A car can become a dumping ground for excess stuff in your daily life. Trash from getting drive-thru food or having snacks during a busy day, toys, charging cords, maintenance/emergency tools, gas receipts, coins. This can become overwhelming, and when there is clutter in the car, it makes it harder to start and keep it organized.
Habits to keep your car organized:
I don’t allow trash to stay in my car overnight. When I am exiting the car after a trip to the store or at the end of a long journey I do a quick once-over to see if I have any packages or unnecessary receipts and then dispose of them immediately when I get to my apartment. Keeping a trash bag in your car can also be a good idea, but only if you are on top of emptying it when it gets full – not just using the floor as a second trash can when the first one is overflowing.
I always keep reusable grocery bags in the backseat of my car. This doesn’t necessarily help with the organization of the car, but it helps with my shopping! I will actually refuse to get plastic bags when I am shopping (I would rather carry awkward armloads of items than take single use bags that will end up in a landfill), so by keeping bags handy I am making my shopping experience more convenient (and GREEN!)
If you are the type to keep track of your gas receipts for tax purposes, don’t stuff them in your glove box to be dealt with later! I keep a small accordion-style holder that has 12 sections. I have labelled each section with a month and whenever I get gas I put the receipt in the corresponding pocket. This makes it easier to deal with come tax-time, and by having it split up by month you can compare your monthly gas expenses to see if you are on track or if you should consider biking to work for a couple weeks.
Keep a bin in your trunk to hold items. I use a recycling bin and in it I store a box of garbage bags, an extra bottle or two of windshield washer fluid, car cleaning products, and car emergency items such as a blanket and a bottle of water. Keeping these items in the trunk allows you to have them easily accessible but also out of the way so the car doesn’t look cluttered. Keeping them a bin of some sort keeps them contained so they are not rolling all over the place and getting damaged.
Invest in a backseat organizer if you are the type to need a lot of different things on hand such as toys, maps of different areas, or if you want hooks to hold your grocery bags. These are great because they are fairly inexpensive and they keep things off the floor where they are more likely to get water damage from muddy boots or lost under the car seats for months.
I don’t keep change in my car (mostly because I rarely ever use cash in general), but if you do, you can use a small container such as a circular, flip top gum container to hold your coins. This keeps it out of the way as you can store it on your side door or in the console, but it also makes it easy to pour the coins out when you need them.