Ridiculously limited vehicle storage

Once upon a time I owned a mini van with all sorts of storage and places to tuck a myriad of necessities.Β  It really made life so much easier!

For a variety of reasons I now own a different non mini van type vehicle (which I love and am so thankful for) BUT instead of storage galore I’ve got this huge un-functional console in the center of the vehicle with limited storage instead.

Um hello, where the heck are you suppose to put your purse?Β  So strange!Β  Gosh who designs these things anyway? πŸ™‚

Since I’m on a rant….want to know what else drives me nutso?

Labels that don’t stay stuck on my plastic containers!

Bad, bad, bad.Β  Phooey!Β  That’s my mission for today…to figure out something else so that this can stop irritating me every time I open my cabinet.Β  Wish me luck!

So tell me, what are your organizational pet peeves?

Filed under: My Life, Travel/Auto Organization


84 Responses to Ridiculously limited vehicle storage

  1. 1
    Annie says

    You ditched the loser cruiser….now I guess it is just me!

    • 1.1
      Laura says

      I hated to do it Annie, I loved my mini-van but it was on it’s last legs πŸ™

      • Living the Balanced Life says

        I drove a minivan for YEARS and loved that space between the front seats! I didn’t realize just how much til it was gone!

    • 2.1
      Laura says

      Great suggestions! I did try just some scotch tape but that didn’t work so well. Might have to move to the packing tape like you suggested πŸ™‚

    • 2.2
      Jackie says

      Great suggestion Brittany. I really want to try that now as I bet it would look great and work really well.

    • 2.3
      Tina says

      I was going to say laminate or cover in packing tape, punch holes and use zip ties!

      • Sharon says

        I do the same thing Tina. If it’s something I want ‘prettier’ I attach the laminated tag with ribbon. Great minds, eh?

    • 2.4
      Heather says

      I was going to suggest a hole punch and pretty yarns to tie the labels on the plastic bins.

  2. 3
    Good Enough Mommy says

    One of my pet peeves when it comes to organization is how even when I find something that works, it might not work forever. It is hard enough for me to find something that really works, so when it does it would be nice if it would stay that way.

    • 3.1
      Laura says

      Yes that can be frustrating for sure…life has other plans for us sometimes. Things like a new school, a new baby, a new job, house, or even a new vehicle all call for new systems it seems. Hopefully as time goes on the tweaks needed are only small ones πŸ™‚

  3. 4
    Melisa says

    I use csrdstock tags, punch holes in the top corners snd use narrow ribbon or crochet cotton (could use plain string) to thread through the basket holes. I used to have labels on my laundry baskets: to be washed and to be folded.

  4. 5
    Janet says

    1. Family members who don’t cooperate. (Why am I ALWAYS the one putting stuff away??)
    2. Product branding sitting out on counter-tops, willfully disregarding my attempts at coordinated decor.
    3. Crap stuck all over the refrigerator.


  5. 6
    Elizabeth says

    You could try putting some tape on the inside of the basket, facing out. It will stick to the tape that is currently peeling off. Good luck!

    • 6.1
      Laura says

      Yep tried that but it didn’t hold πŸ™

      • Elizabeth says

        Whoops, my bad! Seems weird that it wouldn’t stick. Good luck with ribbon or whatever you end up using! πŸ™‚

        • Victoria says

          Punch holes and use tiny zip ties?

  6. 7
    Kerry says

    Omigosh – yesterday we got in the car (I was driving) and I handed my purse to my husband to hold. What else was I supposed to do? He said, “They really should make a place for you guys to store your purses!”

    BUT…it’s never crossed my mind that that center console thing should be organized. Duh. I’m going to have to do some thinking and searching for the perfect containers (old boxes) here tonight!

    • 7.1
      Laura says

      I used a tea box standing on its side to corral some things in the console. Maybe I’ll do a video tomorrow to show what I did.

      • Melissa says

        Please show video. I’m always looking for ways to organize my console more. I use my envitote to contain all “stuff” needed for work and daycare drop off. It works great. I fill it the night before and throw all the last minute things in it in the morning. Then I set it in the passenger seat. I put my purse in it or use it to jam my purse against the middle console depending on my load for the day.

      • Jen says

        Please do show us a video or at least a picture of this! i also drive a regular old sedan (totally by choice, I just don’t want an SUV or minivan and I only have one kid so it really does suit our needs) and the center console is really limiting in its storage capabilities. I’d welcome some suggestions to improve that too! As for my purse, I use the passenger seat for that. Except when someone else rides there with me, then I sometimes use the floor, or maybe the backseat. It’s non-ideal but until they get more women designing cars, I think that’s what we’re stuck with.

