Home Organizing Challenge Week 14: The Car

April 5, 2015


14 Week Organizing Challenge


Welcome to week 14, our final challenge of the 2015 Home Organizing Series.  This week we are cleaning out, purging and organizing our cars.   In my opinion, our cars are a reflection of our state of mind.  If our cars are messy, we will be more stressed and anxious.   It’s amazing what a simple task like cleaning out your car can do to your peace of mind.  Take 20-30 minutes this week to clean out your car.  Give it a good vacuuming and wash down.  If you give your car the necessary care and maintenance it needs on a weekly basis, it will last a lot longer, saving you money and headaches.


Car Organization via A Bowl Full of Lemons


WEEK #14 CHECKLIST: (Print out the Car Organization checklist HERE)

Home Organization 101 14 Week Challenge Checklist


Gather 2 bins & a trash bag, one for each of the following.
  • Keep in car
  • Take in the house
  • Trash/Recycle
  • Sort through everything in the car.  Empty it completely.  Remove anything that doesn’t belong or isn’t necessary to have in the car.
  • Vacuum
  • Wipe down the inside of the car
  • Clean windows
  • Wash Outside of car
  • Take mats out and vacuum/shampoo
ORGANIZE: It’s time to go through everything in the bin. Categorize what you are keeping in the car.   Here are some organizing ideas.
  • Reusable Grocery Bags
  • Emergency Kit
  • Car Binder
  • Business Receipts
  • Kid Kit (If you have kids, you can keep car toys together in a bag/bin)


Organizing Inspiration

I keep my car as clutter free and clean as possible.  I vacuum & wash it weekly.  I spent a lot of money on it and want it to last a long time.  I don’t allow any food or drinks in the car.  No fast food fries here!  The kids will not starve if they don’t eat in the car.  By having a NO FOOD rule in our car, 75% of the mess has been eliminated.


Car Organization via A Bowl Full of Lemons


I keep an umbrella by each seat (or in the doors).  We live in the south and it rains a lot.  We use them often.


Car Organization via A Bowl Full of Lemons


The drivers side door has my tissues and hand sanitizer.  I can’t live without either of them.


Car Organization via A Bowl Full of Lemons


Car Organization via A Bowl Full of Lemons


The center console can be a magnet for clutter.  Try to keep only the necessities here.  I store wet ones, hand sanitizing wipes, money and lip balm.  That’s it!


Car Organization via A Bowl Full of Lemons


Below is my parking money pouch.  We live in a tourist city and have to pay to park in most places.  I always empty my change into it.


Car Organization via A Bowl Full of Lemons


The glove box houses my business receipt organizer and car binder.


Car Organization via A Bowl Full of Lemons


All of these items were purchased at Staples.  The blue dot paper is simply scrapbooking paper from Joann Fabrics. The car mats were purchased here.


Car Organization via A Bowl Full of Lemons


My business receipt organizer has the following categories:
  • Gas
  • Oil Change
  • Car Wash
  • Maintenance
  • Supplies
  • Other


Car Organization via A Bowl Full of Lemons


My Car Binder has the following Categories:
  • Repairs (Maintenance log, Mechanic numbers, etc)
  • Mileage
  • Volvo on Call
  • Emergency (Phone numbers of relatives, etc)
  • Insurance/Registration papers


Car Organization via A Bowl Full of Lemons


Last but not least is my trunk.  I keep this space free from clutter and trash. Only the necessities are stored here.  The teal bag is where I keep my reusable shopping bags.  If you notice, I don’t keep a trash can in my car.  Since we don’t eat in the car and keep the minimum necessities here, there isn’t a need for a trash can.  Any clutter or trash that may be in the car when I get home is emptied out immediately.


Car Organization via A Bowl Full of Lemons


The black car bin (from Target) is where I keep emergency supplies.  I have a pouch that has misc. supplies, a blanket, a water bottle, and a first aid kit.  If we are traveling, there are more supplies back here.  I also keep an extra first aid kit, jumper cables, and tools under the floor board (with the spare tire).


Car Organization via A Bowl Full of Lemons

I hope you’ve gotten some tips to help get you car clean & organized.  Regular cleaning & decluttering is a great habit to learn and repeat on a regular basis.  A clean car equals a clear mind.  Happy Organizing.



