Vehicle Storage & How I’m Making it Work

Updated to add:  Since this post was written I am happy to announce that we have in fact gone back to driving a mini van with loads of storage 🙂

So a couple of weeks ago I mentioned that we got a new vehicle and how I was not loving the ridiculously limited vehicle storage space.  Well now that I’ve had some time to work with it I’m not nearly as freaked out about it as I was and I’ve come up with some great ways to maximize space that I’m pretty happy with.

Let me take you on a video tour of my vehicle so you can see for yourself.

I’m extremely happy with the mega carabiner idea that came to me out of nowhere.  I was so frustrated with the kids not having anywhere to put their bags where they could reach them (and save space on the floor) and this solution works so awesome!  Believe it or not, I found the clips at the dollar store for $2.00 each!

I even took it one step further and added a carabiner to the carabiner in order to attach a sunglasses case (also from the dollar store) for my youngest.  Now he can reach them on his own from his booster seat no problem.  Hola!

And a picture of how I store my sunglasses when not in use:

I can’t stress what I have to say next enough.  I’m making it my personal mission to see to it that garbage bags are added to vehicles everywhere.  I’ve seen one too many vehicles with food wrappers and other garbage on the floor.  We wouldn’t do this in our homes, so why then is it okay in our vehicles?  Add a small garbage bag or two and get in the habit of dumping them out every time you get gas.  It’s so easy and way less work in the long run!

Another idea is to use a clear Command Hook to hang your garbage bag more towards the inside of the passenger seat to allow for more leg room.

command hook for garbage bag

I like to be prepared for things as you can see from the stuff I store in my console.  I used old tea boxes with the lids cut off to add some limits and boundaries to the space.  Easy peasy, anybody can do it!

Here is a picture of the wipes container I keep in the side pocket.  I use these all the time.  My idea for the tissues that I never got back to in the video (oops) is to recycle one of these old wipe containers for tissue storage.  That way I can keep it handy in the other side pocket on the passenger side.  Haven’t tried it yet though so I still have to see if it will work.

The back seat of our vehicle has two pouches on the backs of the seats for storage but the problem is things can fall to the bottom and become unreachable.  I solved that by adding some of my son’s workbooks and things to an organizing bag so he can easily grab what he needs.

I also mentioned that I keep my reusable bags in the back.  Here is a shot of them beautifully contained in my Tote Buddy. Update: unfortunately it looks like this product is no longer available 🙁 

I keep a first aid kit in a back side pocket but I didn’t take a picture of that 🙂

I hope you found these ideas helpful.  So what do you say?  Are you ready to get your vehicle organized?  Have fun!

Filed under: Travel/Auto Organization, Video


43 Responses to Vehicle Storage & How I’m Making it Work

  1. 1
    Teri says

    Great motivation to get my bootie out to the garage and clean out my poor truck!

  2. 2
    Andrea W says

    You said you use the wipes container for kleenex, how are they dispensed?

    • 2.1
      Laura says

      I think I may have to open the top to take them out, still haven’t tried it yet. The container just fits so well there though that it’s ideal for something like that.

      • Janet says

        I know it sounds weird, but a roll of toilet paper with the cardboard tube pulled out should fit. Pull the “tissues” from the inside of the roll. I did this once when I had a non stop cold – I had been going through tissues and didn’t get to the store in time. Grabbed the TP as it was the extra soft kind, but it kept rolling away. It worked for me, though the roll was partly used (in the more conventional way (lol)) so it slipped right into the opening in the box.

  3. 3
    [email protected] says

    Did I see snow in the background? Wow!

    Great ideas – love the tea boxes. I have a large rectangular box in the back of my van that holds boxes for each of the kids and their stuff and then towels {to lay down when something messy is in there} and my emergency first aid kit, plus my grocery bags. I love you grocery bag holder! So cute!

