When driving with your family, it’s easy for your vehicle to shift into “M” gear: messy. Here’s how to organize your car so you can keep focused on the road ahead of you.
1. Tame the trash
Things like wrappers, unfinished snacks, used napkins and hand wipes have a tendency to linger in your vehicle long after children have exited. Collect them in a portable trash can, lidded plastic container or bag made specifically for the car, cleaning it out frequently.1
2. Liner note
Cup holders can get sticky fast. Catch the drips by placing a washable silicone cupcake liner in the bottom of the cup holder.1
3. They’ve got your back
Seatbacks are a blank canvas for orderliness. Hang a toiletry bag over the driver’s seatback and fill its compartments with your child’s crayons, electronics and hand wipes. Use a larger shoe organizer over the rear seat to centralize athletic gear and equipment.2 Be sure the items are securely packed so that they don’t become projectiles in the event of an accident.
4. Cut the cords
Charger cords can easily get caught underfoot and in between seats. Fortunately, you probably already own the solution: Slip them into a zippered plastic bag or wrap them with hair elastics to keep them untangled.3
5. Change for the better
Collect all your loose coins in a plastic tray2 or flip-top plastic container in your console so they’re at hand for your next drive-through run.
6. Divide and conquer the trunk
Untouched, the trunk is a large, open space where everything from sports gear to groceries can intermingle. Purchase collapsible bins to separate and organize your items.2
7. Work from the top down
When it’s time for your car’s weekly cleanout, do as professional car detailers do: work from the top down.3 Any debris you loosen by wiping down the seats will fall to the floor and be cleared away when you vacuum. Before you tackle the carpet, sprinkle a non-toxic deodorizer such as baking soda – it can help reduce any lingering aromas.1