“There is no way all this junk is going to fit in that car,” says Bart Simpson staring at a pile of boxes, weightlifting equipment and electronics beside a car. His dad, Homer, raises a consoling hand. “Oh, don’t worry,” he says. “This is what all those hours of playing Tetris were for.” The recognizable Tetris music starts to play, and Homer’s family suddenly transforms into Tetris pieces. As the music plays, Homer puts the luggage—and his family—into the car like a real-life version of Tetris. Last but not least, he puts his wife, Marge, in the car and shuts the door. “Perfect,” he says, wiping his hands. “But there’s no room for you!” Marge exclaims, leading Homer to yell “Doh!” as per a YouTube clip by OVO.
Packing up a car is no easy task, especially when there’s tons of luggage and a family to fit into such a cramped space. It takes patience and vision to see how everything is going to fit together. Most people aren’t good at this and opt to just shove everything in and hope for the best. There are others who have a gifted knack for packing the car. They revel in the challenge of fitting everything in a car before a road trip.
Gathered here are photos showing both sides of the fence, from people who should offer their services as professional car packers, and the rest—who don't have a clue about how to pack their cars (and it shows), despite giving it their best shot.
25 Lackluster: Top-Heavy Van
Here’s a visual lesson in how not to pack one’s vehicle. Otherwise, it could lead to a police car pulling one over. That’s what happened with this van in New Hampshire, as NY Daily News reports, when cops issued the driver a warning.
It’s as if the driver took everything they owned and strapped it to the car. There was even a TV and a ladder among the belongings, which could easily fall off and into a car driving side-by-side.
24 Good: Civic With Luggage Up Top
Here’s an example of a well-packed vehicle. Even if the back looks a little like a mess, it doesn’t seem stuffed enough to take any enjoyment out of the drive. Since there wasn’t enough space for everything, the owner wrapped up any extra belongings and strapped it up on top.
The Matador Network cautions against tying stuff to the outside as it could change the car’s center of gravity, and thus, the handling. This one looks tied down securely though, right in the middle and shouldn’t have any problems.
23 Lackluster: Transporting Valuable Goods
There are times when drivers have to ask more of their cars than is probably good for its health in the long run. How this car is able to remain upright with all the stuff strapped to it is a mystery.
Business Insider reports that it’s full of goods that have made their way to South Korea. As difficult as it was getting everything strapped on, it’s imaginably just as difficult to take it all off the car.
22 Good: Stuffed Honda Fit Sport
This owner has succeeded where others have failed in packing the car up. They’ve found the best way to use the car’s real estate to the fullest. According to the blog Max...On the Road, the box above is full of two tents, an air mattress, scuba gear, two chairs, and clothes.
The car itself has a mountain bike, kitchen accessories, coolers, books and more. Despite there being so much stuff, this owner found a way to get it all in the car to take on the go.
21 Lackluster: Open Trunk
Driving behind a car like this might raise some red flags. With the trunk popped open, overflowing with luggage, a slight bump could send suitcases out. The Twitter user to post this photo said it best when he said, “what can go wrong?” The answer is, simply put, a lot.
There’s even the possibility a cop could pull them over and issue a ticket. Someone must have been desperate to drive off with this much luggage in the trunk unless they’re unaware it's even open.
20 Good: Car Full Of Treasures
People throw out all kinds of treasures, including the ones pictured here. Sitting in the back of this car is an assortment of goods someone found in the trash. According to the site Garbage Finds, the owner had decided to clean up their storage area and take some junk out to the garbage.
They ended up returning with more stuff, which required filling up the car. For all the random treasures found though, they managed to expertly fit them in without damaging anything.
19 Lackluster: Community Cleanup
This particular entry has not one, but two trucks that could rearrange their cargo. Although the white F-150 in the foreground isn’t bad, it’s the red Dodge pickup in the back that’s at risk of losing its haul.
According to the Herald-Whig, these trucks had gathered up items from around the city as part of a massive cleanup. With that being the case, few will have much time or interest in making the trucks as organized as possible, though it might save an extra trip or two.
18 Good: The Suitcase Challenge
The back of this car shows the kind of challenges facing owners who need to fill up their cars with luggage. As Consumer Reports points out, not all luggage is the same, as some have harder plastic outsides while others are softer, fabric-based.
Getting a combination of suitcases to all fit together in the back of a car like this can be a nightmare. Whoever packed this car though managed to make it all work (and it looks good too).
17 Lackluster: Duct Tape Chaos
Desperate times call for desperate measures. There’re times where one leaves a store with their new purchase and realizes it won’t fit in the car. Someone who buys a piece of lumber from a home improvement store might need to turn around to get it cut down into smaller pieces.
This driver found himself in a pickle needing to transport some boxes but used his ingenuity to duct tape them down up top. One can only make the most with what they have.
16 Good: Camping Aficionado
This camper knows what she’s doing and isn’t afraid to show it. Although there’s plenty of room in the back of this car, it’s important to recognize that it also serves as the living space.
In addition to all the camping gear, it also has to house all the food, a bed, and other belongings. As the site The Mandagies suggests, it’s best to minimize space in creative ways, like bringing a Swiss army knife that has several utensils in one.
15 Lackluster: Crammed Convertible
Convertibles aren’t the best cars for lugging around stuff, so we ought to extend some grace to this owner. It’s hard not to acknowledge though that some tidying up would go a long way. The Twitter user who posted this is in the process of moving their possessions to a new house.
Perhaps they decided to save some money and go without movers, or else they left some items behind. Whatever the case may be, a few adjustments might create even more space in the back.
14 Good: Double Bikes
Those who ride bikes don’t always like going to local trails. Instead, they want to venture further beyond their domain into new territory. Throwing bikes in the car and taking them to another trail far away can be a pain though.
