Tuesday, September 17, 2013

How to Organize Your Messy Car

For many people, a car is more than just a mode of transportation; it's a temporary home away from home. Over time, the interior of your car can be filled with important things and junk alike - from bank statements to leftover McDonald's. Setting aside an hour or to to tackle a cluttered car can easily make more room for passengers and cargo. And just like an organized home, an organized car makes you feel better and saves you time.

1) Clean out your car
  • Take everything out of your car, including car seats and miscallaneous items stored in the glovebox, door pockets, and trunk. If it's not attached, it comes out. Collect and throw away all trash/garbage, and set anything you think you'll need to the side, outside the car. This is a great time to wash and vacuum the interior of your ar as well.
2) Analyze and sort
  • There are three main categories – items you use all the time, items you use occasionally, and items you'll need in an emergency – and anything that doesn't fall into those categories should be stored elsewhere. Then, prioritize the items in each group: which items do you need at hand, and which can be delegated to the back rows? Keep in mind that seasonal items (such as ice scrapers and tire chains) can be packed away for the summer.
3) Store it away
  • Your glove compartment should contain your car manual, small pocket flashlight, your registration and insurance information, and perhaps a small notebook containing important phone numbers (such as emergency contacts and car repairs). Small items such as batteries can be put in resealable bags and stored in the glove compartment as well.
  • Place your CDs in a plastic container (such as Ziploc's 9.5 cup rectangular storage container) or a CD container, and keep it in an area that is accessible, but out of the way. Try to limit the number of CDs to a realistic amount; most people don't listen to all the CD they keep in their cars.
  • Maps and guide books (if necessary) can be put in the side pockets of the passenger's side door.
  • If you have kids who carry toys and games in the car, you may want a pocket organization that can fit over the back of your front seats. That way, the items won't be rolling around on the floor.
  • Use separate bins or crates for each category of items you typically keep in the trunk. These might include roadside emergency equipment/supplies, sporting/gym equipment, and groceries.
4) Maintain
  • Clean your car out every one or two weeks by gathering any items that don't permanently belong. For those items remaining in the car, make sure they are in their appropriate locations. A good time to do this would be when you stop for gas and your tank is still filling up, especially since most gas stations have garbage cans next to each gas pump.
Picture courtesy: https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRnh4siE8Cy9sIyyiioXY7uf8MNHAIQQ6k0a4BXZP7x62QjslMc-w