Does the term “organize your car” sound like an exercise in futility? Fret not, friend! You can win at the car organization game.
As a working professional and soccer mom, I’ve felt ALL the frustration of a cluttered car. With a little research and trial and error, I’ve been able to get my clean car game pretty well under control.
I’m excited to share all of the car organization hacks, ideas, tips and tricks that work for my family and other busy, on-the-go organizing experts. Let’s discover the best way to organize your car, too!
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In this article:
Glove Compartment Organization Ideas
1. Keep Critical Documents Close at Hand With a Glove Box Registration and Insurance Holder
Does your glove box look like a banker’s box full of old receipts and years’ worth of registration cards? This is a good place to start decluttering and organizing the car.
Keep your most important documents (your current registration and insurance card) at the top/front of the glove box in a handy holder:
According to Nationwide, it’s also a good idea to keep important medical information and emergency numbers in the glove box. These can be stored with the insurance and registration.
2. Neatly Track Miles & Expenses With a Monthly Mileage Log and Receipt Organizer
For those who track miles and travel expenses, a combination mileage log and receipt organizer keep both your car and your tracking efforts in order.
I like this particular option because it comes with 12 convenient envelopes for monthly billing and tax purposes, and can be easily stored in the glove box or center console.
3. Be Prepared For Anything With a Travel First Aid Kit
It’s always a good idea to have at least a small first aid kit in the car for life’s emergencies. Cuts, splinters, nosebleeds, car sickness…they all happen.
Create a DIY first aid kit using a makeup bag filled with bandaids, tweezers, tissues, alcohol pads, Neosporin and disposable gloves. Or, consider an inexpensive pre-filled kit that can easily travel along on a day hike, too:
Organization Ideas For Front Seats
4. Store Small Items in a Car Visor Organizer
If your driver’s side sun visor doesn’t have a vanity mirror (or you don’t use it), you can equip an organizer for quick access to things like:
- Pen and paper
- AirPods or earphones
- Punch cards for drive-thru restaurants
- Cash for tips or tolls
5. Secure Your Baseball Cap With a Visor Holder
You no longer need to leave your cap on the dash or seat with this ingenious hat holder. Simply slide it over your sun visor and slide the hat bill under the strap. Easy, peasy!
6. Try a Tissue Holder for Your Car Visor
No need to scrounge in the glove box for a tissue when it’s right within arm’s reach. In addition to the sun visor, this tissue holder will clip to the seat back or car door pocket.
7. Stow an Extra Drink With a Removable Car Cup Holder
Who couldn’t use an extra cup holder now and then, especially on long road trips? This removable option slides between the window and the door (and possibly fits over an armrest).
It’s designed for larger travel cups like Yetis or Big Gulps, so you no longer have to worry about tipping or spilling from too-small built-in holders.
8. Eliminate Travel Crud With a Car Cup Holder Coaster
There’s nothing I detest more than cleaning crud out of my car’s cup holders. Gross! I’ve seen a few brilliant ways to deal with this.
Ottawa Mommy Club recommends using a cupcake liner to keep dirt and debris out. Or, you can try a neoprene car coaster:
9. Stay Safe and Distraction-Free With a Smart Phone Holder
If you use your phone for GPS, stay safe and undistracted with a smart phone mount that keeps things at eye-level (and hands free). This removable option clips to your air vent:
10. Keep Loose Items Secure With a Seat Gap Filler
I was initially skeptical of this solution, but after years of dropping my keys, phone, change, etc. into that black hole known as the seat gap, I decided to give it a try. If it saved me from having to contort myself into crazy positions and reach into the abyss to find one more lost item, it was worth it.
It works great! It fits perfectly between my seat and console, doesn’t slip if I adjust my seat, and is the ideal place for my keys, sanitizer, loose change and other small items.
11. Prepare For Weather With a Car Door Umbrella Holder
Even though I live in Phoenix, I always carry a small travel umbrella in my car. It helps during monsoon season when storms arise out of nowhere, and it also works as a parasol in the brutal sun.
The problem I often have is that my umbrella doesn’t fit snugly anywhere in my car. I tend to keep it in the storage area inside my door, but it rattles around a bit. A possible solution (for small umbrellas only):
12. Stay Spill-Free With a Foldable, Insulated Drink Carrier
Take your to-go cups from the coffee shop…to the car…to the beach, park, sports field and more with ease and zero spills! This insulated drink carrier works best for multiple drinks when you lack adequate cup holders in the car. It’s a great way to keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold.
