The 10 Best Trunk Organizers
This wiki has been updated 27 times since it was first published in January of 2017. If you've had enough of the mess in your car, it's time to invest in a trunk organizer. Not only do these useful items help to reduce clutter and aid in organization, they prevent your gear from flying around and creating unnecessary distractions while you drive. They come in a variety of sizes and designs, and at prices to accommodate the needs of different families and individuals. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
July 27, 2020:
It would have been easy to just put a bunch of very similar models on the list and call it a day. And while the basic design you find everywhere is certainly useful, we thought our readers would appreciate a bit of diversity in the offerings so they could find something that truly fit their individual needs. With this in mind, as well as an eye for durability and practicality, we have found the best trunk organizers for you to choose from.
We think versatility is important. After all, you won't always be transporting the same items. Because of that, we liked models that feature removable and adjustable dividers, such as the TrunkCratePro XL, Flagpower LFCP-CAR-006, and Picnic at Ascot 8034-BLK, among others. Perhaps none though, offer the true customization that the Cargo Pal ZN4Z2CY provides. It is a set of four durable resin blocks that you can place in any configuration in your trunk, allowing it to hold large sports gear one day and groceries or a cake the next. It is worth noting that it will only work with trunks that are fabric lined.
We think many people can appreciate that the Picnic at Ascot 8034-BLK and Orionstar Vehicle Storage Tote come with removable soft coolers, and the Autoark Basket AK-018 features insulated compartments. They all make a great way to transport meals to and from a picnic, or simply keep some snacks and cold drinks on hand during long road trips.
If you need to reserve your floor space for large items, you can look to the Yogi Prime Organizer, which is designed to hang from the rear bench seat of vans and SUVs. Most of the compartments have lids too, so you can keep the contents concealed from prying eyes.
June 07, 2019:
Reports suggest that the Honey Can-Do is built with a flimsy, thin material that is prone to rips and tears when used extensively, so we took this item off the list. We also removed the Fortem Cargo due to multiple complaints that it produces an overwhelming unpleasant odor that permeates the entire vehicle. The Busy Life Storage was no longer available, so we eliminated that as well.
In replacing those items, we may have sacrificed a bit of size, but the list already contains the Picnic at Alscot Ultimate, AutoArk AK-132, and TrunkCratePro Portable — all of which offer ample storage capacity.
We focused on injecting some diversity into the list, carefully selecting models that provide benefits on top of simple storage and organization. The Autoark Basket has insulated compartments that will help maintain a consistent temperature (warm or cool), making it a great option for picnics. The YoGi Prime Storage hangs from the headrests behind the backseats, which is helpful for those who want to keep the floor of the trunk free for bulkier items. For folks with an infant (or who are expecting one), the Munchkin Brica doubles as a diaper changing station.
Lexus Collection It’s produced by Lexus, but that doesn’t mean this option won’t get the job done in a Hyundai or a Ford. It’s quite sturdy once you set it up, but it swiftly folds up into a compact bundle when you don’t need it. It even comes with three tote bags that you can whip out on grocery day. thelexuscollection.com
Duluth Trunk Commander If you need something tough to hold jumper cables, tools, and and other gear that may be too heavy for bins with thin walls, the Duluth Trunk Commander makes a worthy option. Its main compartment zips closed, and the lid has elastic straps on the top to hold small items that you want to be able to access quickly. It also features hook-and-loop closures to secure it in place, and can double as a rugged carrying bag. duluthtrading.com
The Surprising Dangers Of A Cluttered Car
If you're the type that keeps mementos from every Big Mac and Whopper you've ever eaten, think about what might be breeding in those wrappers.
You might think the worst thing that can happen if you have a messy car is that it might turn off a date or potential employer. While that is truly a horrifying prospect, having a bunch of loose junk in your car can actually be hazardous to your health — or even deadly.
It's simple physics, though. You might remember that force is equal to mass times acceleration, so think about how much force is generated when even a small object hits you at 70+ miles per hour. That's what happens in an accident — your car stops, but everything in it keeps moving along at the same speed. Items like Kleenex boxes, suitcases, and even your dog can kill you if they make contact at a high enough speed.
