When you first get a new car, you can’t imagine what it’s going to look like after a cruise or two. You swear you’ll never let that new car smell die or that you’ll never stain the backseat with a grocery bag that leaks. But alas, it turns out keeping a car neat and tidy is no easy task - and you probably had to learn that the hard way!
Given that it's such a small space, it's easy to create a mess in your vehicle in barely any time - and it gets even worse when you have kids, who consider the backseat to be an extension of their bedroom. Once you’re a parent, you begin to accept that your car will never look clean and brand-new again.
With that being said, there are tons of tips and tricks you can put to use to make keeping your car clean a bit more manageable. Check out these hacks for organizing your car in record timing (even if you’ve got kiddos!) and ensuring that the mess stays at bay.
10 Use A Carabiner As A Bag Hook
Rather than investing in an over-the-seat organizer, use what you’ve got at home to free up floor space in your vehicle. A climbing carabiner is a great way to create a hook for your purse or another bag, and it’s likely something you have floating around your home, regardless if you’re an outdoor sports enthusiast or not.
Simply attach the carabiner to the seat’s headrest, and then attach anything from bags to umbrellas that you’ll quickly be able to grab and go. This is an especially great idea for anyone who has children, as you can easily store toys in a hanging bag to keep them entertained regardless of the duration of your drive.
9 Tissue Box Grocery Bag Dispenser
If you're anything like us, chances are you always forget your reusable bags at home while going to the grocery store. Not only is this not helping the environment, but it likely means you have to pay to use the cheap, plastic bags the grocery store offers, which can add up.
Using an old tissue box as a plastic bag dispenser is the perfect way to ensure this never happens again. Simply stuff the box with plastic bags just like you would tissues and throw it in the backseat of your car or trunk. The next time you need a reusable shopping bag, you can quickly pull one out and get to it!
8 Cereal Dispenser Trash Can
One of the hardest parts of keeping a car clean is that trash just seems to pile up out of nowhere. But, when you haven’t got an easily accessible garbage can to use, then what else can you expect?
Since your vehicle likely doesn’t have room for even a small sized garbage can, consider picking up a cereal dispenser from the dollar store, which will do the trick. Line the container with a plastic bag and then open the lid to easily throw whatever trash is lying around into it. Replace the plastic bag whenever the dispenser gets full.
Now you’ll never have an excuse for trash to be on your car floor again!
7 Use A Shower Caddy For Car Fluids
If your car breaks down on the side of the road, it’s not going to do you any good having your motor oil sitting in your garage at home. That’s why it’s important to have all of your car fluid essentials on-hand in case of emergency. And if you need a handy way to organize them in the back of your car, try out this hack.
A shower caddy does a lot more than just organize your bathing essentials. Store all of your car essentials, from windshield cleaner to brake oil to motor oil in one convenient spot. Use a heavy-duty hook and some tape to secure the caddy inside your trunk to avoid it spilling its contents while you drive.
6 Use A Waterproof Seat Cover For Pets
If your pet is often traveling with you in the car (and causing a mess!) then a waterproof backseat cover could be the answer to your prayers.
Sold at most pet stores, this device will cover the entirety of your backseat. That way your dog - or whatever animal you’re cruising around with - can sprawl out and relax without you worrying about shedding or damage to your car’s interiors. This also saves you a ton of cleaning up, since the only thing you’ll need to wipe down is the cover, whereas cleaning car seats is a whole other process.
5 Suction Cup Caddies For Kids’ Toys
If you’re a parent, then your car is likely filled to the brim with kid's toys that your little ones use all the time during long car rides. It can be tough keeping all of your children’s things together and organized, especially in the car.
One hack you should totally use if this is you, are suction cup caddies. Pick up a few of these bad boys at your local dollar store and then stick them on the interior window of your car. That way, you can store everything from your kids’ snacks to toys to coloring utensils within easy reach.
Not only will the bottom of your car remain clean, but your kids won’t have to bother you when they’re looking for something. It’s a win-win!
4 Keep A Swiffer Duster In Your Glove Box
You likely don’t realize how dusty your car is until the sun is shining directly onto your dashboard. And, of course, when that happens, you never have anything to wipe away the dust with.
One hack to make sure you’re never in this position is to simply keep a Swiffer duster in your glove box. Whenever you see dust or have a few minutes to kill, take out the duster and... begone dirt and grime! This will actually help you clean your car more regularly - not just whenever you force yourself to do it.
Lysol wipes are another good product to keep in your glove box as they can easily get rid of spills or other messes that a duster won’t easily be able to.
3 Put Silicon Baking Cups In Your Cup Holders
Finding crumbs in your cup holders are the worst. Not only does it make your car look messy, but they’re literally the hardest to clean, especially if you’re known for snacking in your vehicle.
If you want to decrease the amount of mess you have to clean up when tidying up your car, then line your cup holders with silicone baking cups. They’re easy to remove, which means you can get rid of crumbs or other dirt in record timing. Plus, it’s a more efficient way to store things like loose coins since you can easily scoop them up when you need to remove them.
2 A Mini Expanding File For Car Papers
Unless you like being in a sticky situation with the police, then you have to keep your car paperwork and insurance in your vehicle at all times. But that’s no excuse for not keeping them organized!
In the odd chance that you do need to access this paperwork, we suggest keeping it all organized in a mini expanding file in your glove compartment. You can use labels to separate the paperwork by type so that you won’t have to spend what seems like a lifetime rummaging through your documents when an officer asks to see your license and registration.
1 Use A Caddy As A Tray When Eating
Shower caddies can serve all sorts of wonderful purposes apart from the bathroom, including making it a heck of a lot easier to eat in your car.
This hack is great if you have kids who routinely mess up the car by snacking in the backseat. Simply equip your vehicle with a few miniature caddies that can be used as a tray. The food and drink items can easily fit into the compartment and minimize the risk of spills or crumbs. That way, mom and dad will have way less to clean up in the end.