May 7, 2012

happy monday! hope you had a wonderful weekend! we had a great weekend, but i was actually looking forward to monday. why? because today begins my 5-day series on car organization!

each day this week we'll talk about one area of our car - today it's all about the front seat. i hope you will stick around each day to find out how to make the most of your car and its hidden organization potential. i hope you enjoy each day of this series - and share your own tips and tricks in the comment section!

with all of our family activities, school functions, sports, church, and day to day errands, i easily spend upwards of 2 hours in the car each day - somedays a lot more. having a clean and organized car makes my time on the road more palatable. because let's face it - who loves to be in the car for 2 hours a day?

welcome to the front seat of my car...

let's start with some free forms of organization you can find in your front seat. like most cars, our truck has lots of hidden gems that help me stay organized. since these are free organization features, i make the most of them whenever possible. like this side door pocket...

we have this pocket on the driver and passenger side doors. in the driver door, i keep our school carpool pick-up numbers and a travel package of anti-bacterial wipes. these wipes are the perfect size for your car door or center console cup holders. the wipes have come in handy on many occasions. and they are inexpensive. the passenger door pocket currently has nothing there, but i occasionally keep road maps or an extra bottle of water stored away there.

another free feature i make the most of - the front seat visors...

just like in your home, any time you can take advantage of vertical space - that is the way to go. more than 10 years ago i bought this disc organizer and it has held up well. it's thin, sleek and keeps our music within reach. meaning, i am not digging around in the glove box or center console as i drive.

**small but important tip - i have this organizer on the passenger side visor. it had been located on the driver visor until one day when i had my visor pulled down...the sun hit the discs just right and caused a terrible bright reflection for drivers facing me. talk about major hazard! when i noticed the reflection was causing other drivers an issue, i immediately moved it.

the driver side visor holds our garage door opener.

another free organization feature in a car? the center console...

this is generally the area that gets backed up with coins, pens, drink cups, water bottles, snacks, trash...and more. right? this is what my cup holder looks like most days...

i *heart* coffee!!

this little compartment is a great spot for stashing away coins and pens...

i really try to keep my coin collection in here to a minimum. there have been times this small compartment looks more like a piggy bank. when i see the coins getting out of control - into the house they go.

those free car features are a great way to stay organized. but i found i was in need of more front seat space. with 3 kids in the car each day, along my own needs, i found that i was stacking loads of items onto the passenger seat. it made sense - what is the first thing we do when most of us hop into the car? we toss items into the front passenger seat - right? the passenger seat is where most of us stash our purse, snacks, and other small items. it's a great spot for putting things, that's for sure.

but one of my biggest car pet peeves was pressing the breaks only to have the entire stack end up on the passenger floor board.

anyone relate?

so i grabbed this little beauty to solve that problem...

it's a front car seat organizer. you can find one of these, in all sorts of sizes and variations, online or in local stores. i found this one at the container store for around $15. and it is totally worth the small investment!!

(actually, the organizer is on sale now at the container store for just $12.99! i was in their store over the weekend. this car organizer, along with several other car organization products, were all on sale! go get one!!)

this organizer has 5 roomy pockets and an umbrella pocket too. one of the pockets is large enough to hold an atlas. i couldn't believe the amount of new organization space this small item brought into my life.

what do i keep inside my organizer?

a small bag of first aid items...

a small bag of emergency personal hygiene items...

hand lotion...

disposable toothbrushes and a pack of gum...

an emergency "bribe" stash...or sometimes called a "reward" stash. hey, mommy needs to be prepared when i pick up a 7 year old from school carrying a 100% spelling test :-)...

in the front mesh pouch i keep a small bag of sunblock, bug spray and hand sanitizer - along with my cell phone headset...

i also keep a small collection of dvd's. you'll remember i had been keeping our larger dvd cases in the center console...

now that we streamlined our dvd collection, these slim cases fit perfectly in the front pocket of the organizer...

a small hair clip...

and finally, a pad of paper. is it just me or when you are driving is that when you have those epiphanies or moments of clarity? suddenly you remember exactly what you wanted to do 5 hours ago? of course, makes perfect sense to have those moments while you are driving. 

*insert sarcasm here*

because of those "mommy add" moments, i keep a pad of paper (a large one!) front and center. along with a few pens...

at my next stop or while sitting in the carpool line, it's easy to grab the pad and write down those notes....never to be forgotten again (we hope!).

this organizer is slim and keeps everything, that had been sitting on the front seat, organized and still within reach. and because it's attached to the seat itself, no more sliding around, landing on the floor board or getting stuck under or in-between seats.

another positive to a product like this? when i do have a passenger up front, all i need to do is simply swing the organizer around to the back of the seat...

it won't interfere with the passenger or the child sitting behind that seat.

and for the times when i don't want the organizer in the car at all? it's easy enough to un-clip and hang it in the garage...

alternatively, i am sure you can think of so many other reasons to make use of a car seat organizer like this one. you could add one to the back of each seat for your children's belongings, for example.

this organizer changed my car life for the better! everything i need in a pinch is there, in the front seat and organized. here we are - ready for another day in the car...

that is how i keep the front seat of my car organized. do you have any tips or ideas to share with us about organizing the front seat of your car? feel free to share them in the comment section below!

tomorrow we'll talk about the center console and glove compartment. hope to see you then!

