Joyful Downsizing Tackles Organizing the Auto

Kim Kubsch

“Organizing Your Auto” is 12th in a series of articles featuring techniques for decluttering your home and personal space. As owner of Joyful DOWNSIZING and a Sun Lakes resident, I am passionate about helping boomers and seniors declutter to simplify their lives with downsizing unwanted stuff and organizing the remaining items.

This month, we will tackle Organizing Your Auto. Your car can become a positive metaphor for your journey in life. If it is clean and clear, you send a subconscious message that the way ahead in life is clear.

Ideas to keep the car tidy:

* Take out what you bring in. Cars become littered with coffee mugs, used tissues, jackets, magazines, or mail. Train each family member and yourself to collect their things as they leave the car.

* Keep plastic/recycle bags in the car for trash. Store them in the trunk or in a backseat organizer.

* Accessorize the interior with containers or organizers. Automotive stores and departments will amaze you with their space-saving tools. Backseat organizers hang over the back of the front seats and can contain much more than the seat back pocket.

* Organize the trunk with collapsible cargo totes (some have a Velcro bottom to secure shopping bags in place).

* Keep your glove compartment well stocked with car registration and proof of insurance, but NOT the title. Keep the title in a safe place at home. Keep the owner’s manual. A small flashlight—the hand-cranked version will give an hour of light per minute of cranking! Keep a Swiss army knife to be used as scissors, can opener, or screwdriver. Other items to keep in the auto include a tire pressure gauge, a cell phone charger, emergency contact for insurance agent and tow service, basic tool kit for long hauls, and pen and notebook to record information in the case of an accident or emergency.

To be prepared for an emergency, every truck should have flares or battery-powered warning light, weatherproof flashlight that stands on its own for hands-free use, jumper cables, fire extinguisher, help sign, first aid kit, gloves, and rags. A phone camera or digital camera should be with you in the car, not the trunk, to record damage for insurance purposes.

In the heat of Arizona, also keep bottled drinking water and non-perishable emergency snacks. If you are traveling in winter weather, keep cat litter to provide traction on icy surfaces, ice scraper, blanket, chemical hand warmers available at sporting goods stores, and a folding shovel.

Stay tuned for future articles to include paper decluttering, digital organizing, and craft/hobby room. To learn about my free 30-minute consultation contact me at 480-720-8566 or [email protected], or visit my website,