Keeping your car organized doesn’t need to be difficult, time-consuming or expensive.
You just need to implement a few car organization hacks, tips, and tricks and you’ll save yourself a whole lot of time and stress!
Today, we have 51 amazing hacks, tips and products that could just change your life (maybe!).
But, first, here are the three most popular and highest rated products by our editor and readers:
Best Car Organization Products 2023
|Drop Stop - The Original Patented Car Seat Gap Filler|
|Car Trash Can by Drive|
|MAXSA Car Hooks / Hangers|
Organize Your Back Seat
1. Drop Stop (As Seen on TV) – Install the Drop Stop and Never Lose Your Phone or Coins Again (OK, we can’t guarantee that!)
2. How about a shower caddy to store your kid’s “essentials?”
Easy to attach, reach and remove. [Please note: You should exercise caution on the placement of this idea and the items included at head level. As one of our readers commented, this could be hazardous in the case of a car collision]
3. Car Trash Can by DRIVE – Elegantly hide and contain unsightly trash with a car trash can
You’re always on the go. Simplify it and save time by elegantly hiding and containing unsightly trash. Perfect for commuters and parents!
4. Dog Seat Cover by 4Knines – Is your dog destroying your back seat? Invest in a dog seat cover
Protect your investment from pets, spills and scratches with a seat protector!
5. Wagan (EL6224) 12V Car Cooler/Warmer – Keep your drinks and snacks cool with a car cooler
6. Super useful grab-n-go (survival) travel bags
Simplify your life on-the-go by putting together these clear, zippered bags which are easy to grab and go when you’re in a rush! Always be prepared by packing one for each of your needs (first aid kit, snacks, activities, etc.)
7. JACO CargoPro Trunk Organizer – Order to the Trunk Chaos!No matter how hard you try, is your back seat a disaster after a car trip? Whip it into shape with this trunk organizer by JACO.
Check out our in-depth article for the best-ranked trunk organizers.
8. DIY Car Travel Book Storage
Keep books organized and out of the way with this cool idea. See step-by-step instructions on how to create your own at Kidsomania.
9. DIY iPad Holder For Your Car’s Headrest
10. MAXSA Car Hooks / Hangers
No more crushed bread or cracked eggs! Just hang grocery or shopping bags from these hooks in order to free-up space and avoid damage.
11. A MUFFIN TRAY + A LAUNDRY BASKET = HUGE CUP HOLDER
Traveling with lots of people? Planning on hitting up the drive-thru? MOST cars won’t have enough drink holders. Fix this issue with a muffin tray and a laundry basket. Yes, very random, but it’s definitely a unique idea.
12. DIY KID’S TRAVEL ACTIVITY BINDER: FILL A BINDER WITH PRINTABLES & GAMES
Keep your kid’s entertained and happy on the road with this simple, but a well-worthwhile idea. Lots of great tips over on The Touring Camper.
13. A COAT RACK THAT’S NOT…WELL…TERRIBLE
Car coat hooks can suck. If you frequently have passengers in the back of your car, then they’d probably prefer not to have a jacket dangling in their face. Attach this mesh bungee (which you can find at a motorcycle store) to each of the car grab handles, tighten and then store coats, hats, gloves, etc. on top of the mesh.
14. ARE YOUR KID’S CRAYONS EVERYWHERE? STORE THEM IN A WIPE CASE FOR THE RIDE
15. STORE PLASTIC GROCERY BAGS IN A KLEENEX BOX. YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN YOU’LL NEED ONE!
Gina over at CampClem has a brilliantly simple hack: Find an old Kleenex box and stuff it with plastic shopping or grocery bags! This perfect for trash, wet clothes, diapers or recycling. Keep them in your car organizer, under the seat, or in the trunk. Simple.
16. KEEP A CARABINER IN YOUR CAR. IT’S HANDY!
Keep one of these handy and you’ll be able to attach shopping bags, sunglasses cases (with string) or umbrella’s.
17. KEEP LOOSE CHANGE WITHIN REACH BY STORING IT IN AN EMPTY GUM CONTAINER
18. USE A RUBBER BAND TO HOLD YOUR PHONE IN PLACE
Need a realllly cheap way to keep your phone in place while you use your GPS? Rubber band to the rescue.
