7 Must-haves for Your Car

man holding cup in car

We all use our cars for a great many reasons—to go to work or to take the kids to their after-school activities. So, how can we keep our cars from becoming the final resting places for so many items? How can we keep our car interiors from getting downright filthy?

Well, we decided to see what life hacks could find to help you in order to help you get better prepared before braving your daily commute or gathering up family and hitting the road.

1. Nail Polish Remover

If you live in a place with lots of trees, then you will love this nail polish remover life hack. Just put a dab of nail polish remover on a rag and use a bit of elbow grease to work off the sap from your windshield. This is one tip that can save car owners a lot of time, frustration, and money, as many sap removers are expensive.

Disclaimer: You can use this tip on the body of your car as well, but you should be more careful about how much product you use, as you don’t want to strip the paint.

2. Hanging Shoe Rack

Another life hack that could be useful on the road is using an old hanging shoe racks for organization in the car. This is an especially useful trick of you have kids, as children are hard to keep organized. Simply take the hangers out of those old shoe racks, or any other pocket-style closet organizers, and replace them with rope or heavy twine. Hang them over the back of your passenger seat or driver for a great place to store most of your kids’ toys and any cleaning supplies that you’ll need. This is also a great idea for someone taking a long road trip or for someone living in a region with inclement weather, as you can easily store hats, ponchos, sunscreen, and more. This organization trick also keeps from having to overuse the trunk space.

3. Muffin Sleeve

muffin sleeves for car

Believe it or not, one must-have life hack for your car this season is a muffin sleeve or cupcake holder. The silicone muffin cups are the best to use, but paper or waxed disposable ones work too. These are great for keeping your car looking new and clean. They fit right into your cup holders to protect your car from the occasional overfilled full latte. No more having to hide those unsightly brown rings that collect dust and other gunk. You can even pick everyone’s favorite colors for their own personalized cup holders. You can find these at pretty much any grocery store, and they range in price. Generally you can buy a pack of 75-100 paper liners for under $5, so they are pretty cost effective too.

4. Kitty Litter and Rock Salt

Another great life hack is to keep a small bag of rock salt and a bag of kitty litter in your car, as these two together may save you in a winter emergency. While you probably won’t melt your way out of a jam with rock salt alone, having a small bag of salt can be really helpful, especially if you’re stuck on the ice. Adding kitty litter is a great trick to help your tires get traction in icy situations.

Bonus Tip: You can also use kitty litter to keep your car’s interior dry in humid climates, as it will keep out the moisture that can become a real problem if left unchecked. Just put some litter in a sock and tie it closed. Place it under a seat or on the dashboard, and it will soak up any moisture in the air.

5. Office Supplies

The life hacks that can come out of basic office supplies are pretty great. In fact, this must-have is a few different tips rolled into one.

Pencil Bag Hanging Organizers

Use pencil bags to keep that spot between the seats and the center console clean and organized. Grab a couple of binder clips and a rubber band to make your own DIY organizer. Simply connect the rubber band to the loops on the binder clip handles and stretch the rubber band so that it goes around the entire center console. Then clip the pencil bag with the binder clips to make your own hanging storage compartment.

Cell Phone Holder

If you have an older car that doesn’t have enough space for you to put a cellphone holder, or if you just don’t feel like buying a cellphone holder, you can make one yourself with office supplies and air vents. Using your fingers, or a pipe cleaner or hanger if your fingers are too large, put a rubber band through the top slot in your air vent and pull the end out of the bottom slot of your air vent. Make sure to use a small enough and thick enough rubber band for a sturdy holder. Then you can slip your phone in the loops so that it rests securely against the air vents. This MacGyver style life hack creates a holder for your device where you can easily use voice dialing functions or safely view the GPS navigation.

6. Duct Tape

roll of duct tape

If you’ve got an older car without cup holders, do not fear! That roll of duct tape you have in the trunk will work as a perfect substitute. Just set it in your passenger seat or on the floor in front of the passenger seat, and you are ready to go.

Be careful though if you have leather seats, as the duct tape is more likely to slide. Try to keep this life hack on cloth surfaces to prevent it from moving and spilling when you reach a quick stop or downward slope.

7. Construction Paper and Clothing Clips

Instead of buying expensive car air fresheners, try this inexpensive life hack for enhancing your car’s aroma. By using inexpensive clothing hanger clips, you can create some unique scent clips that attach right to your vents. First, you soak some construction paper in the fragrance of your choice. Next, glue the paper to the clip. Once the glue is dried, clip it to your air vent and enjoy the fresh new scent! The fragrance will last about a week, so you will either have to attach a new clip or re-soak the paper. You can even create different ones for different seasons.