    • 7.2
      Laura says

      I also had to laugh at your comment about handing your purse to hubby…I totally did that today too!!!! He didn’t appreciate it LOL

    • 7.3
      Sheri says

      I use the little rectangle drawer baskets that are about 1-2″ x 4-5″ in my console to keep things straight. I think we drive the same SUV, looks like my console and it works great! Good luck!

  7. 8
    Mrey says

    for car storage, I place a big bicycle basket (Peterborough basket) in the passenger seat. It fits tissues, gloves, purse, crayons etc. Can be strapped in or moved to the trunk or can be brought inside for cleaning out and restocking.

  8. 9
    Elsa says

    Biggest pet peeve….my unorganized hubby πŸ™‚ Does that count? No matter what I try or do…he just doesn’t “get” organizing…lol. I also hate how the labels come off plastic containers, such a pain!!

  9. 10
    Amy says

    If I have something that has holes like that I use my husbands zip ties and trim them down. πŸ™‚ It works great! I print it, mount on cardstock, laminate and then punch and ziptie! I use only the white ones though.

    pet peeves? My pantry….and how I can organize today and in a week with my two toddlers it’s probably gonna look like a mess!

    oh, and the fact that my budget doesn’t allow me to go buy all the containers I need right now!

    • 10.1
      Kerry says

      You sound like my husband’s kind of organizer…zip ties for everything! They are awfully sturdy!!

  10. 11
    Kelly says

    When my kids were little, I kept a plastic 3-drawer chest in the back of my SUV totally organized, labeled & stocked w/ everything … extra change of clothes for each in a zipper bag, snacks, water bottles, wipes, first aide. etc. I got away fromthat once they were older (12 & 13 now) & mostly responsible for themselves & their travel needs. Now my center console is stocked w/ mini 1sr aide, sunscreen, etc & needs organized, badly!!!

    • 11.1
      Laura says

      That’s a great idea for small kids…boy do you need a lot of stuff when they are little. Mine are older now too so thankfully I no longer need as much either so I’m making the console work. But the whole purse thing just makes me a little loopy LOL.

  11. 12
    kelli hansen says

    My organization pet peeve is my whole house and my brain! I can’t organize to save my life. That’s why I LOVE visiting you.

    • 12.1
      tle says

      Me forgetting how i had organized stuff- what categories and such- in the first place!!!

  12. 13
    Alicia says

    Totally have the same thing in the middle of my seats-no where to put my purse! I’ve done the “hand the purse to the hubby” bit, and I have a mini-van! All that room, and that space is weird!

    My pet peeve is buying some container that I think is going to be exactly what I need and then it doesn’t work!

  13. 14
    Katie says

    This post made me crack up:) Only uber organized crazy people would complain about such things:) I, sadly, am one of them. My organizing pet peeve is poorly designed kitchen cabinetry. I think we all have at least one cabinet in our kitchen that drives us nutty. Someday I’ll post a picture of mine…it;s so weird.

  14. 15
    Robyn :) says

    Maybe you can punch holes in the labels and tie them on with ribbon or string?

    My corner kitchen cabinets that make it hard to get or see stuff in the back are my organizational pet peeves

  15. 16
    Denyse says

    I have a lot of pet peeves…LOL

    But, when it comes to organizing I get irritated when I have an idea and I gather everything I need and it doesn’t work!!! But, it makes good blogging material πŸ˜‰

  16. 17
    Skinny Mom's Kitchen says

    I think my biggest pet peeve is myself. I hate that I get all gun ho about organizing, stick to it for a couple weeks, then go right back to being a hot mess. I wish I could stay more consistent with organizing. With being a working mom (outside the home) I find it so difficult to keep my house in order no matter how hard I try.

  17. 18
    Anna says

    My pet peeve would be no drawers and not being able to purchase any square or rectangular storage containers.

    Our house has almost no drawers. Our clothes are on shelves, and there are only shelves in the bathroom. Until recently, I could only find round basket and buckets.

    But now I’m finding a few square and rectangle boxes- some with lids- and I’m happy, It’s the little things in life.

  18. 19
    Lori Karn says

    I cannot tell you how much I agree on the purse thing, drive an suv and nowhere to put a simple purse!

