Make life a little easier with this list of practical things to keep in your car! They’ll help you be prepared for both emergencies and the little everyday needs. A post that every mom should read!
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I’m a big believer that it’s often the little things that make life a bit easier and happier. For me, one of those “little things” is to keep our car stocked with a few practical items- some that help us stave off emergencies and some that are just really convenient. I don’t know about you, but I find being prepared gives me such a satisfying feeling!
10 Practical Things to Keep in Your Car to Make Life Easier
1. Trash Can with Plastic Liner
One of my best tips for not having a messy car is to have a designated spot for all trash. Our classy solution for a car trashcan is….(((drum roll)))…a simple ice cream bucket! Okay, so maybe it’s not classy, but it works amazingly well!
And we actually go a step further and line it with a plastic disposable shopping bag. (It adds to the classy look.) It not only keeps the bucket from quickly getting gross inside, but it also makes it super easy to empty the trash once it’s full.
Added bonus: If someone gets sick on their stomach while you’re traveling, the trash can comes in handy for other uses too, if you get what I’m saying.
Runny nose? Check. Spider crawling across your dashboard that needs to be squashed now? Check. A child that picked their nose? Check.
Yup, keeping tissues in your vehicle is one of those things that just makes life a little easier.
3. Lip Balm and Lotion
I doubt that we’re the only ones who get in the car and soon realize that we’re in desperate need of lip balm (this classic is our favorite) or hand lotion (we love this hand lotion because it stays on even after washing and a little bit goes a long way, so it last forever!).
We finally got smart and just started keeping both things in there at all times. It actually ends up being a time saver too because it means there’s one less thing to do before leaving the house!
4. Pen (and paper)
Keeping a pen in your car just makes sense because you end up needing one so often. And while I think it’s a smart idea to keep paper with it, in reality, most of the time we forget to keep that stocked. (That’s another time tissues come in handy.)
But if you are more on top of things than us, then go ahead and keep some paper with your pen to be even more prepared! And if you really want to get serious about things, this car note pad would be awesome! 🙂
5. Spare Change
If you live in or near a city, keeping a small container full of change in your car is super helpful. There’s nothing worse than finding a parking spot only to realize that you don’t have anything to feed the meter!
It comes in handy other times, too. Like when you need a quarter for a cart at Aldi or run out of gas and realize that both you and your husband forgot your wallets. (Yes, we actually once bought half a gallon of gas with all change.) It’s actually surprising how often it comes in handy!
Gum has been one of our vehicle must-have’s since back when we were dating! It’s just the perfect convenient thing to grab when you realize you could really use a quick breath freshener.
And if you’re like me and occasionally discover that in the chaos of trying to get the family out the door, you apparently forgot to brush your teeth, it just might end up being a lifesaver!
We love using Trident gum because it’s sugar-free. Plus it’s good for your oral health too, since it’s been proven to help clean and protect teeth when it’s chewed for 20 minutes after eating and drinking. Isn’t that awesome?
My favorite car snacks are easy things like granola bars or nuts since they are not only filling but nutritious as well. (These are my favorite granola bars for the car since they don’t have any chocolate in them, which obviously gets quite messy in the summer!)
After having our kids get hurt numerous times while we were away from home without any band-aids nearby, we finally got smart and just started keeping some in our car’s glove box. If only all of life’s problems were this easy to solve!
I don’t always keep these in our car, but they do show up a lot just because they are so super handy to have around. Wipes clean up grubby kids’ hands like nothing else, get spots out of clothing most of the time, wipe up spills nicely and so much more.
I can’t even begin to tell you all the things that I’ve used them for! If you are wanting to stay organized, these wipes that fit in your car’s cup holder sure help.
10. Extra Diapers
Obviously, this one only applies to those of you that are parents, but I just added these to our vehicle must-have list this year after getting into some not-so-fun situations where we discovered we didn’t have any diapers with us. I have no idea why it took me until child #3 to think of doing this!
I also keep a pair of readers in my glove compartment
for the times I’ve forgotten my glasses.
I have run out with just my wallet, seen a yard sale or flea market and couldn’t read the prices on things I was interested in. Since buying the readers, I have used them while stuck in traffic or waiting for my husband when he runs into Home Depot for “one” minute
Oh, that totally sounds like a great idea if you use reading glasses! And your running into Home Depot for “one” minute comment made me laugh. 🙂
I keep a spare pair of earring in case I forget to put on a pair before I leave the house. I also keep a small makeup up bag if I don’t have time to put on my makeup in the morning or if I need to refresh.
Good ideas, Adina! Thanks for sharing them. 🙂
This a great list! One item I ‘be often wished for when in my car is a small pair of scissors or even nail clippers. They would be so helpful if you had a broken nail or were trying to get into a package!
Oh, that is such a great idea! I try to keep a nail clippers in my purse because so often I have a broken nail or nail snag that drives me funny when I’m out and about. But sometimes I don’t have my purse with me and keeping a pair in the car is genius. Why didn’t I think of it before?! 🙂 I actually have a nail clippers that I got free recently with couponing….it’s going to go out in the car asap.
Great list! I’m with the other ladies in adding: first aid kit- b/c my little girls are perpetual knee-skinners, an umbrella (which I never use!) a spare set of clothes- my girls are the same size, and this has been a life-saver, hand-lotion, coloring books and crayons, travel brushes, reusable grocery bags, a zip-up picnic blanket, and some toiletries like deoderant etc. as well as everything you listed! Can you tell I’m a little Type A??
Hey, I could benefit from being a bit more Type A. 🙂 And I love the first aid kit idea. We have one in our car, but it’s old and was stocked back before we had kids. Recently I needed a band-aid so tried to use one from it and they were so old they wouldn’t stick! Oops! Definitely need to update the kid, don’t you think? And the umbrella and toiletries are both things we could benefit from too. Great ideas!
This is a brilliant and well thought out list! I am notorious for having a messy car, and no matter how much junk I have in there, I never have anything worth while or that I actually need. Thanks for this list! My life would be so much more efficient if I had all of this in my car.
Oh, it really does make a big difference, Lucinda! Sometimes it’s the little things, you know? 🙂