The 10 Best Trunk Organizers
The Surprising Dangers Of A Cluttered Car
Don't overlook what all that mess can do to the car's resale value, either.
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.
If there are a bunch of items that you need on a regular basis, then finding a model with clearly-defined sections becomes important.
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.
That's probably for the best, though, as I've heard some cars can even give you the Hanta virus.
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.