How to Have a Less-Cluttered Car: 4 Steps

My Experience

It all started a few weeks ago when we arrived early at our destination. We were due to meet a friend at 9:15, and we arrived at 8:45 (you know how some mornings go: sometimes you have to leave the house before things get crazy). Anyway, I didn’t want to unbuckle my content toddler as she relaxed in her car seat, and I’m trying not to be too tech-obsessed, so I decided that, instead of checking Instagram, I would tidy up my CRV.

It had been awhile, so I made three piles: one for trash, one for items to go inside when we got home, and one for items to stay in the car. Surprisingly, this didn’t take too long even considering the disgusting amount of crumbs I was collecting. After this, my floorboards looked more like floorboards and less like chaos. Nice!


Encouraged by this success, I invested in some containers: a trash “can,” a car container, and a basket for the trunk so I could bring things inside easily.

Since then, I’ve tried to tidy my car every Wednesday, and I’ve really loved the results. My 4-year old remarked immediately about how he enjoyed the extra room in the back seat, and I was in a good mood, having found some “lost” sunglasses. You know it is true: a tidier car makes for a happier mom.



So, to recap, here are some easy steps I take to help my car stay (relatively) clutter-free.

4 Steps to a Tidier Car

1. Sort: put every loose item into three piles: trash, car, home.

2. Contain: buy three corresponding containers so you can put each pile in its proper place. When you can, bring the “home” basket inside, empty it and place it back in the car. Empty your trash frequently. I do this every time I get gas.

3. Repeat: pick a day of the week when you can repeat steps one and two.

4. Extra Credit: Vacuum!!: Now that your car isn’t crammed with random socks and toys, you (or someone at a car wash) can vacuum your seats and floors. I don’t always have time for this step, but what a happy day it is when I do.

An Unconventional Way to Serve your Family

You might be thinking: wait, aren’t you supposed to be writing about service?  Well, one way I serve my family is by striving to maintain sanity and order (easier said than done). Driving a car that isn’t littered with wrappers and toys adds sanity (to me) and order (to my car). My family and I have both benefited from this weekly habit, and I hope yours will too.  Do you have trouble keeping your car clutter-free? Are there any strategies you use that help? Please share them with us, and if you’d like daily ideas on sharing kindness, follow us on Instagram. Also, if you are interested, click here to start a Family Service Club of your own. Thanks for reading, and let’s go love others on purpose.



About Kellie Van Atta

Kellie Van Atta is a wife, a mom of two, and a teacher of English. She lives in Southern California and is passionately dedicated to teaching her kids to love others.

4 comments on “How to Have a Less-Cluttered Car: 4 Steps

  1. Even though I have a small city car, it is my second (or maybe) storage room. LOL
    I have everything in there and it is really an extension of my house. I spend most of the day outside (when I am working), so I feel I have to carry many extras.
    I will keep your tips in mind. Thanks for sharing!

  2. rhanks for this it’s useful. I’ve also realized how much easier my life is when the family car is neat I’ve been using plastic bags but I like your idea of containers better and will be investing in these labeling them and using them in the car

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