When tackling your car – just like any other area – make sure to use the 5 Organizing Principles.
They truly do help you to be able to Organize Anything Anywhere – including your home away from home – your car!
- Small Steps – break the project down into small steps and work methodically starting in the front and working one spot at a time. For example – Start by the Driver’s side. Clean out the driver’s side door, then the floor then the center console, then the glove compartment then the passenger side door etc. Don’t skip around!!!! Tackling a project one small spot at a time, makes it less overwhelming and more doable in the 5, 10, 15 minute increments of time that you have. (Because in reality 5, 10, 15 minutes is all we often have to work with!)
2. Declutter – 5 Bin System – Set the bins up right by the car – you don’t want to leave the area! The bins also keep you from creating piles on the lawn or driveway as you clean out the car 🙂
- Throw Away – garbage and recycling
- Put Away – Anything that does not have a home in that specific place goes in this bin! (don’t leave to put it away! You will get distracted and waste time!)
- File Away – A “put away” for paper.
- Give Away – Anything that is to be donated or given to someone else.
- Hide Away – Anything you don’t think you need, but aren’t sure you can part with goes in here. Then – give the bin to a friend and tell them that if you don’t ask for the item in the next month, then they have your permission to get rid of it.
3. Condense – Gather all “like” items together. See what categories of things you have. Condensing the “like” items into one spot. (i.e. First Aid items all in one spot, Kids activity items etc.)
4. Contain – Contain the “like” items into one bin or bag. Put the items of the same category together – contained in one spot! Containing the items is key to keeping things from expanding and growing out of control. The containment principle is key to keeping things from getting cluttered.
An Example of Containment in the Car: If you have a bag of kids activities in the car – when that bag gets too full and overflows – the Containment Principle says that you have to clean out the bag and get rid of some of the items – because it is too full. When things are contained we get the visual cues that tell us “it is too full” you have to do something about it! (If the items are not contained and are just all over the back seat – we never get the cues that we have too much and we never do anything about it!)
5. Label – Label all bins, baskets, bags (containers in general) Label Specifically and Clearly.
Label in a way that if you were not there – someone else could come into the space and easily find everything they need and know exactly what is in the given space.
Breaking things down into Small Steps and Decluttering – get rid of the junk. Condensing and Containing – get you organized. Labeling – keeps you organized!
Good Organization should breed more independence, delegation and responsibility for everyone else and not just more work for the organizer.
What is necessary to have in the car?
1. First Aid Kit
2. Car Emergency Kit (for the given season – winter, summer etc.)
- Non-perishable Snacks
- Sand (for traction)
- Winter Coat (I added this years ago, because I realized how rarely my kids actually wore a winter coat and that they would be in trouble if their car broke down in the winter and they had to walk anywhere!)
- Boots (see above for reason 🙂
3. Wipes and a Towel or paper towels – to clean up any and all messes that are bound to happen. (i.e. spilled coffee, exploded pop cans and so on)
4. Hand sanitizer
7. Paperwork –
- Insurance Card
- AAA or other car club assistance information.
8. Portable phone charger and charging cords.
9. Tire gage and portable pump.
10. Spare tire, lug nut wrench and jack.
11. Plastic bags
12. Garbage can
13. Activity bag – with items for kids and/or the driver for when you are stuck waiting 🙂
5 Cool Car Organizing Products
1. Collapsible Trunk Organizer
2. Garbage Can
3. Center Console Organizer
4. Cell phone holder
5. Over the seat organizer
6. Organizer that hooks on the window – for electronics, sunglasses etc.