April 17, 2012

Best Products for Organizing Your Car

Long commute?
Live far from your family?
Got kids?

Then you probably spend a lot of time in your car.

Our cars are like a home-away-from-home. Sometimes we eat in our car. Sometimes we sleep in our car. We have TV screens and stereos and storage spaces in our cars. Yup--sounds like home to me...

So, if it's important to keep our homes organized, it is equally important to keep our home-away-from-home organized, too.

I drive a big SUV and if I didn't organize it, it would resemble a dumping ground on wheels. I have to organize my belongings, stuff for my kids, supplies for my business and supplies for the car just like I would organize any space in my home. When you're 'on-the-go' you have to be able to find what you need quickly.

This month on Organized Artistry's Facebook Page, I've been offering tips on how to organize your car. The first two were:

• Just like all other spaces, it's important to start organizing your car by sorting and purging the items inside of it.  Short on time? Start with the driver's seat and each time you have a few moments, sort/purge a different section of your car until the task is complete.

• To prevent a purge pile-up, get a trash receptacle for your vehicle. Some hang, some sit on the floor. You can even make one to fit in a cup holder. Got a mini-van or SUV? You may need more than one...

Check the Organized Artistry Facebook Page for more car organizing tips every Friday through April!

Your first step towards an organized car is to sort and purge the items currently living in it. Once you know what is staying you'll need a few organizing products to help you keep your home-away-from- home neat and tidy and of course--organized.

Here are a few products I use in my own car and a few that might be useful in special situations:

Trash receptacle - If you don't want your car looking like the city dump. I highly recommend purchasing a trash receptacle for your car. This is the one I have by Case Logic and it works well for me:

I keep it thrown over my gear stick and hanging into the passenger side. It's easy to stuff the garbage into the top and the velcro bottom opens easily to release the trash. I own this in tan to match my car's interior but when it has seen better days, I'm getting one like this:

Auto Trash Bag by The Mod Mobile

There are so many fun, colorful and cool designs, I'm not sure which I would pick! Check all of them out on Allyson Hill's The Mod Mobile Etsy site.

Visor CD Organizer - Downloading songs to my iPhone is on my long list of 'Things I'd Like to Do Someday.' So in the meantime, I've purchased a CD organizer for my visor--also from CaseLogic. My music, kiddie music--it's all stored neatly and at arm's reach.

Collapsible Crate - I got mine at a discount home store a bunch of years ago but you can find them at some office supply stores and The Container Store.

Photo Courtesy of Office Max
This is what is in mine: box of manila folders for organizing jobs, plastic bags, rain cover for my son's stroller, extra umbrella, and the 'restaurant' bag I'll be discussing next. Other items that can fill the crate are groceries, car accessories, and random items that might otherwise float around your trunk or back of car.

"Restaurant" Bag - I got a drawstring backpack as a promotion from a store I was making a large purchase at a few years ago. When I saw it, I knew what it would be perfect for--a 'restaurant bag.' I call it a 'restaurant bag' because it is filled with items to keep my kids occupied when we go out to eat. I keep it stocked with paper, crayons, stickers, and my two year old's highchair cover. This is kept in the crate so I'll always know where to find it when we pull into the restaurant parking lot.

Other Organizing Products for Your Car:

Recycle Bag Holder - According to the Tote Buddy website, the Tote Buddy is the 'world's first reusable bag holder.' It neatly holds all of your recycle bags when you go to the market. It's perfect for keeping all recycle bags in one place instead of strewn across a trunk or backseat. Here is an example of one below:

The Tote Buddy
The people from Tote Buddy were at the NAPO Conference 2012 EXPO with all of their beautiful designs. It would make a great gift for someone who prefers to use recycle bags when they go shopping.

Organizer for Kids: Kids come with a lot of STUFF and they like to bring some of that STUFF with them when they go in the car. To prevent all that STUFF from being all over your car, consider an organizing product that hangs over the driver/passenger seat and faces the child. Many styles have room for crayons, hand-held games, books, DVDs and other STUFF kids like to have with them in the car.

Over-the-seat Car Organizer by Lillian Vernon

Desk: Do you or someone you know work out of their car? This product is a very good solution for those with mobile office needs. The Car Go Desk secures in the passenger seat with a seat belt and offers space for files, mobile equipment and peripherals.


OK--next time you get into your car, take a good look inside. Would any of these products make your car more organized? Do you currently use any of these products? Tell me--I'd love to know!


Janet Barclay said...

Ooh, I love seeing all these cool organizing products for the car, especially the really fun (yet practical) ones like the Tote Buddy!

Stacey Agin Murray, Professional Organizer said...

Thanks, Janet. I love these cool car organizing products, too--especially since they make life with two small children much easier. I can always find what I need when I need it in my car--very important when you're on the go a lot with little ones!

Marlene said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marlene Devine said...

Great article! I use many of these tricks. By far, the best one to keep the mess under control is having a trash receptacle in the backseat. I have one that hooks onto the front seat headrest and hangs down behind the front seat so it's easy for the kids to reach. I keep an organizer in my car for store discount coupons too so my (non-grocery) coupons are there when I need them...great for last minute shopping trips!

Natalie - Organized Habits said...

My parents have a minivan and I got them the collapsible crate. They absolutely love it! When it's not in use (which is rare) it folds up nice and flat. It's great for car trunks too!

Stacey Agin Murray, Professional Organizer said...

I find both the trash receptacle and the collapsible crate to be indispensable organizing products for my own car. I have to say, too that the coupon organizer I keep stashed in my glove compartment has saved me lots of money. Just one of the benefits of being prepared... Thanks so much for stopping by!

Dwayne Charles said...

It is a superb idea which can help anyone to decide that which accessories are important to be available in the car. I think that I can also have my car well organized by following these tips.
auto transport quotes

Stacey Agin Murray, Professional Organizer said...

I'm happy to hear that my tips will help you get your car well organized. Any of the products listed will keep items in your car from rolling around and ending up on the floor causing disorganization. Thanks for stopping by my blog!