    Becky B.
    Organizing Made Fun

    • 3.1
      Laura says

      Yes we still have snow on the ground, crazy!!! Thankfully it’s melting fast now 🙂

  4. 4
    Andrea says

    I’m so impressed w/how prepared you are w/what you’ve got goin’ on in the console!! Mine’s empty & now I feel I should be prepared too & start filling it up. lol
    I’m not loving the garbage bag hanging there though. I’d be annoyed by looking at it while I drove for it to last there more than a day, lol. I drive a medium SUV & don’t see a place for a garbage bag in mine either, so I go w/out & just take whatever into the house each day.

    I’m looking forward to a sale on that pretty grocery tote. 🙂

  5. 5
    Jennifer says

    I love it! I was just noticing how I have 1 cup holder w/ a headband, a hair clip, a mint, a wipe off marker, a bouncy ball, a few pennies, a lip gloss and a toy compass. And that is just 1 cup holder.

    Now what I do use to help organize my minivan it a sliver wear basket that I can set on the floor between the front seats. The spots for sliver wear are perfect for a few pens, sunscreen, small note pads, etc. The larger napkin part holds magazines and carryout menus. (I do a better job of keeping it clean than the cup holders)

    For the kids I have a coffee canister (the plastic kind) that I use as a trash can w/ a few grocery store bags in it. It slides between the front seats to get it out of the way. Plus I use the space under their seats for bins to keep toys, markers and coloring books. Usually a pair of extra sock, just in case…rainy day or surprise play-place. They also make great boxes to take into the hotel when we hare taking a multi-day trip.

    thanks for the tips!

    Jennifer in Ohio

  6. 6
    Living the Balanced Life says

    I know, I saw the snow too, crazy, it was 90 degrees here on Saturday!
    I love how you have everything so put togehter! I don’t spend near the time in a car that I used to, but if I ever do, I will keep some of these in mind. I drive my husband’s truck when I do have errands and there is no real space in it! There is a flip down console with a little pocket in it, maybe I should add some basic items in there!
    3 ways to reduce stress in your life today

  7. 7
    Nicole says

    When we go for our weekly grocery shopping we are usually hitting up a couple of stores. When the weather isn’t to hot the 4 legged kids make the trip with us. Except the newer of the two likes to put his nose in all the grocery bags. My newest organizing for our vehicle is putting one of the rubbermaid totes in the back of the jeep to put all the groceries into. Now it can be contained and little wet noses out!

  8. 8
    Suzanne says

    Seriously loving the carabiner idea. That may have to be added to my van.

  9. 9
    Brittany says

    I just bought a huge carabiner for my car too, GMTA! Your ideas were great!
    DId you say what kind of car you have?

    • 9.1
      Laura says

      It’s an older Ford Explorer

  10. 10
    Christy says

    So fun to hear your voice! I miss my Canadian friends! I drive a small stain wagon and I NEED one of those totebuddies! 🙂

    • 10.1
      Laura says

      I can’t stand watching myself on the video, I think it will take some getting use to 🙂

  11. 11
    Marilyn Holeman says

    Hi Laura, What is a D.S. bag that you keep on your caribbeaner? Thanks for your wonderful blog and encouragement!


    • 11.1
      Laura says

      My kids keep their Nintendo DS’s in old camera bags (picked up at the thrift store). When we go on trips they are easy to bring with us and now can be clipped up and out of the way and no one will step on them.

      • Marilyn Holeman says

        Oh, OK. Thanks again!

  12. 12
    Lisa says

    What you don’t store the recyclable cans and bottles in the car?? lol–laughing at myself. My car should be so nicely organized!! Time to clean out the pop cans again!

  13. 13
    Becky L says

    I love the caribiner idea. Never thought of that. I don’t have kids to deal with in the car any more, but some of your ideas would have been helpful when I did. I have an old laundry basket and a sturdy box in my trunk that is great for groceries or just shopping. My mom’s idea…laundry basket….what an idea she had for her car. Fun to see how you organized your car. Thanks!

  14. 14
    Gin says

    So lovely to hear your voice, Laura.

