There are few pleasures in life as satisfying as cruising down the highway in a car you’ve just organized. To help get your vehicle in order, we offer our top recommendations for parents who are wrangling kids and kid clutter on car organization with these genius car organization hacks and tips.

Sometimes it seems like we live out of our cars. This means they are constantly getting hammered with food wrappers, crumbs, art supplies, toys, and so much more. Don’t let your car turn into a dumping ground for toys and trash. Whether you are taking kids to sports practices or just trying to tackle the daily mess of using your vehicle these 15 amazingly simple car hacks will help you keep your car clean and organized. 

If you are interested in deep cleaning car hacks check out our 12 genius car cleaning tips.

15 Car Hacks Every Mom Should Know - Collage of shower caddy food holder, silicone cupcake liners in car cupholders, zipper pouches, shoe organizer in trunk, cereal container garbage bin, essential oil air freshener


15 Simple Yet Useful Car Hacks to Clean and Organize Your Car

These 15 car cleaning and organization hacks are sure to have your vehicle neat and tidy in no time at all. They help you keep your vehicle clean before it gets messy and helps maintain it. Best of all, most of them use items from the dollar store so you won’t mess up your pocketbook trying to get your car clean.

1. Shower Caddies – great on the go car hacks

Let’s face it, getting places on time can be so hard with a family. You get out of work, get the kids ready for sports, and go go go. Shower caddies from the dollar store make organizing dinner a breeze. They keep the mess contained for each of the passengers, especially when your kiddo doesn’t have easy access to the car’s cup holders. Long gone are the days of your kids spilling their dinner all over the floor because they have compartments for everything. This car hack is also a super fun way to eat dinner and works for the driver if the car is stopped and the center console is cleared!

Car hack using a dollar store shower caddy used to organize a fast food meal


2. Plastic Sack Organization – easy car hacks to keep trash picked up

As Moms keeping a stash of plastic sacks is a must! We use them for dirty diapers, to use as trash bags or garbage bags (is there a difference?) and to carry miscellaneous items into the house and it all goes easily into these upcycled grocery bags. This car hack helps you keep plastic sacks organized so they don’t add to the clutter in your car. Best of all, it uses an empty tissue box so it’s free to keep those plastic bags from taking over the car. Psst…I like to store a small hand sanitizer bottle inside one edge of the tissue box so I know where it is and it stays nicely packed.

Tissue box filled with plastic sacks for an easy car storage hack

3. Cereal Container Trash Can –  genius car life hacks to keep your car’s interior clean

This car hack is as easy as lining a cereal container with a plastic sack. Your repurposed plastic storage container turns it into an easy DIY garbage can that fits nicely on the floor of the passenger seat or in the back seat. Not only does this easy car hack keep garbage picked up but snapping the lid shut but it is also a genius way to contain odors and prevents things from spilling! 

Cereal container lined with a plastic sack to be used as a garbage can

Car Organization Ideas that Work in the Real World

4. DIY Car Air Fresheners – this car hack keeps your car smelling great for a fraction of the cost.

Freshen your car without expensive air fresheners! Your car no longer has to smell like a pine tree with this easy DIY air freshener! Here are the steps to make your own car essential oil diffuser.

  • Step 1: Glue pom-poms to a clothes pin.
  • Step 2: Clip the clothes pin to your car’s air vents
  • Step 3: Place a few drops of your favorite essential oil on the pom-poms.
  • Step 4: Enjoy!

When you notice your diy air freshener is loosing scent you can add more/different essential oils. The best part is that you get to pick what your car smells like. You don’t have to stick with the regular pine tree scents you find next to the cash register at the grocery store. Another benefit is that you can pick different scents for different times of year (like pumpkins spice in the fall). Plus, you instantly have a great smelling air freshener that will make every road trip a bit better.

15 Clever Ideas to Organize the Car - DIY Car Fresheners


5. Takeout Order Holder – car hacks to organize drinks from a big order with ease

When you have a large family like me or a big group to order for, managing lots of drinks can be tough (and messy)! This easy life hack will make the experience way easier. To keep drinks steady put a muffin tin in a laundry basket. It creates the perfect holder for a large amount of drink cups and can be stored for different uses in the cargo area.

Car cleaning hack - a basket with a muffin tin in the bottom that is used as a drink carrier


6. Car Binder – car hack that works to keep information organized

How many times have you fumbled around looking for papers in your car like your proof of insurance? This car hack uses a binder file folder that you keep in your car to hold any information you need. You can add things like proof of insurance, registration, oil changes, receipts, coupons, car maintenance information, tire rotation information, and more for the ultimate trunk organizer meets glove compartment!

document folder in a car


7. Clean Cup Holders – brilliant clean car tip to stop messes before they start

The best way to keep something clean is to prevent it from getting dirty in the first place. With this clean car hack you add silicone cupcake liners to your cup holders to keep them clean and wrangle small items that migrate to cup holders. When they get dirty just pull them out and throw them in the dishwasher. No more impossible messes when you spill your drink. Your cup holders will easily stay as clean as they were the day you got your car.  This will soon be essential gear for every car.

