1. IS IT USABLE? Pull everything out of your vehicle, item by item. As you touch each one, assess it. Does it need to be in your car? Is it in good working order? Your answer should be yes to both questions. In addition to disposing of wrappers and receipts, toss old maps, broken ice scrapers, torn umbrellas, and dried- out pens. Test all emergency and first- aid gear. Give your car’s interior a good vacuuming and wiping down. 2. WHAT GOES WHERE? As you load gear back into your vehicle, assign specific duties to each pocket, pouch, and storage compartment. Designate the glove box for papers and maps only, door pockets for umbrellas, and seat pockets for kid stuff. If something doesn’t have an obvious home, determine if you need to add a canvas or leather organizer— or whether the item truly belongs in your vehicle at all. 3. CAN I GET TO CRITICAL PAPERS IN 30 SECONDS? Gather all auto- related papers (current registration, insurance statement, state inspections, owners’ manuals, and repair receipts) in one place. If you don’t have a folder or case, hold everything together with a binder clip until you purchase one. If your stack doesn’t fit in the glove box, put it in an accordion folder that lives in the pouch behind the passenger front seat, so it’s still within the driver’s reach. 4. DO I DRIVE KIDS OR PETS? Make the back seat friendly for kids or pets by filling a container or bag with snacks, bottled water, car games, books, and cleanup supplies. 5. HOW DO I KEEP IT ALL IN PLACE? Like any space in your home, you need to add containers to your vehicle’s trunk and back seat to keep things organized. A mediumsize cardboard box in the trunk will work until you find the right plastic or canvas bin. Look for a container with a zippered top and a hook- and- loop bottom that prevents slipping.