Second only to paper organization, my most requested speaking topic is how to organize your car.
When I first started talking about car organization, I stuck with the obvious basics:
Use the door wells.
Stock bags with medicine and gum.
Keep batteries and chargers with you always!
Pack snacks to avoid fast food.
I stuck my neck out there and started communicating what we all already know. We are living out of our cars.
Ok, so how do we make our car more like home?
For a while I talked about thinking of your trunk as a car closet.
I love these big pockets as a hanging car closet organizer. We are constantly “reminding” ourselves to remember basics we always need in the car.
Seriously – are your kids using their goggles at home? Leave them IN the car ALL summer.
Likewise, do you ever use the soccer blanket and chairs at home? Leave them IN the car ALL season. If you need them, go look for them in the car.
Now this is a slippery slope because many of our cars are travelling trash cans.
Remember, I am a professional organizer. I know some of you have over 2 years of mail and trash in there!
So the key is to ORGANIZE the car.
This really hit home with me a few weeks ago when I helped 2 women organize their cars for the upcoming school year. Both women work multiple jobs and have hobbies as well.
Step 1: EMBRACE your space.
After much discussion, we determined that none of the needed materials ever needed to come in the house. Only a work bag would go in and out.
The rest of the needed work supplies could be inventoried and stored in the garage.
After cleaning out and organizing the “garage” type stuff, a wall was cleared and we assembled plastic book shelves from Lowes.
I bought matching stackable bins at Walmart and we set out to organize her OT supplies by therapy type.
Each bin was labeled and stacked.
One of her jobs requires a certain bag to be available in her car.
So we created a shelf for those supplies to be loaded in the car and removed after that job.
Next, the trunk. After cleaning out the current trunk clutter we had a talk about work bags.
Do you have more than one bag you like to use?
I find it easiest if you use ONE bag for ONE function. That way you aren’t wondering which bag you left something in.
We decided this bag would be the day to day go-to bag for the year. We stocked it with office supplies and put it back inside.
Now, each morning (or night before) she can pull off which bins she needs for the day and stock her trunk for the day or the week.
I do the same thing!
After a few months of running to the store before every organizing job, I started toting around all the organizers I regularly use…in my trunk.
Once I had a collection of plastic boxes, I tried storing them in my laundry room (too small), my basement (too inconvenient) and the front hall closet (too red-neck!)
FINALLY! I built these shelves in my garage right next to my trunk. Duh.
I just emptied most of them out so I can return bins to clients this week.
The Cargo Pockets
What about you? Do you think of your car as an extension of your home? Do you have a system for switching out the contents of your car closet? Share below!