  19. 20
    Jarnette says

    Hey Laura! I love labeling, too and it really is a bother when they don’t stick to the plastic bins that I love utilizing for organization! I have done a couple of things in such a case: 1) attach the label to a slightly larger piece of cardstock, leaving enough room to whole punch ends and string with ribbon to attach to the bin OR 2) create a decorative label with paper, laminate and then whole punch stringing with ribbon to attach to the bin (be it a plastic bin or metal). Works for me!

    Blessings ~

  20. 21
    Sharon says

    Hi Laura – I found the perfect (for me) solution for my purse in my car. I purchased a set of ‘car storage hooks’ (Amazon). They attach thru the head rests in your car. I have one on each front car seat – hanging a trash tag on one and hanging my purse on the other. I LOVE these hooks, no more spilled contents or sliding purse that I have to ‘find’ in the back seat. Check them out!

  21. 22
    LoriD says

    I would like to find inexpensive baskets that are square – the same dimensions on the bottom as on the top. I don’t know why, but I can’t stand it when there is a gap at the base of the baskets when I have several in a cupboard… it seems like such a waste of space.

    • 22.1
      carl says

      This is only available if you buy wood storage containers.
      Injection molding machines for plastic need a 3 degree taper in order for them to be removed from the machines and it helps in shipping for them to be able to stack.

      • LoriD says

        Thanks Carl! I guess I’ll be making my own wooden boxes!

  22. 23
    Candice says

    Love this post, it made me smile!! As much as I love organizing, I get very frustrated with our limited storage space. We rent military housing right now & the cupboards are just so tiny!!!
    Aside from that my latest peeve is trying to keep my car organized. I drive a Jeep Liberty, which isn’t exactly the roomiest!


  23. 24
    Life Lessons of a Military Wife says

    Sometimes, I don’t want to touch my pretty stash of organized stuff….because it looks so nice and neat, and I don’t want to disturb it….how is that for backwards thinking????

  24. 25
    Living the Balanced Life says

    My lovely almost 18 year old daughter who uses the hall bathroom as her own personal hair styling station. I am okay with this, but she leaves EVERYTHING all over the counter! I recently bought a nice basket for her to store her stuff in , on top of the counter even, and it still rarely makes it back in there! She is the youngest and before I know it, she’ll be gone and I’ll have a clean bathroom and be missing her. That is what I tell myself when I walk by and see her mess!
    WAHM Interview with Emily Vanek

  25. 26
    Michelle says

    My biggest pet peeve is when I organize something and the boyfriend doesn’t keep it organized. I organized one of my kitchen cabinets for the 52 Weeks of Organizing. He never puts things back how they were. Instead of putting the seasoning back in the plastic basket, he just shoves it back on the shelf! I don’t even care if he throws it in the basket as long as it’s in the basket. πŸ™‚

  26. 27
    Karen says

    I had the same problem. And~ everything I sat on the front seat kept sliding onto the floor of my Jeep!
    I went to Office Max and bought a clear storage bin with a lid and strapped it into the front passenger seat belt!!! I am a single parent, so that seat is for my stuff~ Matt gets the whole back seat for himself, the puppy and all his cool guy stuff. Now my purse, Avon catalogs, Cub Scout badges to sew on, books to read, etc. have their own little space and are right where I can reach them! When I pull up at Matt’s school to sit and wait for him, I don’t have to get out and dig in the back of the Jeep any more~ just reach over and grab whatever tickle my fancy~ or, more accurately, what project I have to finish!
    By the way~~~ your blog inspired me to do this~~ 2 weeks ago!!!!!!!!!!!
    Thank you!!!

  27. 28
    Susan J says

    As far as the labels that don’t stay stuck…we need whatever glue that companies use to stick labels on plastic stuff we buy. I’m still trying to get the gunk off plastic insulated cups I bought months ago…just saying….lol

  28. 29
    Stefani says

    Mine would definitely be those little tag strips falling out of their little plastic holders in my coupon organzier! I tihnk I iwll have to a piece of tape on them to keep em in place!

  29. 30
    stacy says

    gonna deep clean and organize my van this weekend!!!

  30. 31
    Handy Man, Crafty Woman says

    About the labels on bins: you might need to make bigger labels (or put them on a piece of paper?) and punch a hole, then use ribbons, or those metal rings to attach to the bins.

