Organizing the Car

claire_de_lunaJuly 2, 2008

My car is getting touched up (don't ask), and I emptied it of everything before I took it in to the body shop. The amount of stuff I had in there so I could be ''prepared'' seems a little daunting to me, especially when I think of putting it all back, so I'm wondering what it is I could really do without.

I have some basics (like grocery bags and pop-up mesh crates to hold them, coupons, pen, notebook, flashlight and umbrella, hand-held fan, small bag for antacids/pain relievers/pair of contacts/eye solution/antibacterial wipes), along with the emergency stuff (blanket, rain ponchos, wind-up cell phone charger, car emergency kit w/fire extinguisher, sunscreen/bug repellent & some bottled water). Then there are the essentials (car registration, proof of insurance, car's manual, maps). Oh! There are cd's, but I can put five in the disc changer, and have a visor that holds 12. I think I can take out the cd binders that hold copies so I can have an assortment. I would really only want those on long road trips anyway, which I don't plan on taking at this time.

I also keep a pair of reading glasses, lipstick, tiny little hairbrush, an extra dog leash, change for the car wash, some trash bags, glass cleaner, paper towels and microfiber towels for drying the car.

I'm wondering what everyone else keeps in their cars and deems absolutely necessary, or important to have in there. When I try to pare it down, I don't know what I'd leave out! I think I finally realized the reason I like to drive, is so I don't actually have to carry a big bag, since everything I might need is in my car!

What's in your car, and how important is it to you?

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Your list makes me feel like I'm missing something in life! All I have in the car is maps, insurance proof, box on its way to the thrift shop, first aid kit (out of date), used print cartridges to be returned to Staples, bungie cord, coins, sunglasses, coupons, hankies, army blanket, and I assume there's a tire somewhere under the trunk rug, with a tool to take the wheel off. I sometimes take my cell phone. That's it.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 7:15PM
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I would add:
First aid kit
Extra napkins from fast food restaurants
Insurance card and Car Registration
Plastic bottle of car window washer fluid

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 7:17PM
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(blush)...I also have a plastic coffee can so that if DH gets stuck in traffic and cannot find a place to relieve himself...he will not panic, as he has a container to use!
Old age is not for sissy's!!!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 7:42PM
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Your list is far more comprehensive than mine! But I do keep a recent phone book under the seat in my car that's come in handy.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 7:54PM
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A small bottle of eyeglass cleaner and a cloth to clean with are necessities for me.

I also keep a spare pair of glasses in the car, in case I'm out in my sunglasses and it gets late.

Jean Marie

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 10:34AM
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plow in, probably the only thing you're missing is a lot of stuff riding around in your car! The cell phone seems to be most important, which I always try to have.

jannie, that's a good list. I actually have a pretty comprehensive first aid kit I take on road trips with me, which I don't leave in the car because the heat kills it. For most things close to home, the pain relievers/antacids work for me. Extra napkins is a great idea; I'm always needing those it seems! The other items are covered, except for the washer fluid. I'd rather keep it refilled in the car than carry it around with me. When we cleaned out the garage, I made sure that was an item that had quick/easy access to make it convenient to use.

bruglover, the coffee can is funny! That's actually not a bad idea at all; I think it probably needs to be big enough for both of us, and with a lid! Does this mean I should carry a roll of TP too?

silvercomet, the phone book is one of the things I took out of my car. Dh uses it occasionally, although frankly, I never have. (That would mean I'd have to find my glasses to read the phone book.) I'm sure he'd feel better if it went back into the car. I'll have to make sure it's current, since you know how fast those can change.

drjinx, that's a great tip. I have an old pair, and that seems a great place to keep those. The eyeglass cleaner is always part my ''kit'' along with the cloth. (I usually always have that in my bag anyway.

Thank you for any and all suggestions! I get my car back today, and will try to think carefully about what goes back and where. It's kind of like cleaning out your bag when it gets too heavy, you know?

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 12:41PM
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Local area map, it comes free with local yellow pages. This map is great when I have to shuttle my kids around.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 12:47PM
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Wind-up cell phone charger? I want one!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 12:29PM
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The less you carry in your car, the more you save on gas.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 11:04PM
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"bruglover, the coffee can is funny! That's actually not a bad idea at all; I think it probably needs to be big enough for both of us, and with a lid! Does this mean I should carry a roll of TP too?"

Claire...Yes, yes, yes...has to have a lid !
A large can is right!
A box a tissues would do! Don't want anyone thinking what the can is for!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 11:30AM
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Four crucial things for me (in addition to the other things you all mention):

A sack of quarters, for parking meters.
A book, in case of traffic jams or having to wait somewhere.
A pad and pen, in case of a brilliant idea, or needing to pull over and write down what that was on the radio,
Take-out menus from the Chinese, VietNamese, Mexican, and pizza places on my routes...for days when I don't want to do dinner myself. No fast food for me, if I can possibly help it.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 12:51PM
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bruglover, OK. Preferably, a plastic can with a handle. Do you have a preference to recommend? Tissues I can manage!

bronwynsmom, Yes, quarters for parking and the car wash! A book is an excellent idea; maybe a magazine would do. I used to carry take-out menus in my car, like you, until we got burned out on most take-out during kitchen remodeling. We usually know what to order from our favorite places. (I do keep a file at home however.) I'm trying to get rid of stuff in my car though, and finding it difficult to downsize!

susanjn, yes, order one. I think it's a good emergency gadget as long as it works with your current phone.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 1:18PM
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"bruglover, OK. Preferably, a plastic can with a handle. Do you have a preference to recommend?"
52 oz, folgers in red plastic container. It will be your secret and you can always use it for collecting shells & stuff if the need arises!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2008 at 1:24PM
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Now if I could only find someone who drinks Folgers...

