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Organization tips for making your car road trip ready - #3 is so smart!

An Organized Car In Time For Summer Travel

Is your car road trip ready? If not, don’t fret. Our resident professional organizer, Annie, is back with a summer-themed post for Project Organize Your ENTIRE Life today that will get you there in no time.

She’s got lots of great tips as well as some handy product recommendations. (I’ve been meaning to buy the last thing on her list for ages – this is just the push I needed!)

The summer months are fast approaching, and with them, lots of day trips and long-haul journeys.

Regardless of whether you’re driving a couple of blocks for a picnic in the park or are embarking on some cross-country family road trip, the experience is bound to be more pleasant if your car is in order.

Follow these tips and you’ll be headed straight for organization-station.

#1 – Before summer officially commences, give your car a good clean-out.

Starting from clean and orderly will go a long help towards helping you keep it that way. Throw out those stray, crumpled juice boxes, the crumb-covered chapsticks, and the bags of merchandise you’ve been meaning to return for the past three months.

Empty that baby of everything and then vacuum it from pedal to tail pipe.

Since the key to having an organized car is to be incredibly selective with what belongs within, you’ll want to be intentional about what you put back after the cleaning. Only those things that are essential during transit should go in the car.

An Organized Car In Time For Summer Travel

#2 – To keep children occupied during travel, it’s wise to have a few toys or activities in your car.

Limit the number of such items that end up in the car by allocating specific items as “travel toys.” 

Explain to your kids the distinction between those and house toys, which can help alleviate any spontaneous insistence on their part that whatever they happen to be playing with inside must accompany you on your journey.

House toys stay in the house; travel toys stay in the car.

An Organized Car In Time For Summer Travel

Harness travel toys in an accessory like this backseat organizer. That way, small items stay in place rather than sliding under the backseat at a stop light, never to be seen again.

A product like this can also be used to hold things like an umbrella, ice scraper, flashlight, and so on.

#3 – Stock your glovebox with a few napkins and plastic silverware to make eating on the go easy and less messy.

An Organized Car In Time For Summer Travel

#4 – You need to have a place for collecting trash in the car.

An Organized Car In Time For Summer Travel

Products like this leak proof car trash bag work wonders. At the very least, you should have a plastic or paper bag on hand at all times for garbage.

#5 – Keep Your Trunk Neat.

There are a bevy of products that can help with this, including this folding organizer, as well as this cargo net for sports equipment (and groceries when not traveling!).

The golden rule of car organization is this: take out whatever you bring in.

Too often, cars become a dumping ground for things like water bottles, coffee mugs, jackets, and so on. Whatever hasn’t been allocated as a permanent car item–those things you bring in the car with you on a daily basis–should always leave with you at the end of the day or the trip.

This practice takes a bit of training, but if you’re disciplined about it, and ensure family members are as well, your car will always look and feel great.

*post contains affiliate links

For even more help keeping the kids busy this summer, don’t forget…

Camp mom activities eBook

Our Camp Mom activities eBook is once again available for sale for a limited time only.

It’s an 84 page PDF from my all-time favorite play bloggers, and myself, stuffed with activities, reading lists, and advice for kicking back and connecting with your kids this summer.

Learn more and get your copy here.



P.S. Looking for more ways to simplify and save time? Follow these 3 steps:

1) Check out our Project Organize Your ENTIRE Life 2016 Printables and our Kids' Responsibility & Money Management Kit : over 50 pages of 2015 daily/weekly/monthly planners, cleaning schedules, meal planners, kids’ routine charts, budgeting sheets and much more!

2016 POYEL Printables
Kids Responsibility & Money Management Kit


2) Sign up for our newsletter:

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3) Bookmark our famous Gift Guides for the next time you need the perfect kids' gift! (400+ detailed descriptions including age recommendations)- just click on the photos below

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Annie Traurig is a professional organizer and the founder of Live Simply. She works with clients locally in Seattle, as well as worldwide through virtual services, teaching them to expel the extraneous and instill their lives with lightness, laughter, and ease. She believes complication is avoidable, the clarity of priorities is freeing, aesthetics are paramount, and humor is the ultimate necessity.