Organizing your vehicle is something that I think everyone needs to do at least once a year. Our vehicle is an extension of our home and we need to treat it that way.
You wouldn’t leave take-out containers and other garbage all over your living room floor – why is it okay in your vehicle? It’s easy to clean trash out from under the seats and off the floor, but what you should really be focusing on is making sure that the garbage doesn’t end up there in the first place.
Following is a checklist, showing you how to easily organize your vehicle.
Clear it out.
The very first step is to completely clean out your vehicle. I suggest having 4 different piles/boxes that you clear stuff into:
– Keep (Items that will be going back into your vehicle)
– Sell/Donate (Items that will be donated or sold)
– Move (Items that don’t belong in your vehicle)
Don’t forget to check under the seats, in the glove compartment and in the centre console (if you have one). Everything has to come out.
Clean it up.
Now that everything has been removed from your vehicle, it’s time to do some dirty work. Remove your floor mats and give them a good wash or vacuum.
Wipe down the inside of the doors, the dashboard and the centre console.
Use some glass cleaner to clean all of your windows. Don’t forget the rear-view and side-view mirrors.
The last thing you should do when cleaning your vehicle is to vacuum. Get rid of all the crumbs, hair and dirt.
Decide what you need.
Think carefully about the type of items you want to keep in your vehicle at all times. It’s important to keep a first aid kit and some facial tissues, but what about a book or a beach bag? Do those things need to be kept in your vehicle all the time?
There are two kits that I like to keep in our van. One is a vehicle emergency kit and one is my vehicle essentials kit, which is there I keep things like facial tissues, wet wipes and lip balm. I also have a small re-useable bag that I use to hold extra diapers/wipes/baby power and a change of clothes for the kids. I consider this part of my essentials kit – it’s just in a separate bag.
Here’s what you may want to include in your vehicle kits:
Vehicle Emergency Kit
– Jumper Cables
– First-Aid Kit
– Road Flares
– Heavy Duty Gloves
– Snacks (granola bars are great for this)
– Bottled Water
In the winter you may also want to include an ice scraper, collapsible shovel and non-clumping cat litter (to help with traction).
Vehicle Essentials Kit
– Facial Tissues
– Wet Wipes/Hand Sanitizer
– Disinfecting Wipes
– Hair Brush/Elastic
– Lip Balm
– Hand Lotion
– Pen & Paper
– Plastic Shopping Bags (for garbage, soiled clothing… or in case someone is car sick!)
– Small Child’s Toy and/or Book
– Extra Diapers/Wipes/Baby Powder/Change of Clothes
Of course, what’s included in your essentials kit will vary between families. Those of you without children probably won’t need diapers in your vehicle. If you have a dog, you may wish to include a small plastic bowl to use for water.
Make a plan.
Now that you know what types of things you want to have inside your vehicle, it’s time to make a plan for organizing those items to make your vehicle less cluttered.
– The glove compartment is a great place to keep your vehicle owner’s manual and insurance.
– The centre console is perfect for storing items that you want close by at all times, like facial tissues and your sunglasses.
If your centre console is a big giant hole like ours, pick up a cheap little basket or two from the dollar store and put that/those in your console to help keep things organized.
See how Laura from Organizing Junkie organized her centre console. Brilliant!
– The trunk is a great place to store things that you won’t need very often, such as your vehicle emergency kit.
– Pick up one or two seat back organizers to store things like books and maps.
Put it all together.
When you have figured out your plan of action for how you would like to organize your vehicle, start putting that plan into place.
Go through the items in your “keep” box and give them a good cleaning, then put everything away in the pre-determined spots in your vehicle.
Make sure to organize your vehicle as often as possible to keep things in tip top shape.
It’s so much more relaxing to get inside a vehicle that doesn’t have crumbs on the floor, smells good and has everything you need when you need it.