7 Tips for keeping your vehicle organized

Reading time 5 minutes

We are looking forward to using our vehicles more and travelling again. Vehicles are used as mobile offices, restaurants, entertainment centers, locker rooms and homework stations.  Keeping a vehicle clean can be easy.  Here are 7 tips to help you organize your vehicle.

Garbage Bag

1. Have a plastic garbage bag in the front and back seats of your vehicle.  It can be hooked on the headrest or armrest.  Make sure all garbage is put in the bag and not all over the floor.  When the bag gets full unhook it and put it in your garbage can on the way into the house.  Keep a few extras in the vehicle.

A plastic garbage bag can be hooked on armrests.

A plastic garbage bag can be hooked on armrests.

Place a garbage bag in the back seat by hanging it over the head rest.

Place a garbage bag in the back seat by hanging it over the headrest.

A garbage bag can be anywhere in the car, just make sure it is used.

A garbage bag can be anywhere in the car, just make sure it is used.








Have a backpack ready

2. If you have a young child keep a backpack ready at the door to take with you in the car.  Fill it with things your child can use to entertain themselves.  When you arrive at home put everything back in the backpack and bring it into the home.  This prevents toys, papers and video games from being left all over the vehicle. It also prevents things from being damaged by being left in a sweltering vehicle.

Use your cupholders for temporary storage

3. Cup holders are a great invention.  Put a clean tall cup in the holder and use it to hold pens, pencil crayons, small toys, notes, papers, and snacks. It will help to keep items confined to a space and prevent them from being lost in the vehicle.

Organize your change to make it easy to get into your hand or to take out of the car.

Use a cup for your change. it will be easier to retrieve your change. Keep the cup in your cup holder.

Organize your snack in you cup holder

Bring snacks from home and keep them in your cup holder

Organize children's toys in cupholders

Use a cup holder for children’s toys









A portable office 

4. If you use your car for an office try using a bin, box, bag to contain all your supplies.  There are a number of portable office organizers available or make one that is personalized for your situation.

use any container and make a car office organizer

Customize your own portable office for your specific needs

Office organizer for the front seat of the vehicle

This organizer keeps the seat clear for items while organizing your office supplies

Portable office organizer for the car

This office organizer attaches to the seat so it won’t end up on the floor of your vehicle

This is a portable office that can easily be taken with you to the car, meetings, library or hockey arena

This is a portable office that can easily be taken with you to the car, meetings, library or hockey arena

This mobile work station can help to keep your work organized

This mobile workstation can help to keep your work organized


You spend a lot of time in your vehicle. Keep it a safe and healthy place free from flying objects and germs. Share on XClean up messes quickly – people and the vehicle

5 . Keep disposable wet wipes in the glove compartment for quick clean-ups. I have a small container of water, soap and a cloth for washing hands and faces. I keep it in a small box so it won’t roll around the van. I bring it in and change the water and put it back the next time I go to the van.  Keep a roll of paper towels handy.  You never know when they will come in handy for bigger clean-ups.  If you have a mess in the vehicle clean it up right away.  You have the products with you so it is an easy job. Always take everything out of the vehicle when you arrive home.  Use the car door pockets and seatback pockets for items that permanently stay in the car.   If you start with a clean vehicle on every trip it is easier to keep it clean.


Prevent messy build up in your car.

Take everything out of the car each time you arrive at home.

Keep disposable wet wipes for quick clean ups of spilled drinks, and dirty hands.

Keep disposable wet wipes for quick clean ups of spilled drinks, and dirty hands.


Cleaning up after every trip for a few minutes prevents needing lots of time to clean your vehicle later.

Be ready to jump in your car and go and enjoy your trip, short or long

Keep your cargo area under control

6. It is easy to put things in the back or trunk and arrive home and rush into the home.  If you don’t take the things out then when you add more it becomes fuller and fuller.  There are certain things that live in the cargo space.  Find a home for them.  A box, crate, a built-in storage area, a bag hooked to the side with a 3M hook, under the bottom by the space tire.  Make sure the other items are stored back in their proper place in the garage, basement or home.

Seasonal storage “locker”

7. Sometimes the cargo area is used as a seasonal storage “locker” because there isn’t an easy place to store and access sporting equipment.  Some situations are hockey bags, golf clubs, soccer equipment and water sports.  When the season is over clear out the gear.  Wash it, clean it, dry it and store it away until next year.  Leaving wet equipment in your vehicle year-round will cause it to deteriorate and get mouldy.

I think I covered most problems in your vehicle, including garbage, toys, paperwork, messes and cargo areas.  What did I miss?  Let me know in the comments. 


Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices,  virtually. She has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home and office. She guides and supports your to manage your time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

Click here to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer.

Share this:


  1. Julie Stobbe on February 22, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    Do you have any tips for me on how to keep a vehicle clean?

  2. Lisa Gessert on June 1, 2021 at 11:07 am

    Great tips especially this time of year!!

    • Julie Stobbe on June 3, 2021 at 7:06 am

      Vehicles get used for so many things, picnics, watching videos, drive-in movies, having alone time, reading, napping and transportation. It can be hard to keep them clean and organized.

  3. Julie Bestry on June 3, 2021 at 7:14 am

    I love these tips. Granted, I don’t have kids, which helps, but unless it’s pouring down rain, I have had a strict practice since I got my driver’s license (many, many years ago), since I was driving my mom’s car, that I remove everything from the car when I get out. So trash never piles up, and I always keep a plastic grocery bag or two tucked into the door pocket, in case there’s anything I can just carry by hand.

    But I LOVE your mobile office solutions!

    • Julie Stobbe on June 3, 2021 at 7:18 am

      I think all parents should insist that children completely empty the vehicle after use. It is a great habit to teach them and also to teach them respect for other people’s property.

  4. Janet Barclay on August 15, 2022 at 10:13 am

    I never realized there were so many products for a mobile office! I rarely work outside my home anymore, but there was a time one of these would have made life so much easier.

    • Julie Stobbe on September 14, 2022 at 8:16 am

      There are a lot of products and now with people being more digital, there are even more products.

Leave a Comment