    I hate having nowhere to put my purse in the car!! I think a MAN must have invented the center console thing (sorry to men out there, lol.) My husband just laughs when I say “A MAN must have done this!” πŸ˜‰

    other peeves: drawers that aren’t very deep. esp. in the kitchen!! then you can’t fit certain sized organizers in the drawers, or it’s hard to put ANYTHING more than 2″ high in them.

    houses (like ours, unfortunately) that do not have a mud room, or even a closet near any of the doors !!!!! this doesn’t sound like a big deal, unless you live in an area with 4 seasons, and tons of snow, mud, rain, leaves, boots, shoes, jackets, gloves, etc. I have pegs for coats, but ughhh! I wish I had a closet to put them in! Right now, it’s ‘mud’ season, and everyone tracks in MUD. Even though I have a mat outside each door; and mats INSIDE each door, and a rack to put shoes on when people come in. the grit gets everywhere!

    Washers & dryers in the basement, when the bedrooms/towels/sheets are all on the SECOND floor!! We had this issue, but renovated our upstairs bath to put the washer/dryer in the upstairs bathroom. I cannot tell you how much I hated lugging heavy loads of laundry up and down TWO flights of stairs, lol! I did a post about that on my blog.

    Oh I could go on and on! πŸ˜‰ Even though I knew our house had organizational “challenges”, I knew I could work to fix or modify most of them. Had to pick the house based on other biggies (to us), like: the right location, quiet street, yard and basic room layout, most everything else is fixable over time.

  31. 32
    Trish says

    I have the purse issue too! I drive an SUV & have quite a large console in the middle of the front seat, but still not roomy enough for my purse. It would be nice if it fit AND then it would double as a “hiding” place when you’d like to leave it in the truck! Don’t men design cars?? Maybe we need some women in there! Hehe!!

  32. 33
    Gin says

    Ladies, put your purse in the boot! (ahem, that’s trunk ;-)). The best thing about this strategey is when your mobile rings (oops, cell), you absolutely cannot be tempted to answer it.

  33. 34
    Erink says

    I would love some car organization ideas. My car is a disaster! I am a home care nurse and mom to a 3 and 1 year old. I commute an hour to the area that I see patients in so I always have a TON of stuff with me. Paperwork, 2 cell phones (work & personal), iPod, soda, water, snacks, lunch box, misc cars, toys and cups….and thats just the passenger seat! lol

    LOVE your blog btw!

  34. 35
    Sarah Jane says

    My purse strategy in my SUV has been to usually just keep it on the floor in the back seat, and I have been keeping the necessities (license, debit card, cell phone, chapstick lol) in a zippered wallet with a wrist strap that easily fits in the cup holder area – in fact shopping is much easier when just carrying the tiny bag, and my keychain just clips onto the outside of it when I leave the car.

    It’s kind of like this http://www.etsy.com/listing/31371529/stash-n-dash-zip-wallet-with-strap), but this one looks much cooler (I wasn’t sure what they’re called, so I tried a search and this came up – don’t know this person/shop at all).

    I really don’t need all of the items in my purse but like to have them in the car “just in case” – but I’ve found I hardly ever need anything besides what I keep in my little bag. I hardly know why I even bother carrying my purse most places – security I think – “just in case” scenarios…plus it’s cute :0)

    • 35.1
      Laura says

      Yes I might have to go back to my wallet on a string πŸ™‚

  35. 36
    margo says

    For your labels that won’t stay on those baskets, how about punching a hole on either side of the label and tying it on the basket with pretty ribbon or twine?

  36. 37
    Organized Living Solutions says

    My pet peeve are those price labels that you can’t get off the items. I tried a lot of suggestions, from using peanut butter to really hot water, but often it still doesnt work (and it is not very useful for getting the glue of books πŸ™‚ ). Please let me know if you have a suggestion.

    • 37.1
      Laura says

      My favorite product for this is Goo-Gone. Works awesome!!

  37. 38
    Rojae Braga says

    Having enough space for your luggage is always important, but what matters more is having enough space for yourself (and other people) in the car. I also used to have a ridiculously limited vehicle storage. But I’m glad that’s over now. I couldn’t agree more with this post of yours. Also, I think some car organization ideas would be great. What do you think? I know a lot of friends who’ll benefit from it. I think I’ll recommend your blog to them.

  38. 39
    erica says

    my purse goes in the back seat on the floor under the car seat, usually filled with a kid.

    as for your basket, put tape on the inside (sticky part facing your label) and then the label on the outside (sticky sides facing each other with the basket holes in between and press sticky to sticky)

    • 39.1
      Laura says

      Yes tried that and it still didn’t hold πŸ™

  39. 40
    Laura S says

    Help! Yesterday I was happily reading through all the comments about car storage and read about a washable, reusable tote bag that the person used to carry daily stuff to and from the car (purse, daycare stuff, cellphone, etc.) It was called something like “Eco Tote” or Enviro Tote” (but neither of those was correct) and when I googled it, I went straight to the product’s website. The price was $25 and was a cream/white color. I meant to bookmark it yesterday, but forgot. When I re-read the comments this morning, I couldn’t find it! Does anyone know what the name of it was?
    Thanks so much!

