Kelly Pratt is the owner of Spaces Limited Organizing. What began as a little something to keep busy while her kids were at school has developed into product creation, speaking and training, writing and regular television appearances. Professional organizing has become quite a journey!

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Organizing the Car

How much time do you spend in the car each week? If you’re like most people, you rack up over 15 hours behind the wheel. That calculates to roughly 10% of your life! If you find that your home away from home is being overrun by stray CDs, art supplies and sports equipment, that you’re embarrassed to have people look in your windows or that you can’t face another holiday travel season in a cluttered car, here are some great products to help you get—and stay—organized.

Note: Unless otherwise indicated, products can be purchased at Auto Zone and other auto supply retailers, www.organizeyourride.com, www.containerstore.com and www.stacksandstacks.com.

Front Seat: The Command Zone

The front seat area should hold all of the items to assist you as a driver, such as important documents, your cell phone, writing utensils, CDs, and personal care items. If you’ve ever found yourself reaching for something on the floor of the passenger side at 65 miles per hour, you’ll love the following products that will keep these items at your fingertips.

Product: Document Organizer
Purpose: To keep your insurance card, registration and other important vehicle documents together so you don’t have to hunt through a stuffed-full glove box.

Product: Visor Organizer
Purpose: To keep everything from documents to CDs to your sunglasses at your fingertips.

Product: Front Seat Organizer
Purpose: To rein in the clutter that gathers on the front seat. Front seat organizers are available in a variety of sizes and configurations to suit virtually every storage need.

Product: Clear Project Files
Purpose: To hold grocery, restaurant and entertainment coupons (I recommend keeping coupons in your car so you actually have them when you get to your destination.) as well as maps you’ve printed from Mapblast, etc. I guarantee you’ll love these reusable clear plastic sleeves so much you’ll find hundreds of other uses for them! Where to get them: Office Depot

Product: Plug Extender
Purpose: To provide additional outlets for cell phone chargers and portable electronics.

Back Seat: The Passenger, Entertainment and Short-Term Storage Zone

The back seat is multi-functional: If you’re a family with children, the backseat is your playroom on wheels. If you’re single or married with no children, you might occasionally have passengers, but you’re more likely to use this area to hold groceries or shopping bags. Regardless of your demographic, these products will help keep everything from DVDs to dry cleaning under control.

Product: Back Seat Pockets
Purpose: To keep everything from umbrellas to kids’ art supplies contained and accessible.

Product: Back Seat Portable Art Center
Purpose: To keep coloring books, crayons and markers within arms reach and to provide a desktop for creating on the road.
Where to get one: Pep Boys

Product: Portable DVD Player Holder
Purpose: To keep the DVD player from sliding around the back seat and in plain view of everyone watching.
Where to get one: www.stacksandstacks.com

Product: Car Clothes Carrier
Purpose: To expand hanging capacity for longer trips or big pick-ups from the dry cleaners.
Where to get one: www.organizeyourride.com

Product: Car Hooks
Purpose: To keep your purse or grocery bags upright so you don’t lose contents all over the floor.
Where to get them: www.organizeyourride.com

Product: Entertainment Organizer
Purpose: To keep CDs and DVDs stored in one place.

Product: Trash Holder
Purpose: To help you avoid creating a landfill on the floor of the backseat or in the side pockets of the doors.

Trunk or Back Storage Area: The Storage and Car Maintenance Zone

The trunk is the car’s storage closet. If your trunk is full of stuff that you’ve thrown in because there was nowhere else to put it, If you are tired of gallons of milk tipping over and leaking on the way home from the grocery store, if you have enough sports equipment to outfit your own soccer team but can never find the shin guards, if your jumper cables are buried or hopelessly tangled, these products will help you rein it all in and keep it together.

Product: Cargo Net or Carrier
Purpose: To create containment for the stuff that rolls around in the trunk: balls, jumper cables, etc.
Where to get one: One of my favorite carriers is available at www.stacksandstacks.com.

Product: Collapsible Car Top Carrier
Purpose: To hold luggage or large gear on top of the car when there’s no more room inside. These collapsible carriers are fantastic if you don’t have room to store a hard-top carrier.
Where to get one: Pep Boys

Product: Mesh Cube
Purpose: To provide a simple storage solution for everything from sports equipment to groceries.
Where to get one: www.containerstore.com

Product: Trunk Organizer
Purpose: To provide structured storage for trunk and storage area contents.

Product: Stow-and-Go
Purpose: To carry travel incidentals from a first-aid kit to snacks to extra T-shirts for the kids.
How to make one: Visit http://www.todaysmama.com/expand-articles.php?view=353 for an article on how to create a stow-and-go for your family.

Happy Organizing!
Kelly

kelly@spaceslimitedorganizing.com
www.spaceslimitedorganizing.com

Additional Articles on Car Organizing
http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/organized_forever/92681
http://www.realsimple.com/realsimple/content/0,21770,1159492-1,00.html

Works Cited

Arbitron. The National In-Car Study, 2003. http://www.movingimpression.com/pdf/Incarstudy_summary_outdoor.pdf

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