Car organization: organize your home seriesNovember 7, 2012
What Belongs in the Car
Our cars sometimes become extensions of our home, containing countless unnecessary items that we can’t seem to get rid of. Here is a checklist of various categories of items that typically belong in a car:
- Emergency: blanket, bottle of water, disposable camera, first aid kit, flashlight, jack, jumper cables, motor oil, etc.
- Maintenance: duct tape, owner’s manual, tire pressure gauge, work gloves, etc.
- Travel aids: atlas, Bluetooth, CDs, EZ pass, GPS, cellphone/charger, napkins, paper, pens, bags, umbrella, etc.
- Winter: candles, de-icer, hand warmers, ice scraper, etc.
- Kids: books, diapers, games, toys, non-perishable snacks, etc.
Do not store any of the following items in your vehicle: open alcohol, broken tools/equipment, old beverages, old food containers and trash.
Clean, sort and organize
Now it is time to organize everything inside the car. First, take everything out of the car, including everything in the trunk, glove box, cubbies, cup holders, backseat, center console, etc. Then wipe down all the surfaces in the car with a dashboard-safe wipe; these can be purchased at any auto supply store. Consider also stopping at a gas station that has a vacuum, and use it to pick up crumbs/debris from the carpet and seating of the car.
Next look at everything you have taken out of the car. Set aside everything that needs to be thrown away – all items that do not neatly fit into one of the acceptable categories above that belong in the car. Throw away anything that is broken or otherwise damaged. Next sort everything according to the main categories above. If anything wound up in your car, but belongs in the house, then set it aside in a separate pile to be brought into the house. Don’t keep duplicates – you don’t need 3 flashlights in your car.
Get boxes or baskets to corral your items in sections in your car. Make sure the size of the box corresponds appropriately to the amount of stuff you have to put in there. The following locations of items in the car should help you re-load your car.
- Emergency items should be in the trunk.
- Most maintenance items should be in the trunk, but owner’s manuals/documents should be in the glove box.
- Store most large, bulky, and rarely used items in the trunk.
- Keep items you use often and need easily accessible inside the car, including bottles of water, EZ pass, GPS, maps, paper, pens, and umbrella.
- Keep kids toys and gear inside the car for easy access.
- Keep winter-related gear in the trunk.
To view the rest of the posts in the Home Organization Series, please click here.