    Bookmark   July 6, 2008 at 5:20PM
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I'm visiting my brother on Oahu, and he and his wife keep a phonebook in their car, which I think is sort of brilliant. They're in the Honolulu area, so if they're out running around and they need a McDonald's or GNC, they can find it. I've seen them use it three or four times.

They also keep a stash of plastic grocery bags in the glovebox to use for garbage.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 3:32AM
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I try to keep my car pretty spare:
* Maps (in pockets on back of seats)
* Kleenex
* Clear plastic folder full of coupons (can't use 'em when they're at home!)
* Gallon size zipper baggie containing napkins & plasticware (glove box)
* Tire pressure gauge (glove box)
* Flashlight (glove box)
* Car's registration & other info (glove box)
* Window scraper (during winter)
* Umbrella
* Paper grocery bags (for 5 cent credit at store)
* Tarp (Whenever I didn't have it, I have greatly missed it!)

When our dog was still alive, we kept a leash in each car at all times, in addition to the one in the house. We also added a jug of water and bowl to the car when we brought the dog.

If we're going on a road trip, I add:
* Music CDs
* Spray window cleaner & cleaning rag (for windows)
* Eyeglass cleaning spray & microfiber cloth (for my own specs)
* Snacks
* Neck pillow & sleep mask (for naps)

Everything else is in my purse. I have a Swiss Army Knife. Tape measure. (I'm a quilter.) Solar calculator. Hand lotion year round. Sunscreen in the summer. I have a small zipper pouch that I call my "survival pack." In it, I keep all the tiny stuff that would get lost in the bottom of my purse: tiny Blistex, tiny antibiotic ointment and (regular size) bandages, a few cough drops, single use eye drops, tiny nail file, tampons, tiny tube of ibuprofen, etc.

I wouldn't want to leave all those toiletries in the car, in case the hot sun melted something.

Don't have the cell phone and all its paraphernalia.

Hadn't thought about the phone book. I tend to do all my errands in the same places, but it might be nice to have. Thanks for the idea!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 12:02PM
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Lena M

Dang eyesight... I thought it said organizing the c-a-T. lol. Good ideas so far.

Y'all must have newer cars, no one mentioned the: extra bungee cords and straps, tool box, jumper cables, and tow cables. And the come-along winch - I'd feel naked without it.

perfect for pulling, straightening, positioning, fence stretching, auto body work, etc.

I also keep an old cell phone (ca. 1992, it weighs about 2 lb) since you can use it to call 911 without having a cell plan.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 2:19PM
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I forgot one item. I added this for the sake of our animals. A thermometer. The kind that works with a bi-metallic spring, not the digital type, so that it is "on" all the time. I poked its shaft into a spot between the front passenger seat's upholstery and its plastic base, so that it is easily visible to the driver. That way, I can monitor the indoor temperature in the summer, when cars can become dangerously hot for animals in a matter of minutes.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 2:39PM
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Wet wipes
bendy straws

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 6:04PM
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maryliz, I appreciate that you put a thermometer in your car for your animals; I just don't take mine when the weather's hot. (We tend to take vacations during spring and fall because of this, so my life already revolves around my dog!)

That's funny TS, I pulled (bendy) straws and wet wipes out of the glove box, and they're waiting to go back in, along with extra napkins.

I visited the local office supply store and got a red zippered envelope for the car registration/insurance/vin # papers, along with a new file folder for the side pocket to hold my most used coupons. I also bought a ''pencil box'' to hold pens, the tire gage, a clip for my hair. You know that little stuff that floats around, but important enough to put your hands on when you need it?

Lena, that's a hoot!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 7:40PM
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We tend not to spend a lot of time in the car, so I think our list is pretty short:
- tissue box
- cloth shopping bags
- map book (in back seat pocket)
- owner's manual
- insurance papers
- car maintenance records (though I need to move these to storage in the house)
- blanket to protect the back seat from dog hair (at least somewhat...)

I find that we use iPods on longer trips anyway, so the only CD we carry is the one that's in the stereo already. We also have one of those Aux. connector cables for the iPod. Often there is a bottle of water or two in the back also, and they've come in handy sometimes.

In the trunk:
- roll of paper towels
- car cleaner (Armor All)
- umbrella (in the winter it would be a snow brush/scraper instead)
- hand-crank flashlight
- bottle of engine oil
- extra leash

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 1:34PM
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Oh my. My car is naked compared to yours.
A first aid kit
A rain poncho (1)
Spare tire and stuff it comes with (under the seat in back)
Umbrella (2)
Plastic sheet to put something wet on (1)
Ice scraper (in winter)

That's it. Keeping CDs in the car it a bad idea as the heat is terrible for them. All that other stuff is clutter to me.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 4:27PM
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