13. Take Business on the Road With a Front Seat Office Organizer
For those of us who take our business on the road, a mobile office organizing solution for the front passenger seat is ideal. This option secures to the passenger seat headrest and can store laptops, 3-ring binders, an entire drawer’s worth of office supplies, cell phone, water bottle and more:
14. Keep Your Purse Close With a Between-the-Seats Holder
Keep your purse and essential items close at hand (and off the car floor) with this convenient holder. It also acts as a barrier between the front and back seats to keep pets (and kids) from being a distraction.
15. Tidy Up With a Front Seat Trash Can
Unsecured trash in the front seat of the car can be a hazard as well as a pain to clean up. A simple solution is this trash can that secures to the gear shift:
16. Add Storage Space With a Seat Side Organizer
Make the most of unused space on the side of the passenger seat with an ingenious seat side organizer. It’s an easy way to keep essential items within arm’s reach instead of on the seat or floor.
17. Store Loose Change in a Handy Holder
There are several smart ways to store loose change in the car. You can try an empty vitamin or pill bottle, a breath mint or gum container, or use a handy change holder that fits in your car’s cup holder:
Center Console Organization
18. Put Items in Plastic Labeled Pouches
My solution to end center console clutter: file-folded, labeled plastic zipper pouches. This system works so well in my carI
I used my trusty Brother label maker to affix labels to both sides of the pouches. This enables both driver and passenger to find items quickly and easily. No more digging for a pen!
19. Use Clear Acrylic Organizers for Small Items
I love the way Michelle from Practical Perfection uses acrylic organizers in her center console to keep things tidy. It looks so nice!
20. Try a Fabric Storage Caddy in Your Center Console
Another great solution to organize your car center console: a fabric storage caddy! Since it’s flexible enough to fit different console dimensions, it can work for nearly any car, truck or SUV.
This option features plenty of pockets for napkins and tissues, lotion, hand sanitizer, pens and pencils, first aid supplies, cosmetics and more. Need to clean it? Simply pull it out by the handle and give it a wash.
21. Use Cable Ties for Tidy Phone Charging Cords
If your center console has USB charging ports, chances are you’ve got some charging cable chaos going on. I find that these Velcro cable ties keep things nice and tidy and tangle-free:
Back Seat Organization Ideas
22. Keep Kids Happy With a Back Seat Organizer, Kick Mat and Tablet Holder
The first thing I think of when it comes to organizing the back seat is the back of the seats themselves. As any mom knows, those seat backs need protection from kids’ shoes and can provide space for entertainment and storage galore.
How about one product that takes care of it all? This organizer protects the seat back, features an airplane-style pull-down tray for snacks and activities, and holds water bottles, phones, tissue box, umbrella and more.
23. Try a Kids’ Travel Tray Organizer for Little Kids
For toddlers and preschoolers who can’t reach the seat back, this travel tray organizer that secures to their car seat might be a better solution.
It features a dry erase board for drawing, a snack tray and a no-drop tablet holder for movie time. Storage pockets can accommodate water bottles, art supplies, books and toys.
24. Use Headrest Hooks For Purses, Bags and Backpacks
I purchased these for my car and love them! My purse is always within arm’s reach and never touches the floor. My son can hang his school or soccer backpack and easily retrieve it when he exits the car.
The hooks are also great for hanging plastic bags for trash, umbrellas or even a small gym bag.
25. Have Less Litter With a Back Seat Trash Can
Don’t forget a place for trash in the back seat, too! Trash bags are optional.This option attaches to the back of the center console or can hang from a head rest. The vinyl lining is leak-proof so you won’t have any drippy surprises when you arrive at your destination.
26. Eliminate “Hangry” Passengers With a Car Seat Cooler and Snack Organizer
Your back seat passengers will stay happy (not hangry) with a cooler and snack organizer between them. (Plus: as a center barrier it will cut down on the “he’s/she’s touching my side of the car” complaints!)
Outside the cooler, pockets and pouches hold drinks, books and art supplies.
27. Stow Large Umbrellas With a Back-of-the-Seat Holder
Stow larger umbrellas on the back of the seat with a hanging, waterproof organizer bag. This solution accommodates up to three umbrellas of different sizes and keeps drips to a minimum. (No more “wet dog” floor mat smell!)
