What I Keep in My Car and How it's Organized
Updated: Jul 1, 2020
Over the last few years I have commuted to college, lived on campus, and now I do that full time job thing and in that time I've found a groove for what is in my car and where everything is. I think I've got some pretty good ideas.
First thing I'm pretty pumped about is this trunk organizer I bought off Amazon. What I love about it though is that it's now my passenger seat organizer. The biggest reason I chose this organizer over a lot of the ones I've seen is because it has straps that hold it to the seat. They're easy to hook and unhook when I do have a passenger. I rarely have a passenger with me so this makes a lot of sense for me.
I'm sure if you've looked at any car organization ideas, you've seen the one where you take a tupperware container with a trashbag to use as a trashcan for the car. I tried this idea and discovered it doesn't work for my car shape. At first I just tried setting it on the floor, but it moved around so much I could never use it. So I tried to get some Command velcro strips to keep it in place, but in my car there's no place to put the strips. Now I keep the trashcan in the organizer on the passenger seat and it's even more convenient.
It also let's me put things in it that I'm using that day. For example, I put my lunchbox in it on the way to work each morning and sometimes a book. It keeps them from falling on to the floor when I brake. It's especially nice when I get a bunch of movies from the library. Check it out here.
What I keep in the organizer:
Tupperware Trash Container
Daily Items (Purse, lunchbox, etc.)
Extra gloves (work and warmth)
Glass Clearner and microfiber cloth
A Paint Edger (for wiping fog off the interior, I couldn't find a cheap chalkboard eraser)
Bonus, the trunk organizer came with this free activated carbon packet. It's supposed to abosorb odors and moisture to prevent the windows from fogging up. But notice what the carbon packet is hanging on, another Amazon find. They are hooks that you put your headrest through, and they rotate in and out to hang bags on as needed. These can be found here.
Now something I would definitely recommend getting is some sturdy, rubber
floor mats. I know a lot of cars will come with mats the same material as the floor, but they're harder to clean. Getting some "winter" mats could really help ease some headaches and will keep your floors looking nice longer. You can even find some rubber ones a similar colour to your interior. Now as I noted many people think of these as winter only, but I definitely think they should be year round. For example, I have a pupper that tends to get car sick on occasion. Should he get sick now, it's way easier to clean up because I basically can just spray it off with a hose. I found mine at Menards for cheap on a Black Friday sale. They had the option of cutting to size, but I liked them really big so they covered more ground.
When it comes to the glove box, I keep it pretty simple. Keep the important documents, the manual, and insurance. Another great tip is to keep an old cellphone fully charged in the glove box. Even phones that aren't activated can call 911. So if you ever find yourself in an emergency with a dead cellphone, you can still contact emergency services.
Ok center console time. Naturally, mine's not completely pristine because that's reality. I keep spare napkins here just in case. I also keep some hand wipes in there, definitely that has come in handy. Another great thing I keep around (not just in the car) is some toothbrushes.
The most clever thing I keep in here is in the lid part. I actually got this idea from a customer that came through the wash once. So basically you buy a cheap 4x6 photo album and use it to organize coupons, loyalty cards, and gift cards. I've tried using a small expanding folder, but I like this much better because you can see everything.
Another classic Pinterest car organizing tip is the silicon cupcake holder in the cupholders. I tried it out because, you know, crumbs and sticky. I really like it. It makes the car look nicer. Also, if and when something drips, it'll be so much easier to clean. The ones I bought are a little big for my cup holders, but that's ok because they are flexible. I bought these.
In the bigger area, I have some stuff I like to have easily available when driving.
Travel Adapter and Edison Adapter
Cord that goes to the sound system
Letherman/pocket knife (not pictured because it was in my pocket, it's usually one or the other)
So I don't lose another one in the wash.
I keep spare bags for the trash can in the driver door. I have these left over from move-in freshman year. My parents bought trash bags for the dorm, but they were too small so I use them for this now.
I also have a pretty great cellphone holder. My dad got them for us for Christmas. It's become my new sunglass holder too. It lifts up so it works great. It also tilts so if you want it in landscape mode. It suctions on and stays really well. I found them on Amazon.
Last thing for the front seat is my Misfit. My car doesn't have steering wheel controls for the audio system, so I added my own, kinda. I have a fitness tracker called a Misfit. I like them, but I got a newer model. The older model, Misfit Flash, is also able to be a Bluetooth button for my phone. So I have it set on music remote settings and I can use it to Play/Pause, Skip, and go back with it. I looped the watch strap around the wheel so it works as if I had a control button.
So that's it for the front seat. On to the back!
The trunk has a trunk of it's own. It's one my favourite things in my car. It let's me fulfill my desire to have stuff for any incident without it being loose and cluttering everything terribly. Plus, I think it looks awesome. I love trunks and it makes my car more piratey. Just make sure you keep 1 latch latched so the lid doesn't slam when you go over bumps.
The trunk has:
A First Aid Kit (red tacklebox)
Sun Blocker for the Windshield and Side Windows
Tire Pressure Gauge
Little Mini First Aid Kit
Small Gas Can (Not pictured)
I have a stackable basket that came before the trunk. This came about because I commuted to university my junior year. I wanted to have some backup stuff in case something would happen while I was on campus because my days were really long. It came in handy at least once.
In the basket:
A blanket that's a nice weight, but can be used as a pinic blanket as well.
A plastic box with spare underwear and socks in it.
I also have a t-shirt I got for free. I used it once to clean my dogs muddy paws
A sweatshirt or two.
Sometimes there's a warm hat or gloves in there too.
I also have this collapsable bin in there. When you aren't using it, it can be all folded down and out of the way. But when you have groceries or something, you can fold it up and take less trips to get everything inside. I got it from Costco and it's pretty great.
In the side compartments, I keep some spare shoes. Yes, they're Crocs. Don't judge. They're the car shoe because I don't wear them. You may wonder why these are necessary, but I've used them at least twice. Once when I was driving home from Cedar Point and my shoes were all wet and uncomfortable. It was waaaaay more comfortable to drive the hours home in these than in the wet shoes. I've also used them when wearing my highest heels so I wouldn't have to drive in heels because that's no fun either. And worst case scenario you have some backup shoes if anything happens.
Usually, I keep my backseats like this with the slider there pulled all the way forward. In the picture, I pulled it back to show I keep some stuff tucked away down there too. I keep rollerblades and a soccer ball in there. Mostly because I'm short on space right now and it's a great place to store them.
I also keep this Frostblocker from Costco down there too. It's awesome for winter. You put it on the outside of your windshield when you park, and then it keeps snow and ice off the windsheild so you don't have to scrape when you're ready to leave. It also came with one of those tools to escape your car in a crash that's also an electric pressure gauge, and a car charging adapter that's also a flashlight with a magnet so it can hang from your hood if you're having car trouble.
There's also a jack and some tools tucked away in the storage compartments. Seems that I need to add a lug wrench. A jack really isn't all that useful without something to get the wheel off in an emergency.
If you've read my story about driving to Florida, you may understand why I like to have anything I might need in my car at all times. Since originally publishing this, I have purchased a new car. I don't keep quite as much in it at the moment, but I might eventually.
So I hope some of this was helpful. Don't worry though, they're more like guidelines anyway.