    • 40.1
      Laura says

      Hi there, it’s called the Envi-tote, it’s an awesome product!!

      • Laura S says

        Yea! Thanks so much!

  40. 41
    Lisa says

    My pet peeve is my own laziness!!! I get things nice and organized and think “cool….” then spend the next 6 weeks, er, months, er I mean YEARS reading books and living and stuff gets UNorganized!

  41. 42
    M says

    My car purse storage strategy is to do without one. I can fit everything I need into my coat pockets (or in warm weather, ScotteVest pockets) most of the time.

    My organizational pet peeve is paper! It attacks at least six days a week, and I have a great deal of trouble keeping it sorted out.

  42. 43
    Jane says

    For your labels, try Zots. They are similar to the rubbery sticky stuff that attaches samples to magazine pages. Be sure to get the removable ones, and not the permanent.

    • 43.1
      Laura says

      Oh wow that’s a great idea…thank you!

  43. 44
    Michelle says

    I put my purse on the passenger side floor. If the carpet mat is dirty I put on the floor behind the passenger seat… my backseat area is rarely used.

    And I’m with you on the labels coming off plastic containers.

    I have a car care kit in the trunk. I bought a square crate from WalMart, and put all my car stuff in it – oils, washer fluid, antifreeze, shop towels, flares, mini-emergency kit, funnels (for oils). The crate keeps everything organize and I still have plenty of space in my trunk.

  44. 45
    alix says

    Hi laura, I’ve been having emergency kit and some regular meds such as pepto, advil in the car. but I am always thinking if it will reduce their counter shelf time because the temperature in car is pretty high in summer. I am curious if there is a smaller cooler bag to avoid this problem. Have you ever thought about it?Thanks.

    • 45.1
      Laura says

      That’s a good question…I’m not really sure though if heat affects them or not. I would think if it did it would be listed on the packaging that it does. An insulated bag doesn’t hurt…you can get inexpensive insulated lunch bags that might do the trick and not too big.

  45. 46
    Susanne says

    You know who designs those? Men that don’t carry purses and don’t haul kids around all day long. LOL.

    My organizational pet peeve is paperwork. Always has been and I’m afraid it always will be. Right now my big project is getting my file cabinet that we just bought organized and stuff filed that is stuck into nooks and crannies everywhere.

    • 46.1
      Kathryn says

      Oh, I hear you about paperwork. I have been a homeschool mom for 15 years and I have 6 very full filedrawers in the school room. There are boxes and boxes of schoolwork downstairs.
      And I still have paper sitting around in the schoolroom. I just can’t get a handle on it.

  46. 47
    Carl says

    I am trying to work on a way of storing a purse in a vehicle but I have a problem. I have a pile of purses on my desk and they are all different sizes and shapes I need to know what size to design the vehicle for but everyone I ask has a different opinion. The vehicle is only so large and I cannot expect to be only designing for suvs. How will this work in a hatchback or a sedan.

  47. 48
    Carl says

    For your label problem you will not be able to solve it with a normal adhesive. Most plastic bins are made from a material called Polypropylene. This type of a material is said to have a low surface energy. (or things dont stick to it why dont they just say that) because of its oil content. In manufaturing they heat treat the plastic first or drag a very hot flame over the plastic quickly to try to burn the oil off of the surface so that things will stick better. You could try this before you stick labels to it though you may discolor the plastic

  48. 49
    Diannia says

    I just found your blog so am back reading and noticed your problem w/sticking labels to the plastic tubs. In my work office we have these little round cardstocks that have a metal ring around them and a small metal ring to attach them to keys. They would be perfect for labeling the plastic tubs you are having problems labeling. I found some in Office Max online. They are called Avery Identification Key Tags. Check it out and see if they won’t work for you!

    • 49.1
      Laura says

      Thanks Diannia!

  49. 50
    Lorrie McD. says

    Laminate the tags, first, and then zip/cord tie them to the baskets.

  50. 51
    Steph says

    I just stumbled upon your blog and this problem you have here. I didn’t read all of the comments to see if someone else suggested this, but I’m a teacher and the way I get all of my labels to stay on my bins is glue gun! It’s my best friend.


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