28. Keep Clothes Wrinkle-Free With a Multi-Garment Car Hanger
Ever had more dry-cleaning clothes than will fit on those tiny hooks in your car? Me too. I hate the sound of freshly-pressed clothes falling to the floor of my car while I’m driving.
Thankfully, there’s a solution for that:
29. Easily Transport Dry Cleaning With an Expandable Car Clothes Hanger Bar
For times when you’ve REALLY got a lot of clothes to hang (maybe you’re a costume designer for the local playhouse?)…this expandable car clothes bar should handle your needs:
30. Cool ‘Em Down With a Car Headrest Fan
On hot summer days, when it takes SO long for the air conditioner to cool down the car, a car headrest fan helps your back seat passengers from overheating.
31. Try a Stick-On Cable Clip for Charging Cables
Charging cables in the back seat can easily get tangled on the floor. To remedy this, I used a stick-on cable clip:
The clips come in packages of six and can be used in the home to tidy and organize charging cables:
32. Quickly Wipe Spills With a Paper Towel Holder
I love this idea for a paper towel holder! Simple thread the device through a roll of paper towels and wrap the cords around a head rest. Voila! Paper towels whenever you need them.
33. Stay Fur-Free With a Dog Car Seat Cover
For those of us who travel with our four-legged companions, a seat cover for the back seat really helps keep hair, drool and dirt off the seat and floor. This solution acts like a hammock for your pet, and includes openings for seat belts. Can be used as a cargo cover, too. It cleans easily with a vacuum and damp cloth.
34. Keep Fido Safe With a Mesh Pet Barrier and Storage
Keep Spot safely in the backseat with a mesh pet barrier. This option includes storage pockets for his leash, treats, bags and other pet travel necessities.
35. Transport Treats, Bowls & More With a Pet Travel Backpack
Easily transport your pet’s treats, food, travel bowls, leash and more in a super-handy travel backpack. This option includes collapsible silicone bowls, a blanket and a frisbee. Hang it in the back seat on a head rest hook and you’re good to go.
36. Securely Travel With Pets Using a Seat Restraint
Securely restrain your pet in the car with a headrest tether that attaches to Fido’s harness. (NOTE: not recommended for attaching to collars; harnesses are safer.)
37. Store More With a Back Seat Extender
Keep your pet from sliding off the backseat with a smart back seat extender. It opens for storage and stows a leash in the mesh pocket.
38. Bring Bento Boxes for Snacks, Toys, Art Supplies
Kids love lots of little snacks and finger foods. Keep ’em separate but organized in these cute and colorful meal prep containers. They’re perfect for in the car and out at the park, and they also work to house small toys and art supplies.
39. Don’t Forget Grab ‘n Go Diaper Bag Pouches
Pack the essentials in these cute diaper pouches and stow ’em in your purse or center console, or slide one into the seat back pouch. You’ll never be caught without a diaper and wipes again! (You can also use inexpensive cosmetics bags for this purpose.)
Car Trunk Storage
40. Make a DIY Cargo Net
Liberty from B4 and Afters solved her trunk storage challenges with this handy DIY cargo net. Full tutorial on her site.
41. Happy Camping With a Hanging Trunk Organizer
This solution is great for any car with an open trunk design (SUV, crossover, hatchback, etc.). It holds roadside emergency supplies, reusable grocery bags, diaper supplies, extra clothes, flashlight, first aid supplies and more.
The space-saving design allows more room in the trunk and keeps small items from sliding around.
42. Store Sports Gear in a Collapsible Trunk Organizer
About a year ago, I purchased this trunk organizer from Amazon to help corral my son’s sports equipment and my reusable shopping bags. I have to say, it’s held up very well in extreme Phoenix sun, heat and dust!
It attaches with a clip to your trunk tie-downs so there’s no sliding around. The compartments are adjustable to fit a variety of items. When not in use, it will collapse down to a small flat square. I highly recommend!
43. Use Every Inch of Space With a Detachable Trunk Shelf
Make use of the awkward corners of your trunk with a detachable Velcro shelf. Best for cars with carpeted trunks, this storage solution creates a handy little nook to store bottles, shoes, reusable bags and other items that tend to roll around.
44. Stay Prepared With a Roadside Emergency Kit
Everything you need in case of a roadside emergency in one easy-to-store kit: jumper cables, flashlight, tire pressure gauge, portable air compressor and more.
45. Maximize Space With a Mesh Trunk Wall Pouch
Maximize vertical space in the trunk with a mesh pouch that sticks to the carpeted wall.