Not for this particular owner, who’s able to put two bicycles on their side stacked on top of each other. It helps that the car is a Land Rover Discovery Sport, which according to Car Magazine has rear seats that fold down.
13 Lackluster: On The Verge
There’s a lot going on here with this car. Not only is it filled up on the inside but hanging off the top and in the back with so much gear. Without a doubt, packing a car this way will negatively affect its performance and handling.
Some drivers find they have no other choice, especially if it’s a shorter drive. This looks like a rest stop off the side of a highway, suggesting it’s on a long journey that could prove problematic.
12 Good: Police Passing Out Toys
The Police not only exist to protect and to serve but do some charitable work on the side as well. This photo shows the Minot Police in North Dakota, as shown on their Twitter page, taking time out of their busy schedules to give back to the community.
With a car full of toys to pass out to people in the community, not everything is the same shape and size. The police managed to get it all in the back though while making it look organized.
11 Lackluster: Bikes, Longboards N’ More
Bikers still depend on cars to get where they need to be. That means loading up cars with bikes and parts when on the move. When it has to contend with other possessions though, including longboards, luggage, clothes and more, it can prove difficult.
According to the site Kokanee Red Bike, this photo shows what was necessary to pack for a crucial training camp. What’s most important is that all the stuff makes it to the destination, though it could use some sprucing up.
10 Good: A Car Carrying Car Parts
There may not be as much stuff to put in this car compared with others, but it does contain a lot of awkwardly shaped materials in a smaller trunk. This photo is from an annual race that occurs in Colorado, according to the site Roadkill.
The site notes that it’s a rental car, which houses a transmission (the part that takes up the most space). It’s no easy task making a part like that fit, let alone lift it into the back of a car.
9 Lackluster: Jam Packed With Junk
This car turned into a junk heap. It was such an eyesore, the police even had to take action. According to the Brooklyn Paper, the police ended up seizing this car after it sat in the same spot for over a week.
Whoever owned the car sure packed it to the brim with an odd assortment of materials, with most of it looking like junk. The same source notes there was even a copy of the book by Anne Frank titled “The Diary of a Young Girl.”
8 Good: Athletic Gear In Tow
Whoever made all this luggage fit in the back is a professional. There’re a few suitcases visible, including one that’s a rolling version, which tend to be longer. Beside that are two skateboards that someone merged like two puzzle pieces.
On the left is a large Wilson back with tennis rackets sticking out. Looking behind all this is even more luggage that’s filled up deeper in. There’s even some room left at the top, which is a credit to the car and its organizer.
7 Lackluster: Toy-Drive
Packing up a car the right way takes time. Many drivers may not have the time, or even the patience, to spend a good portion of their day loading up a vehicle. The stuff in this car is going to a good cause.
According to the site Liz and Brad’s Big Adventures, these toys are going towards an annual toy drive. One of the passengers looks crowded in though, making one wonder whether the toys needed to take up so much room.
6 Good: Fishing Trip
Camping trips require a lot of gear, especially when fishing and hunting factors in. This particular photo, as the blog Fly Fishing West With Howard notes, shows what a car on a fishing trip often looks like.
Fishing is also tricky because some of the gear—such as fly rods—are fragile. That requires some planning on how one is going to pack up the car while considering the tackle boxes, float tubes, and waders. It isn’t an easy task, but these fishing aficionados pulled it off.
5 Lackluster: Loaded Pickup
This pickup truck has its share of materials loaded up in the back. According to the blog A Day In My Dominican Life, the truck is for recycling purposes. There’s even what appears to be a makeshift roof on it that allows for more stuff to go on top. Bags, chairs and a plastic barrel all sit on this truck ready for recycling.
One can only hope the pickup doesn’t attempt any off-roading with all that luggage as advertised towards the back of the bed.
4 Good: Trip To Derbyshire
Going on vacations and trips is fun, but it also requires a lot of work. If travelers go by car, they more than likely need to pack up the car.
A blog called The Adventures of Tizer the Lhasa Apso details a trip with this photo in Derbyshire. The travelers had to take a lot of belongings on this trip, including food, clothes, a dog and even a baby. One can see the jackets, bags, and luggage all stuffed in an organized manner in the car’s trunk.
3 Lackluster: Lots Of Cardboard
When someone has junk, they don’t want anymore, they’ll do whatever it takes to get rid of it—even if it means stuffing it in the car as fast as possible. That may be the story here, as broken-down boxes of cardboard take up all the space in the trunk of this car.
According to the blog Nanny’s Place, it was on its way to the dump and had occupied space in a garage. It makes sense not to organize the trunk considering it’s going to the trash anyways.
2 Good: Trip To Goodwill
It doesn’t look pretty, but for all the stuff that needs to go on the drive, this owner found a way to make it work. One can see a skateboard, a helmet, boxes of toys and plastic bags. All signs point to a trip to the Goodwill.
As long as it’s not a long trip, they shouldn’t have to worry about any damage to the vehicle. The site Auto Info does warn, however, against weighing down the car for longer drives, which can wear tires down quicker.
1 Lackluster: Garden Trunk
This trunk looks like someone paid a visit to the flower shop. It makes one wonder whether they could’ve held off on getting as many as they loaded up their car with though. It doesn’t really matter though, as the flowers are going to a good cause.
According to the blog Thistle Farms, they’re going to a vegetable garden that will help an assistance program. Tending to these plants will brighten up anyone’s day, even if they had a precarious journey in the back of this car.
Sources: YouTube, Business Insider, Twitter, Herald-Whig, Liz and Brad's Big Adventures, A Day In My Dominican Life & Kokanee Red Bike