Prepared and Organized in Your Car by the GO Mom
Are you in need of some great ideas for organizing items in your car? Have you ever been in a parking lot and seen the car next to you filled with papers, fast food packages, kids' toys or athletic gear, and other items scattered all over the floorboard and the seats? How can anyone find anything under all that clutter, much less be prepared for an emergency?
Once, I remember ordering a salad at a drive through. After getting my bag of food, I reached in to grab my plastic silverware...it was nowhere to be found. I had to either not eat or pick at my salad with my fingers.
Another time, I was in an accident and pulled out my camera (these days you can use your camera phone) to take pictures for evidence. I'm thankful I had taken pictures because the other party had a different story a few days later.
Yet another time, I picked up a mattress and was half way home when I noticed it was not tied down well. It was a good thing I carry a spare rope in my truck. A few minutes later and I was back on the road again with the mattress securely tied down.
It's true that some of the best ideas come out of necessity and knowing what you need in your car is no different. Following is a great starting list for having your car packed, prepared and organized:
Plastic Silverware, Straws and Napkins
Food and Water (crackers, bottled water)
Paring Knife (place in a toothbrush travel holder)
Extra Cash ($20)
Products for Contact Lens
Note pad, pen
Old Blanket, sheet, or towel (this can be used to protect items when hauling, for clean up or if you just get cold)
Clothing (sweatshirt, hat, gloves)
Basic Tools (screwdrivers)
Spare Rope (for tying items down)
Fix A Flat
Old Cell Phone with car charger - make sure the battery is fully powered first; (Deactivated phones can still call 911 for emergencies.) (Do this if you don't already have a working cell phone.)
Medicine (cough drops, headache medication)
Plastic Grocery Store Bags
Now that you have these essential items in your car, let's talk about creative ways you can store and organize some of these items.
Consider using an empty tissue box to store plastic grocery bags in under a seat in your car. These bags have come in handy over the years. I have often used these bags for my teenage sons during football season. In Texas during the fall, both the practice and the playing fields can be quite muddy. This means either taking off the muddy shoes with your hands, leaving your hands muddy or putting a towel down in the floorboard of your car to protect your carpet. Either way it's a mess. Instead, I grab my handy dandy grocery bags and place one bag over each shoe while they are still on my son's feet. He can then remove the shoes without getting his hands dirty or he can keep his shoes on with the plastic bags over them until we get home and he can clean them or leave the shoes outside. There are so many possibilities for using grocery bags when traveling - dirty diapers, trash, cleaning up after your pets, etc. Just make sure you check often, keeping your tissue box filled with plastic bags.
Children's toys and how to keep them organized seems to be another issue for many moms. You can use empty wet wipe boxes to hold a few toys and you can use an organizer on the back of the seat to hold even more items. To prevent having a car full of toys, have a designated set of toys that stay in the car and don't go inside. Also, don't allow the inside toys to be brought to the car. When my boys were little, all their inside toys could not go out to the car. They had other toys and books in the car they played with. This keeps the toys in your car to a minimum.
Lastly, one of the best ways to keep your car cleaned out and organized is to clear out your car clutter each time you arrive home. Open all your car doors and check the seats and floorboards for any trash, bags, papers or anything that does not belong in the car. This may require you to come back out to your car a second time, but your car will stay clutter free.
Lorraine Brock is a professional organizer, family coach, speaker, and founder and owner of "Get Organized!" "Get Organized!" is a professional organizing company in the Dallas, Texas area. "Get Organized!" specializes in organizing and de-cluttering homes as well as implementing systems in the home for better family management.
A popular media guest, Lorraine has appeared on Dallas' two top morning television shows: Good Morning Texas and Good Day Fox, and has been featured on various radio outlets. She has been hallmarked in many local, regional, and national print and online magazines, such as the Dallas Morning News, The North Texas Kids Magazine, SheKnows.com, and Daily Candy Kids. To get more helpful advice from Lorraine, visit her blog Get Organized!