17 comments:

  1. I need one of these! My front passenger seat is a hot mess! I so rarely have someone actually sitting up front with me (b/c when we have family outings we take the car Jim drives) that it is just another spot for a collection of junk!

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    1. hi!

      haha! you are funny :-) but i can SO relate to that mess. the front seat organizer really changed my life for the better. so much nicer not having all of the stuff sprawled out all over the front. i can't stand the clutter :-)

      thanks for stopping by!!
      samantha

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  2. Wow, this is great! This is an area that is severely needing attention in my family. You've given me some great ideas! Thanks!

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    1. hi kelly!

      glad i could help with some ideas!!

      thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment!
      samantha :-)

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  4. Hi, I must tell you your tips are so good. But, I have worked in the medical field many times, and you should not store any medications in a car. Most medications are no longer effective, some may turn toxic above 77 degrees. I know most of our cars locked up in the sun reach over 100 degrees. I would store a small coin purse, zi[loc baggie or container (you are the storage queen...you will figure it out) just for meds in your purse. I have a small cutesy zebra print bag that measures 3 x 3. I have dozens of them in different prints. I would love to send you one. I put meds in a mini ziploc in there, and also put nail clippers, floss, mini tooth brush and paste, chapstick etc. in there. Let me know thebeargirl@gmail.com. Love your blog and am inspired by you! Let me know what you decide to do. xo!

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    1. hi there!

      thank you for the comment and am glad you are enjoying my tips! i love to share here in this blog and am so glad when someone out there finds my solutions/tips to come in handy. i always love to learn from other people too. and see, you just brought up a great point about the medications. :-)

      personally, i have never had an issue keeping a small container of advil or tylenol in our car. i am a frequent sufferer of headaches and must have some on hand at all times. a raging headache can appear out of nowhere and i can not survive without something to take the edge off or take the headache away entirely. that said, i can go through a container quickly - maybe too soon for anything to turn toxic. ???

      i haven't had an issue with the potency of the medicine changing after being stored in the car, but that is an interesting point and one to make note of/keep in mind :-). i do keep a small container in my purse on occasion, too.

      this is a great tip and i'm glad you shared it here for the other readers! and me!

      also, thank you so much for the offer to mail me print bag! that is so kind of you, but there is no need. thank you again!!!!

      all the best,
      samantha

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  5. LOVE IT totally sent to my sister to read she NEEDS your help lol

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    1. haha!!! thank you!

      yes, my sister could use some help too! she is always reading along and will randomly send me a text message that simply say "ooooohhhhh...". hehe! :-)

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  6. I FINALLY made it to The Container Store to buy a seat organizer. I have looked at them in the past as a way to keep the kids tidy in the back, but never thought to turn it around and use it for myself up front. Genius! It's silly, but every time I've gotten in the car since I put the thing on in the parking lot of the store, I can't help but smile. BTW, it just so happens that I lucked out as the seat organizers are on sale right now - $12.99! I also grabbed a pack of hooks specially desined to fit on the bars of the head rests for holding bags, etc. Much like your "S" hook mentioned in day 5's post. I think those were on sale for right around $4. Sadly, on overage we spend 10 - 12 hours a week driving in the car driving to and from therapies, so your great tips are much appreciated by this busy momma!!

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    1. hi kallie!

      oh my goodness! - of course they would go on sale after i already bought one. isn't that the way life works? :-) haha!!!

      i am SOOOOOO glad you were able to grab one on sale. and those hooks sounds fabulous too! i may have to go back into the store to see those. never have to twist my arm too much to go back to the container store :-)

      yes, we too spend a lot of time in the car...and we have a child that received 5 hours a week of therapy, so i can relate. not only do we have school schedules, sport schedules and other activities...but also therapy. so you have my thoughts!!! i am so glad this little organizer is making you smile. we need more of that in our lives!!!

      xo,
      Samantha

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  7. Thank you for this awesome post. My car is screaming for help as we speak. What store did you find the seat organizers? Jamie

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    1. hi jamie!

      thank you so much for coming by!

      i found the car seat organizer at the container store. it's on sale right now too for just $12.99! i bought mine when it was regular price - $15.99. so you can save a few bucks and a little sanity if you hop over to their store and grab one for yourself :-)

      samantha

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  8. Great ideas! I love the "bribe/reward" stash. You thought of so many things and organized it all so well. Thanks for sharing! :)

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    1. Hi Ginny!

      Thanks so much for stopping by! I had been meaning to finally get over to your blog for your fun link party - and am so glad I made it this evening :-)

      Thank you for the compliments too - so appreciated. Funny, I still have ideas rolling around in my head that I want to go back and add to the car series. Lol!! There are just endless ways to be organized - at home and in the car. :-)

      Thanks again for coming by!!!

      Samantha

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    2. Hi Samantha! Just wanted to let you know I featured you on Simply Sensational Tuesday this week! Feel free to grab a "featured" button in the footer of my blog. Have a great week and thanks for linking up your great post. :D

      http://www.organizinghomelife.com/archives/3274

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  9. Stopping by from Organizing Home Life...

    Looks like your car is organized and ready for whatever the summer may bring. Our family currently owns just one car {which my hubby drives to and from work}, but I think getting one of these organizers would be perfect for keeping those necessities and *rewards* handy! ;)

    http://www.domesticblissdiaries.com - The Making and Managing of Home

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