For many of us our cars not only get us to where we want to go, they serve as rolling dining rooms, offices, movie theaters, concert halls, laundry baskets, sporting goods centers and storage units. It is easy to see how they get cluttered in a hurry. A cluttered car is a dangerous car. Not only is it distracting to search for something while you are driving, any number of loose objects can turn into flying missiles in an accident. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of products available to help you tame the clutter and keep everything you need at hand.
Identify Your Problem Areas
How do you use your car? What are you always reaching for and can’t find? A trash receptacle, Kleenex, your phone, a snack for the kids? Or it could be that every time you turn a corner the items in your trunk go flying. Make a list of the things you would like to contain and control before you start shopping.
Things to consider when evaluating car organization products:
- Objects slipping and sliding around are a frequent complaint. Look for organizers with Velcro tabs that stick to the carpeting, straps that attach to hooks or head rests, rubber stoppers for hard floors.
- Containers with dividers. Dividers help keep things organized and easily accessible.
- Dividers in organizers need to be strong enough to keep sections separate.
- There are several organizers on the market with fabric sides. Be sure they are stiff enough to stand up or have supports so they do not collapse in on themselves.
- Is the container easy to assemble and set up?
- Is it easy to remove?
- Is it easy to clean?
- Look carefully at the measurements and compare them to the inside of your car. Several of the online complaints are that a product turned out to be too big or too small for the size of their car.
An online search is a good way to get an idea of the wide variety of organizers available to solve your problem. In the following articles we offer some more helpful guidelines and products for you consider (please note we are not endorsing any particular product:)
- Trunk organizers/trash holders
- Front and back seat organizers
- Traveling with kids
- The traveling office
- Keeping things hot or cold
The easiest way to quickly evaluate a product is to check if it is reviewed on Amazon. Read through the reviews, particularly the less favorable ones and compare them to the checklist above. Then visit your local Wal-Mart, Target, Container Store or auto supply store to look at it up close. Look carefully at how the product is designed to attach to your car. Many of the dissatisfied reviews online are from customers who could not tell from the photographs how the organizer was designed to attach in their car. If you need a special size organizer check your car manufacturer accessories store. They might have just what you need. Take into consideration that some organizers can leave lasting marks or creases in your upholstery, which could lower the value of your car at trade in or resale.
Finally, we have noticed issues with broken sun visors due to aftermarket organizers that are too heavy. Buying a new sun visor can cost you up to $300 – $400 so we don’t recommend attaching organizers to your sun visors. For the same reason we don’t use organizers designed to hang from the vent holes of your dash.