How many times have you offered someone a ride and first had to
clear off the passenger seat, adding a bunch of stuff to the mess
in the backseat? Heaven forbid you need to give three people a
lift, right? Because we all spend so much time in our vehicles
during the busy workweek, it’s easy to get behind in the clutter

A trash receptacle is a must. I have a TrashStash brand bag that
hangs behind the passenger seat. It’s waterproof and easy to clean.
Another idea is to keep a plastic bag in the car and gather and
toss all your trash each day. Use a paper bag for your

There’s no need to keep maps from every road trip you’ve ever
taken in your glove compartment. File the maps in your home filing
system and just keep a map of your local surrounds in the car. Your
registration and insurance information should be easy to see and
grab when (bummer!) needed. Your vehicle manual should also be in
the glove compartment.

If you work out of your car, Case Logic makes a wonderful mobile
office organizer that won’t slide off the passenger seat if you
have to hit the breaks. Check it out at

For the back seat, a square bin or basket is a good way to
contain things like exercise equipment, a change of clothes and
such. When things are contained, they are easier to move for
unexpected passengers or groceries. You can also look into special
backseat organizers at or If you have kids, these organizers that
strap to the front seats are a good solution to organizing their
books, toys and snacks for the road.

A pet barrier is absolutely necessary for your pet’s safety as
well as your own. Try to order one.

I’ve had two flat tires in the last two months, and luckily, my
sweet husband was available to put on my spare for me both times. I
don’t care what kind of fancy mat you have to put down in the road,
a woman in a skirt and heels is going to have a hard time changing
a tire, even in the best possible conditions. It’s dirty and it can
be dangerous. Instead of packing around gloves and wipes and a mat,
pack a slim little AAA card and a cell phone. Most guys prefer this
method as well. Otherwise, you’d better practice taking a tire on
and off a few times. It ain’t easy!

I don’t carry jumper cables either. I do carry a few back issues
of The New Yorker to read while I’m waiting for AAA.