19. PLACE SILICONE MUFFIN CUPS AT THE BOTTOM OF EACH CUPHOLDER
Here’s a great idea from One Good Thing by Jillee:
“My favorite, simple car organization hack is to place silicone muffin cups in the bottom of my cupholders. If they get sticky or dirty I just throw them in the sink or dishwasher, put clean ones in the car, and save myself the frustration of cleaning gunk out of the cupholders.”
20. Here’s another version of travel pouches to go
21. ORGANIZE ESSENTIALS WITH THESE COOL LITTLE GRIP STRIPS
22. NEVER FORGET TO DEPOSIT A CHECK WITH THIS IDEA
Use the space in front of the steering wheel to put mail to be mailed, your errand list or checks to be deposited. They are easy to see and remember to do when you are out and about. That tip is from Lisa at Organize 365.
23. ROAD TRIPPING? KEEP CANDY FROM MELTING
24. VISOR TISSUE CASE – ALWAYS HAVE A TISSUE WITHIN ARMS-REACH
25. DIY CAR VISOR ORGANIZER
Want to make your own car visor organizer? Kelsey over at Vanilla Joy has a step by step guide so you can create the exact design you want at a fraction of the cost.
26. MAKE THE GLOVE COMPARTMENT USEFUL
Make the glove compartment useful and keep it organized by using an expandable, tabbed folder for all your receipts and car documents. An excellent tip by Sarah over at confetti and other fun.
27. CREATE YOUR OWN CAR EMERGENCY KIT
Elegantly organize your emergency supplies and always be prepared! Angie at Echoes of Laughter suggests storing bandaids, pain relief medicine, toothpaste, and a whole host of useful things so you can always know it’s there should you need it. I’d suggest keeping this in your trunk or (even better) in your glove compartment.
28. TURN A TO-GO COFFEE CUP INTO A FACIAL TISSUE HOLDER
A simple DIY facial tissue dispenser which is easy to take around with you or to leave in your car cup holder.
29. NO CUP HOLDERS? USE A ROLL OF GAFFER TAPE ON THE PASSENGER SEAT
30. KEEP YOUR PHONE, SUNGLASSES, AND OTHER NECESSARIES SAFELY STOWED WITHIN ARMS REACH
31. STORE LOOSE CHANGE IN A PILL BOTTLE
32. MAKE USE OF THE SIDE OF THE PASSENGER CHAIR FOR STORAGE
33. AVOID YOUR HANDBAG FLYING AND TIE IT TO THE HEADREST OF YOUR PASSENGER SEAT WITH A SCARF
34. HANG YOUR SUNGLASSES ON YOUR VISOR WITH A BINDER CLIP
35. CARRY A SNACK BAG
You never know when you will get stuck in traffic, or won’t have time to go through a drive through for food. Keeping a few packs of crackers, protein bars and water in the car will curb the hunger pangs and give you more patience as you make it to your next destination. Thanks to Lisa at Organize 365 for that one!
36. Keep a large Tupperware container in your car for safe measure
Scarlet at Family Focus Blog suggests keeping a large Tupperware container in your car because having a lid is great for preventing spills and great for sealing in smells if a child has to use it when they get motion sickness.
37. DIY ELASTIC GRID ORGANIZER: A CATCH-ALL FOR YOUR SUN VISOR
Find out how you can create your own sun visor “catch-all” for under $2. Cool solution!
Organize Your Trunk (Plus Other Miscellaneous Ideas)
38. Utilize your trunk for storage
Lisa at Organize 365 suggests that you think of your trunk area as a car closet. Store extra necessities there and change it out seasonally.
39. Use a Shower Caddy to Organize Your Oil & Fluids
40. Setup a handy, pop-up trunk shelf
Store more groceries or luggage (without crushing them!). Visit Instructables for a step-by-step guide.
41. Keep a car log to stay on top of car maintenance and organization
42. When you have a flat tire, make things easier on yourself
Why does it always seem to be raining at its hardest when you notice a flat tire? Make this situation just a little less painful by being organized in advance. Group repair items (jack, wrench, tire pump, 12-foot jumper cables, and a can of fix a flat) and store them in your spare tire compartment.