The hazards don't stop there, however. If you have a bunch of unsecured items around the driver's seat — like soda cans, sunglasses, and your cell phone — something can slide down and become lodged under the pedals, making it impossible for you to brake in time.
Having a bunch of garbage in the cab can have a serious impact on your health, even if it doesn't lead to a collision. If you're the type that keeps mementos from every Big Mac and Whopper you've ever eaten, think about what might be breeding in those wrappers. In some areas, it can cause rodents to infest your vehicle — and they can carry the Hanta virus.
Don't overlook what all that mess can do to the car's resale value, either. There's nothing that can kill a sale quite like an inexplicable stain ("You got what on the ceiling?"), so your messy lifestyle can hurt your pocketbook as much as your immune system.
If you keep your car neat and organized, however, you'll find that it's safer and more pleasurable to drive, and you won't have to be constantly apologizing to anyone who rides with you.
Of course, if you tell people your car gave you the Hanta virus, you probably won't have to worry about people bumming rides anytime soon.
What To Look For In A Trunk Organizer
Now that I've convinced you to commit to keeping a cleaner car, the first step is to find a quality trunk organizer. These devices are fantastic for organizing all of the random items — paper towels, vacuums, that old chemistry textbook you still have for some reason — that you might one day need, but that spend most of their time getting in your way.
However, if you're just trying to corral random junk, then a large basin is likely sufficient.
The first thing to consider is what, exactly, you'll be organizing. If there are a bunch of items that you need on a regular basis, then finding a model with clearly-defined sections becomes important. However, if you're just trying to corral random junk, then a large basin is likely sufficient.
You may even want to invest in multiple organizers if you have items that you don't want co-mingling. This is smart if you have lots of auto supplies, like motor oil and dirty jumper cables, as you wouldn't want them to touch the baby's diaper bag (nothing can be more confusing for young parents than sniffing a diaper and smelling Valvoline).
Also, consider how often you'll be taking it out. Some models have sturdy handles that make it easy to get the whole thing out of your trunk, which makes it much more convenient to carry groceries in from the car, saving you from making multiple trips.
Beyond that, there are a variety of features that you may or may not be interested in, like the ability to strap it down, the material it's made of, and the number and style of pockets.
Luckily, these things generally aren't very expensive, so if the one you buy doesn't meet your needs, it shouldn't put you in the poorhouse.
Other Ways To Keep Your Car Looking Pristine
Getting all the loose junk in your car put away is only half the battle when it comes to keeping a clean vehicle. If you're serious about ensuring that your ride looks fresh, here are a few easy ways to make that happen.
Any hard surfaces — the dash, the console, doors — should be wiped down regularly. Keeping a pack of adult wipes in your glove compartment is perfect for this, as they're cheaper than the version made specifically for cars, while also being more versatile.
Any hard surfaces — the dash, the console, doors — should be wiped down regularly.
The carpets are another tell-tale sign of a dirty automobile, so if you're not going to invest in a dedicated vacuum for your car, at least take advantage of the ones they have at gas stations. Take the time to pick up and throw away any junk whenever you stop for gas, as well. By making this a set routine, you can ensure that the mess never gets out of hand.
Consider keeping a trash can in your car so that debris buildup never becomes an issue. If you don't have the space for a full-on plastic bin, grocery bags can make a good alternative, with the added bonus that you can just recycle everything when it gets full.
Finally, buy a folder or some other storage device for your important documents. If you get in an accident or pulled over, you may not be thinking clearly, so make it easy on yourself to find your registration, proof of insurance, and anything else you might need. You can also use this to store all of the car's maintenance information, so that you never miss an important milestone.
A word of warning, though: you might just find that keeping a clean car can be addictive, and you might lose the ability to ride in any vehicle that's not completely immaculate. That's probably for the best, though, as I've heard some cars can even give you the Hanta virus.