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6 Ways to Control Car Clutter – And Keep It Clean!

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I don’t know about you, but I spend A LOT of time in my car. Whether it’s driving the kids to and from school, traveling to a media event, or taking a road trip with my family, my car has almost become like a second home. As I result, I tend to keep a lot of things in my car. There are cell phone chargers, drink cans, sunglasses, receipts, extra jackets…the list goes on and on. In fact, there are times when the clutter gets out of control! For the longest time, I battled with that clutter until I found a few ways to conquer it. If this sounds anything like you, and you are looking for ways to control car clutter, keep reading!

control car clutter main imageimage via Flickr

Easy Ways to Control Car Clutter

Just like your home, a cluttered car makes the time you spend in it unpleasant and frustrating – not to mention hazardous. An empty soda bottle can become a projectile in an accident, and searching around for your cell phone charger while driving is a dangerous distraction. While it seems as though containing the clutter and keeping your car organized is near impossible, a few organizing tips and a couple of products can get you started in the right direction.

  1. Get a trash can: there seems to be an unwritten rule that states when in a car, trash happens. Whether it’s food wrappers, drink containers, or trash from the kids, having one specific place to put it is a great way to keep it off the floor. Find a place in your car that is easily accessible to everyone and make it a rule that all trash goes directly into it. While using a plastic bag to use as a trash receptacle sounds like a great idea, I can’t even begin to count the number of times it has gotten knocked over. If you do decide to use one, find a way to secure it so little arms and legs don’t accidentally knock it over.
  2. Don’t leave food items in the car: spoiled food not only produces odors that you do not want inside your car, but it also attracts unwelcome insects and gets ground into your carpets. If you’ve recently been on a long road trip or have children that snack in the car, make sure that anyone did not leave any crumbs it leftover food inside the car. If you’ve recently been food shopping, double-check to ensure that nothing fell out of the bags and got shoved into a dark corner or under the seats. If there is anything, remove it immediately. A small hand-held vacuum works wonders for getting rid of crumbs and other dirt works great!
  3. Glove Box and Center Consoles  – your car’s glove box, center console, and door pockets provide plenty of space to keep your essentials nice and organized. But it’s when you start putting the non-essentials in there that things can get out of hand. Take a few minutes to pull everything out of your glove box, center console, and door pockets. Throw away or remove anything that is not essential for keeping in the car, then return the rest to the compartments neatly. Doing this on a regular basis will help keep clutter under control.
  4. Keep Stuff in Storage Totes – if you have kids, or even if you don’t, an amazing amount of stuff can quickly build up in a car’s backseat. Control the clutter by storing them in plastic boxes that fit underneath the seat, or organizers that hang from the back of the seat for quick access. If there’s no room, consider getting one or two of those cloth cubes people use for storage in their homes and use it in your car. Designate what each cube is used for and store them in the trunk. For example, assign one cube for the kids’ travel toys, and one for sports equipment. As a bonus, this makes finding specific items easier, too.
  5. Don’t Forget the Trunk –  Like the backseat, the trunk is another space where clutter can get out of control. Take some time to remove everything from the trunk and separate it into piles. For the items that you absolutely have to keep in the car, invest in a trunk organizer. A trunk organizer is highly recommended when it comes to simple ways to control car clutter. Having one will help you separate the “always there essentials” from the empty space needed for cargo such as groceries, luggage, and your car emergency kit. It will also help prevent things from shifting around while you’re driving.
  6. Organize Essential Papers – papers are another thing that can cause a lot of unnecessary car clutter, especially in the glove box. To keep this organized, get an inexpensive coupon organizer from a dollar store and use it to keep all important papers together. This includes things like your owner’s manual, maintenance records, your registration, insurance papers, medical info, emergency numbers, and more.

Final Thoughts on Ways to Control Car Clutter

Whether you drive an economy-focused compact, a sleek sports car, or a family-friendly SUV, it can be tough to keep your car clean and clutter-free. However, with a little bit of time and the above tips and tricks, your ride will be clean and organized in no time at all.

Not sure where to find trash cans and trunk organizers that will fit your particular make and model? Check at your dealership! Almost all car dealerships, for example, Zeigler Chrysler Dodge Ram in Kalamazoo, Michigan, either have in stock or can order car accessories that are specifically designed for your vehicle. In many cases, these accessories are less expensive than the ones you can find online and at your local stores.

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