    • 14.1
      Laura says

      Thanks Gin!

  15. 15
    Food on the Table says

    It’d be great to see more video blogs from you more often, Laura! You’re very videogenic(?).

    Love the caribiner idea. My only car-organizing tip is to keep a pump bottle of hand sanitizer in an empty cup-holder at all times. You never know what sorts of surfaces you might come into contact with before you touch your steering wheel!

    • 15.1
      Laura says

      I’m definitely going to try!

  16. 16
    Sacey Agin Murray says

    I have the same black garbage bag for my car and I love it. It’s by Case Logic. I keep it hung over my gear shift and it hangs over into the passenger seat. My kids are too small to throw away their own garbage yet and I make enough of my own trash to need it up front with me.

    Love the big hook idea–I’ll have to try it.

    Organized Artistry, LLC

  17. 17
    Caramia says

    You should definitely do more videos!!! Here’s a garbage bag tip that my 9 yr. old daughter came up with – grocery bag handles fit around the arms of the front seats of our minivan – one arm per bag hole (place them on when up :-). (Does that make sense?) But I didn’t think to put a garbage bag in the back seat. Genius! Thank you!

    • 17.1
      Laura says


  18. 18
    Annie says

    Love that you still have the MX bags….I still have a ton of them as well!! Love the video girl and I did rewind to make sure you said grocery right…haha!!

    Miss you tons lady…I need to phone you!!

  19. 19
    Nancy L. says

    So glad I found your website & this post. Downsized from a minivan to a smaller SUV several months ago. Storage issue is driving me nuts – especially the purse. Going to organize it now… just need a Tote Buddy!

  20. 20
    Melisa says

    I do keep a trash bag in the car, but I wish I could find a better place for it. I just keep it tied shut on the floor. It’s in the way on the shift handle and would also be in the way on the glove box where yours is, because I am usually the one in the passenger seat and my knees are up to the glove box as it is.

    Where can I find a holder for sunglasses like the one you have in the front?

  21. 21
    Gretchen says

    I wanted to let you know that in the console lid where you have the CD’s is where the tissue box goes. Ford sell special boxes for them and they are cheap. Just incase you are intested. I love my FORD too but you are right about storage.

    • 21.1
      Laura says

      No I had no idea, thanks for letting me know!

  22. 22
    Margit Rønsholt says


    A couple of years I was in the US (Minneapolis) and bought a sunglass-holder (Case Logic) to hang in my car.
    It’s the best, but you can’t get the here in Denmark, where I live – and I haven’t seen them anywhere in Europe either.
    Do you have any idea where I could buy another one on the internet and have it shipped ?
    On Case Logic’s website I can only find bags of all kinds.

    Best regards ………………… Margit Rønsholt (Copenhagen – Denmark)

  23. 23
    Marcy says

    back from vacation and checking out this post. I cannot believe how bad the car got during the long road trip. The GPS was rolling around the console, the cell phone landed in the back seat, and the garbage had piled up around us. Definately need better organization for the road trip… a new system. Any thoughts???

    • 23.1
      Marcy says

      Sorry I did not see that its a video!!! I love that you used a cosmetics case for the GPS!!! THAT WILL WORK PERFECTLY and keep the screen from becoming scratched when not in use!!! Thank you so much!!!
      I also would like to share that the dollarama has little garbage bags that clip on your car doors/back of seat. Now if I can just get everyone to use them 😀

  24. 24
    Penny King says

    where can i buy the sunglass holder you show for how you store your sunglasses in your car. I can not find any web site or store that carries this item.

  25. 25
    Jane says

    That tote buddy is great. Where did you get it?

    • 25.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Oh no it looks like it’s no longer available 🙁

  26. 26
    lisa matthews says

    dollar tree has some nice glasses cases that zip up I use them for everything I have one that is for mustard and hot sauce packets the nice thing is they are only a dollar they look like the blue one you have on the carabiner


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