12 Insanely Clever Ways for Moms to Keep the Car Clean and Organized

If you have kids, then you have already realized that your once beautiful car is more like a minefield.

Kids and clean cars simply do not mix.

Even the most organized, cleanest moms will inevitably have to battle the car chaos. That’s why I searched high and low for kid-friendly car organization ideas.

Think I’m exaggerating? Unless you have a strict no food in the car policy, then you will find crushed goldfish crackers and smashed fruit snacks on the floorboards and in between all the crevices.

For those of you saying, “My kids just won’t eat in the car,” I’ll let you try that rule on a road trip with a toddler. Have fun!

For the rest of us, it comes down to being clever. We want to take back our cars, but we also understand that until the kids are driving themselves, they will be in our car making a mess of it.

Let’s check out these car organization ideas.

(Note: This post contains affiliate links. See affiliate disclaimer at the bottom of the page.)

12 Kid-Friendly Car Organization Ideas

Thankfully, I am not the first mom to face this chore – plenty of genius parents have found solutions to the kids in cars problem that are easy for the rest of us to use as well! Hopefully these 12 insanely clever kid-friendly car organization ideas will help you keep your vehicle clean and tidy on the inside!

1. Suction Cup Shower Caddies

Source: Grey House Harbor

My kids lose their art supplies in the car all the time, and a million stray colored pencils leave the car looking messy and unorganized. So, I love this genius idea from Grey House Harbor of using suction cup shower caddies to organize kid stuff.

Keep in mind that you want to be smart about where you place them on the car windows and what you place in them to avoid safety hazards. But still, genius!

2. Travel-Friendly Busy Bags

Source: Craft, Interrupted

Another smart idea for parents of younger kids is to have already prepared busy bags specifically for the car. Busy bags can be filled with activity books, stickers, and crayons.

By having designated car activity bags, your kids will have something to reach for each time they ride, and they will know where everything belongs.

3. Collapsible Trunk Organizers

Source: The Crazy Organized Blog

A collapsible trunk organizer can come in handy for organizing your car in many ways. Some people use these just for grocery shopping, but they are also excellent for car organization, especially in the trunk.

You can easily organize your kid’s stuff, car essentials, and emergency items in a trunk organizer.

For example, if a child gets sick in the car, the trunk organizer will have everything you need to clean your kid and your car in one convenient place.

For more tips, check out the Crazy Organized Blog for suggestions of the things all moms should have in their trunks.

4. DIY Book Storage for Cars

Source: Kidsomania

My kids are big-time car readers, which is wonderful, but messy. If I do not stay on top of them, we end up with books taking over the back seat and the floorboard.

So, I love the idea from Kidsomania of this DIY book holder designed for cars!

5. Carabiners, Carabiners, and More Carabiners

Source: Organizing Junkie

A handy tool that we often overlook or forget about all together is the carabiner. Go ahead and stock up on carabiners and put them in your car anywhere you can.

By using carabiners, you can clear up some floor space by hanging items instead. Plus, for kids, you can use carabiners to hang their activity bags.

6. Plastic Cereal Container for a Car Trash Can

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

You already have your hands full getting the kids in the car, buckled in safely, and getting the diaper bag in the car. So, it makes sense that when you get home, you only get out your kid.

The problem is that you leave your trash and mess behind. Quite possibly, the receipts and the tissues and the wrappers end up all over the car. Yuck. Instead, turn a plastic cereal container into a makeshift car trash can!

7. Glove Compartment Organization

Source: A Day in My Life

While we hope nothing ever happens while we are driving around with our kids in the car, it is still best to be prepared for emergencies.

For instance, if you get pulled over by the cops, you do not need to panic about locating your registration as well as calming the kids down in the back seat.

Instead, organize all your important paperwork in an accordion file to keep everything organized and together in the glove compartment.

8. Shower Caddy for Snack and Meals

Source: Lookie What I Did

When the day comes that your kids must eat a fast food meal in the car while you are driving, rather than just handing them the happy meal box and hoping for the best, use a shower caddy to organize their food.

This will be helpful for them, and it will help keep the car clean.

9. Shoe Organizers

Source: The Krazy Coupon Lady

If you do not already own a hanging shoe organizer, you need to remedy this error right away. Shoe organizers can be used for far more than just shoes!

For instance, you can use a shoe organizer to organize your kid’s stuff in the car or even by using them to organize car items in the trunk.

The possibilities are endless!

10. Remote Control Holders

Source: Ikea Hackers

Another genius way to organize your car is to use remote control holders to hold the things you need in arm’s reach.

By placing them under the booster seat in the minivan, your kid will have a ready-made organization system.

11. Hanging Toiletry Bag

Source: HGTV

I love this idea from HGTV (of course) for using a hanging toiletry bag to make a kid command center.

Your kid will be able to reach everything she needs, and it will all be organized in a way that she can see and can clean up herself.

12. Clear Drawer Storage Trunk Organization

Source: Camp Gravatt

Finally, think of your trunk as your car’s closet.

If you spend a lot of time in your car (or your afternoons and evenings are spent transporting the kids from one activity to the next), then consider adding a clear drawer storage organizer to your trunk.

These drawers are designed to store clothing and other necessities, but they work well for keeping car-friendly snacks, car activity bags, and other travel essentials organized and out of the way.

Let’s Get Organized!

What are you waiting for? It’s time to take the car back from the kids!

Which of these great kid-friendly car organization ideas are you going to implement? Let us know in the comments!

If you have kids, you know how difficult it can be to keep your vehicle clean and organized. Here are 12 insanely clever kid-friendly car organization ideas for moms and dads! If you have kids, you know how difficult it can be to keep your vehicle clean and organized. Here are 12 insanely clever kid-friendly car organization ideas for moms and dads!

About Eric and Tiffany Matthews

We're Eric and Tiffany, the parents behind Cynical Parent. We're just normal parents who are navigating parenthood with both eyes wide open (probably because there's a kid yelling nearby). And of course, we're pretty cynical. Don't believe everything you read or hear, whether it's on the internet, or from a close family or friend (or even from us!). Every child is different, and what works for one may not work for another. Sometimes you just need to try and see for yourself. :)

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