kid or other small items.
4. Hook it up.
Sometimes the smallest, simplest car organization solutions are the best ones and it’s true in the case of these cargo hooks. Inexpensive and handy, these little hooks snap right onto the headrest supports of your car seat to keep your purse, kids’ backpacks, grocery bags, camera bags or even a few items of clothing off the floor and within arm’s reach.
5. Remember, safety first.
With superior mapping technology on today’s mobile devices these days, many drivers are opting out of in-dash GPS systems in favor of the navigation on their phone. Google Maps, anyone? Smartphone navigation is a great solution, but many drivers keep their phone in the cup holder or on their lap, creating a potential driving hazard. For optimum safety, attach a mobile device mount to your dash, windshield, in the vent or directly to your 12-volt power outlet.
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