43. Alternative trunk shelf cargo shelf
44. Always keep re-sealable zipper storage bags in your car
If you have young children, keep a supply of clear plastic bags inside your vehicle. They’ll definitely come in handy when dealing with soiled or wet garments or bibs until they can be brought into the house for washing. Even if you don’t have kids, these can definitely come in useful!
45. Use a magnetic key holder to store a spare car key under your car
Misplaced your car key in the past? Don’t fret. This offers a simple, hidden way to store your car key under your car.
46. Pack your clothing or useful items into plastic drawers
47. Keep a shower cap around to store dirty shoes (or cleats) in
Do your kids come running into your car with dirty cleats after a soccer game? Or are you a hiker? This is an inexpensive and perfectly sized way to store your shoes until you’re able to clean them.
48. Get fancy: Turn your trunk into a (luxury) closet
49. Free-up space in your trunk and keep your sports ball’s fixed in place with a Ball Claw
50. Manage your USB and Aux cables with a CableDrop
OK, so maybe this image above doesn’t show you exactly how these can be used in your car, you get the idea! Keep your cables organized and untangled with this nifty device.
51. Make extra room and hide items with a Du-Ha Storage Case
Which one is your favorite?
Do you have any tips, tricks or hacks that you’d add to the list?
If you liked this post, then check out our step-by-step guide to organizing your closet.
And as an aside, for those following a plant based diet, my husband Alex created Nutriso — a site that ranks 2,300+ vegan-friendly (only) foods by protein, iron, calcium, vitamins and other nutrients.
Hey – love the article! Lot’s of great tips. Just wanted to say keep up the fantastic work!
Carly at HappyChappy says
Appreciate the comment, John! Glad you got some good ideas from it
My spring project..organize my car!! Thanks guys for all the great ideas!! Love them!
Carly at HappyChappy says
Glad you liked the ideas, Maria! Good luck with the spring project 🙂
Why not some storage for pickups, like how to keep my groceries from rolling all over the bed of the truck by the time I get home!
alexis musser says
Love all of these! Will be organizing my glove box soon!
Carly at HappyChappy says
Thanks for visiting, Alexis! Glad you liked the ideas!
Love this list! Word of caution in reference to #2. I see the pencils as a potential hazard during a collision. While I was a State Trooper I saw objects inside of people’s cars do more physical damage to the occupants than the collision itself.
Carly at HappyChappy says
That’s a really valuable point. Thank you for sharing that with us. I’ve added a cautionary note to that idea above.
Glad you loved this list! 🙂
I’ve used your silicone cups idea. Like the cups with tissues and the glove compartment organizer.
Love the make ahead kits! Most of these ideas are great for me (only most, because I don’t have kids in my car anymore…)
Must be careful not to put anything in the way of airbags. Most cars have airbags on the side of the backrests now.
Thanks for these ideas. I keep a pair of dish gloves and a rain poncho in the back of my car. The gloves are great to use if you have to fix something because they’ll keep your hands clean.
Great idea, I always try to remember to take a pair of rubber gloves with me when I know I’ll be filling my tires up but don’t always remember and then end up using my gloves to keep my hands clean which then have to be brought inside and washed afterwards. Definitely a great idea to keep a few pairs of rubber gloves (disposable) or a reusable pair of kitchen gloves in the car.
The only one I didn’t think was a good idea was keeping change in a pill bottle, people would break in if they thought there were pills in cars. I love the idea of keeping change in the empty gum container
You can use a little container that M&M’s come in, too. It’s about the same size as a pill bottle. It fits quarters perfectly. I also keep one in my purse for parking meters, etc.
Yes definitely agree. Unfortunately in the day and age we live in, people will not only break in your car for a decent amount of change but will definitely risk breaking in for a bottle of pills even if they don’t know what they are. They probably figure people aren’t keeping their blood pressure meds in the car but it’s much more likely that someone would carry their pain meds such as percocet or anti-anxiety meds such as Xanax with them which is exactly what thieves & addicts are after.
Charli Robinson says
Love the silicone cups in the cup holders! They get so yucky! I usually fold a napkin for the bottom but I like this better. Thankx!