Share your progress on Instagram using the hash tag #abfolorganizechallenge, blog about the weekly challenges – sharing your before and after pictures and/or share over at my Home Organization 101 group here. Hold yourself accountable and finish all 14 challenges!



If you are just joining us, visit the challenge details page here, to learn what it’s all about.



Week 1: The Kitchen

Week 2: The Laundry Room

Week 3: The Pantry

Week 4: Master Bedroom

Week 5: The Office

Week 6: Living Room

Week 7: Bathrooms

Week 8: Playroom

Week 9: Dining Room

Week 10: Linen Closet

Week 11:  Kids Closets

Week 12: Master Closet

Week 13:  Launch Pad



22 comments on “Home Organizing Challenge Week 14: The Car

  1. Olivia says:

    I keep a clean roll of toilet paper and sunscreen in my emergency supplies kit in the boot. You never know when you might need to use a public restroom and there is no/ unclean toilet paper and sunscreen is always handy to have.

  2. We just had a baby and I feel like we need some major time thinking about potential emergencies. Cleaning out the car and getting it organized for any what ifs is necessary right now. I am definitely going to tackle this project this week.

  3. Viki says:

    Thanksa for the tips! I really like your challenges, though this one, with the car is familiar to me -I almost do the same, but in the other areas of my life I’m not that organized. So really thanks for your help!

  4. Meredith says:

    I love it.. Especially the car binder.. Where did you get the shopping bag tote I love the teal.

  5. Lauren says:

    Where did you get the real bag that holds your reusable shopping bags?

  6. Bryony says:

    Fantastic! My car is always such a state. A few of these tips will help massively!

  7. Katie says:

    It looks so nice! Where did you find the pouches for the change and the one in your trunk?

  8. Gail says:

    so do you file all car maintenance papers (receipts from service work done…) in the car binder? I keep my car files currently in my office file cabinet. Just curious what you do and what you like best?

  9. Ava says:

    We just bought the Volvo XC60 10 days ago. I came to read this post after seeing your Instagram post, but didn’t know it was the same car until I came to the website. I bought three plastic bins from Aldi to use to put groceries in as well as other things that we need to take from time to time. I love your idea for keeping an umbrella by each door.

    We have also instituted a no-eating rule in the car. I think that rule plus getting my daughter to clean her stuff out every day or two (she’s 5 and has to bring toys and who knows what else with her everywhere) is helping to keep the car clean. I love how Volvo gives free car washes.

    What do you keep in your Volvo OnCall section of your Car Binder? We have only just been registered with them, so I’m curious as to what you include with that. And one more Volvo-related question: Do you know of an easy way to get Volvo to display text messages (I have an iPhone)? I still haven’t figured out the tedious process that my husband has been able to do.

  10. Kathy says:

    Do you use any scents in your car?

  11. Kim says:

    Beautiful! The binder plus the mini expandable folder – just brilliant and now on my ‘To Purchase’ list! I love the bright pretty colors too, how inviting!

  12. Yep, going out to clean and organize my car right NOW! This has totally inspired me. Maybe I should keep an image of it on my computer desktop so I’m reminded to keep it cleaned and organized! 🙂

  13. Katie says:

    What reusable shopping bags do you use and where did you buy them? I’m looking for some, but want to make sure I’m getting ones that will be strong and durable.

  14. Clarissa Bull says:

    Where did you get your coin purse?

  15. Marysu says:

    Apparently you do not have a mouse (mice) living in your car. Lucky!! 😉

  16. LOVED THIS! thank god I found your blog, I am going to organize everything now lol. I also noticed that you like Scrapbooking and I love it too! I want to share with you my new Scrapbook store and currently we are having a discount of 30% with the code 30OFF, I would love if you could share it with your readers (I can make a custom discount code if you want) and maybe you like something yourself as well!!! 🙂

    Bye xx Have a great day!


  17. Dory says:

    I make the worst messes in my car. Any tips for cleaning coffee that spilled on the door and into the speaker on the door? It looks horrible and nothing I try works. I have taken my mats to a commercial laundromat and washed them, then air-dried in the driveway. They looked like new!

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