Genius Car Organization Ideas for the Family Car, Van or SUV

Car organization in most families with kids is a challenge. We have found the best car organization ideas and car organization hacks to keep car storage at a maximum and make life easier for the entire family to get where you are going with the stuff you need! Whether you are driving a sedan, van or SUV you will find these car organization ideas helpful on your next road trip or errand.

text - family car tips - back of minivan shown with organization ideas including minivan storage of sports equipment
Let’s get the car, I mean minivan, organized!

Car Organization Ideas for the Family

You don’t need to wait for family road trips to get the messy car situation under control! We have some favorite car organization hacks that will transform that small space that gets constant use into a place with easy access to everything you need within easy reach.

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Clever Car Organization Hacks You Can REally Use

Does your family *live* in the car during the warm months? It seems like summer is filled with places to go and things to do. Our car needs to keep up. “Give everything a home, ” is what my mother always told me to do when faced with clutter growing up.

Here are some products that have helped us clean up.  Most of them aren’t traditional car organizers but they are a great way to use things that you might find at Dollar Tree or your local big box store and the best part is they don’t cost very much…

Car Organizers – Products We Love

1. Back of the Seat Storage Pocket…or Pockets!

Shoe organizer. I like the clear plastic ones. They are easy to see what is inside the pockets and clean-up is a breeze when they get gunky, and they will.

2. Car Floor Mat Help

Rag mat for the floor. It absorbs the mess, is washable, and easy to lift and shake out – i.e. less vacuuming!

3. Easy Way to Control the Car Clutter

Milk Carton – great for the odd shaped miscellaneous items that find their way to my car.

4. Best Thing to Have Ready

Folded Picnic Blanket – this thing is awesome! I love having it handy for an impromptu gathering.

5. Cargo Area for Much Stuff

Magazine rack – These are great for containing towels, swim boards, even school books or other tall items. Everything is easy to see and grab.

6. Easy Car Organization Hack

Large Foldable Shopping Bag. We use our one from IKEA. It is wipe-able, ginormous, and perfect for who knows what I will *need* a bag for tomorrow.

ideas to organize a family car
Let’s get more storage for the minivan!

How to Organize the Car

Here are some simple tips that we used to get the car clutter under control and make a more functional space for the entire family after all, you are spending a lot of time in your car. The bonus is that random things won’t be rolling around your car trunk when you make a car turn.

1. Create Zones

We created a “bathroom zone” and a “summer fun zone” with the shoe organizers. In the bathroom zone I included diapers, wipes & hand sanitizer (yahoo, no need for a diaper bag anymore!!). We also included some “emergency” supplies for our newly potty-trained kiddo.  

The summer fun zone includes everything we would need for a quick trip to the pool or a park outing after a class/activity. This has been super helpful for me! No stress. It’s all there from sunscreen to goggles, suits and towels.

2. Give everything a Home

Use the hangars (I hope your car has these, they are lovely) to give homes to the random items that find their way into the car. We usually have a trash bag back there too.

Don’t forget emergency car supplies. You can’t see it in the photos, but on the left there is a cubby of sorts in the wall of my car. We keep a car charger, and air kit for the tires. You never know when you might need it.

3. Plan for the unexpected

Note that big open space? That is where our cooler, or the giant gym bag, or science project goes. Leave an open space to work with. You will also want to have a first aid kit in your car. We keep ours in the glove box. You never know when you might need it.

ideas to organize a family car2
Car organizers to the rescue!

Minivan Organization Tricks

Whether you are driving a car or a minivan, keeping things organized will make family trips and outings more pleasant.

It is also easier to be prepared for the unexpected when you actually can see what you already have to use!

summer car organization
SUV storage ideas that really work.

Behind the back seat of the minivan, I like to keep the cargo area as organized and separated as possible.

  • Create a space or bin for sports equipment.  In our case I have large plastic boxes that holds the kids swimming gear for swimming lessons including their kick boards and life jackets.
  • Small children need a lot of stuff so having a trunk organizer that can keep all those small items organized is the best trunk organizer of all!
  • And don’t forget to leave space for trips to the grocery store with all those plastic bags full of groceries…you will need some space for those grocery bags.

Any bets on how long our car will look this clean and orderly?

11 Car Cleaning Hacks To Detail Like A Pro

More Car Hacks and Organization Tips from Kids Activities Blog

What are your favorite car organization ideas?

One Comment

  1. How do you attach the shoe organizer to the seats? It looks like the car seat might hold one, and the head rest goes through the other?

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