You could use an old tick tac bottle For bobbi pens. So if your running late to work just put one in bring a brush and then you wont have a messy hair day.
Wonderful list of ideas! I do use the headrest hangers for my purse & shopping bags. I also like your visor tissue idea. My tip is to use plastic milk crates in the trunk. Corrals groceries, balls, shoes, etc.
Yes even just a few milk crates in the trunk works great for me. Plus it helps too by not having them laying around my house or garage or on the back porch where they tend to always wind up.
I thought you had good ideas but your visuals had Facebook, Pinterest, and tweet boxes across them making it frustrating to view.
Carly at HappyChappy says
Glad you liked the ideas, Teri. Thanks for the feedback too – I really appreciate that. I’ve made a change so that the share icons now appear in the bottom left of the images instead of directly in the center 🙂 Should make for a better experience, while still allowing people to share the content with their friends.
Cindy Wescott says
The cup holder will hold a 20oz bottle, but the smaller 16.9 bottles are loose in them. I took a piece of a pool noodle , cut to the right height. Then trim the center to fit the smaller bottle and BAM!!! Perfect fit!!
M. Smith says
Liked a lot of the trunk/cargo organization tips. One suggestion from me…a Pharmacist…re: the First Aid Kit…Do NOT keep pills/medication in a car. The extreme heat or cold can destroy the medication and render it ineffective.
Sharon Farnsworth says
I use the plastic glasses I get from the fast food restaurant for my trash cans in my car. They fit perfect in the door cup holder so everyone has their own trash and they don’t leak. When they get dirty I can just toss.
Linda Romanowski says
The idea of placing mail in front of your steering wheel is a good idea. However, I would bull clip them together. If you are greeted by a gust of wind when you open the door, you might lose your items. A decent sized bull clip will add just enough weight.
Also, I keep a large plastic drinking cup in my car with a pair of garden scissors. If I purchase flowers, I can easily place them in there, and with the scissors, you can cut the stems down if necessary. Works well if you are on your way to visit a friend, and want to bring something as a “gift”.
The muffin tin in laundry basket is great.
Serving a church parties//banquets
Plan to use this idea.
Going to make a skirt for out side of basket
No one will be the wiser.
I like the skirt idea!!
Glad you like the post, Theresa! 🙂
Great tips! Another item I like to keep near my spare tire supplies is a dollar store rain poncho. If it is raining when you get a flat, you can use it for protection. If it’s not raining, you might still use it on the ground to protect your knees or pants.
emily bennettee says
Wow, these are some really great car hacks. I love the idea of having extra pockets on my car seat. I wonder if you can get car covers made for your car that has some extra features.
Great ideas, though most of them are for SUVs.
Rebekah Purnel says
WOW!!! Great tips ever! I was in need of a car travel book storage, following your tips I have made one! It’s really good to use and looks beautiful. My problem is solved! Thanks!
Snacks in the car vital. Nothing worse than hunger pangs if you are stuck in traffic or waiting in a vehicle you cannot leave. Just keep them in reach of driving seat.
A few items I would add are leather work gloves, zip ties, a small tarp, and duct tape. Also, my children always suffered from motion sickness so I used a plastic gallon size ice cream bucket with a lid, and carried a bottle of water with the squirt top. It makes rinsing the bucket simple if you will be needing it again before you make it home.
Great ideas, Amy. Thanks for your comment!
Mike G. says
No need to spend $19.99 to stop your phone from falling between seats. I purchased a $1 foam pool float, cut it in half and made a hole for the seat belt catch. will catch anything that falls.
If you have a dog, you have doggie doo bags. To keep them all in one place, use an empty Clorox wipes container. I use one that had scented wipes which is a plus: helps keeps doo bags deodorized!
Ma Co says
Great ideas. The side organizer holds a wide enough pencil cup for backseat passenger cup holders or that used coffee cup with lid idea for trash. A tray can fit under the passenger seat to hold maps, tissue boxes, coloring books and crayons. A flip out airplane tray attached to front backs with cup holes. Rolled Window shades for traction or ground work. Bandanas to protect headrests. Mesh material as a window insect screen. Etc.
Oh gud, uhhh abort abort! That link for #26 is now to a phishing website that’s nsfw
Fixed! Thanks for notifying me.