Silicone cupcake liners used to keep cup holders clean


8. Carabiners and Pouches – keep kids stuff close car hack

How many times have you been on a car ride and had your kids crying because they can’t reach something? Using carabiners and pouches with zippers is a genius car hack to allow kids to keep their things close. They can store so many items like sunglasses, kids toys, crayons, etc. Everything is within easy reach, even if they’re in booster seats.

Car hack to keep kids stuff close - zippered pouch filled and hung up by a carabiner

9. Sticky Note Surprises – a traveling car hack reward for a kid’s good behavior

Anyone that has ever gone on a road trip with kids knows it can be hard. This road trip hack is genius when you’re traveling with kids. Put specified times on sticky notes, and hang those below your car’s clock. When the clock displays that time, give the kids a surprise. It helps break up the monotony of the trip and gives them something to look forward to at regular intervals.

Car hack to keep kids behaving - sticky notes attached to a car dash with times written on them to reward kids


10. Cover Seats – genius car hack to protect your seats using a crib sheet

When you have kids your car seats can easily get stained and scuffed. It really takes no time at all before they have stale French fries shoved in teh cracks. Covering seats with a crib sheet before you install your car or booster seats is an easy and inexpensive car hack to protect your car’s interior. When the sheet gets dirty you can easily throw it in the washer and start fresh.  If the sheet needs extra securing to fit properly, use cords like a bungee cord to secure.

Car seat covered with crib sheet under a car seat to keep the seat clean


 11. Clip-On Pocket Organizer with this car hack

A clip-on pocket organizer near the driver’s side is a true lifesaver. Stash pencils, pens, coins, lip gloss and your phone within easy reach. Having regularly used items not only keeps your car straightened out it also creates a safer driving environment. Long gone are the days of digging through your center console and taking your eyes off the road. Thankfully this tip isn’t just about organization, it’s also a safe one!  This handy bin keeps essentials within reach.

Driver organization car hack - pouch clipped to car vent to keep items close
Clip-On Pocket Organizer from Organize 365

Car Organization Tips for Busy Families

12. Clear Shoe Organizers – a must have car hack to store lots of different stuff

This car hack keeps items from rolling around on the floor. You get a clear shoe organizer from the dollar store and hang it over the last seat in your vehicle. It allows you to store lots of items like spare outfits, shoes, games, toys, and snacks. Ideas for the summer include: sunscreen, beach towels, and bug spray. If you have babies you can store extra diapers and wipes. The possibilities are endless.

Car organization hack - plastic shoe organizers in trunk


13. Phone Holster Seat Organizer – road trip car hack to keep your kids occupied

A back-of-the-seat organizer with a phone holster is brilliant, especially if you don’t have a DVD player to entertain the kids on long trips. The idea is simple. You hang an organizer with a phone holder over the seat in front of your kid. It allows them to keep items close to them. It also allows them to watch a show on a cellphone while not pushing buttons they shouldn’t, like calling random people.

Another mom uses hanging shower caddies (they look like shoe organizers) to keep her car spic and span. Seriously, it’s the most organized car we’ve ever seen. Take a look!

Car organizer with a phone holder


14. Paper and Crayons Container – Reuse empty wipes containers for a free organization car hack

We don’t want our kids to spend the entire trip in front of a screen. This car hack keeps kids entertained, let’s them see the scenery around them, and helps minimize screen time. You add plain white paper or coloring pages to a clipboard, then add crayons to an empty travel wipes container. One idea is to have them draw what they see so they can share their pictures to family and friends.

Crayons in an empty travel baby wipes container


15. Zipper Pocket Organization – this car hack makes traveling with kids a breeze

Keeping things contained is the name of the game when trying to keep your car neat and tidy. Zipper pockets and a nice basket for the trunk can help you keep everything organized, from your kids’ art supplies to a travel first aid kit. The mesh design shows you what is in each pouch so you don’t have to go digging for what you need. They also have tabs that make labeling and sorting a breeze.


Mesh pouches with zippers for easy car organization

Easy Car Hacks to Organize the Car

We hope these 15 clever ideas to organize your car helped inspire you and gave you ideas that will work in your everyday life. Keeping your vehicle clean and organized can be so hard, especially when you have kids. Whether you are driving your kids to sports practices, traveling for vacation, or every day use these tips and tricks are sure to help maintain a clean organized car!

Love these car hacks that keep your car clean and organized?  What is your favorite car organization tip?

Check out these other car tips and tricks for more ideas:


15 Clever Ideas to Organize the Car Collage of car hacks - crib sheet to keep seats clean, sticky notes on radio with times to reward kids, silicone cup cake liners in cup holders, pouch clipped to car vent for organization

Collage of car hacks - shoe organizer in trunk, over the seat organizer with phone holder, white paper on clipboard with crayons in repurposed empty travel wipes container

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  1. I need all the car organization hacks I can get. My car is always a hot mess! I can’t wait to try some of these out.

  2. These car organization hacks not only make life easier, it also makes car travel safer, without having a bunch of loose flying projectiles around you!