Click here to get your Declutter 365 products for 2024

Declutter Car Interior {15 Minute Mission}

use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest
Today's mission is to declutter your car's interior, removing trash and anything that does not belong there.

Car Organization Challenge
This mission is designed to be done while you're working on the Car Organization Challenge, which is part of the 52 Week Organized Home Challenge here on the site.

The steps for this mission are pretty straightforward. First, remove and throw away all trash from your vehicle's interior. Don't forget the floors and the backseat where the kids sit, and all the little pockets on the sides of doors or on the back of seats. (We've got other days missions to do the trunk and glove compartment so you can wait on those areas).

Second, remove all the "stuff" you've got in your car's interior. If you're like me many of these items actually don't belong in your car permanently, but instead need to be put back away, inside, where they actually belong.

car interior clutter
Here's a photo, to the left, from a reader, Daphne, who showed me all the stuff that she'd accumulated inside her car. She said: "With four kids we always have piles of stuff in the car!"

I can completely relate. Kids add a whole new level to car clutter, I've found.

In Daphne's photo I see coats and backpacks and all kinds of other stuff. Now's the time to take all that out and deal with it.

If you've got extra time, while the interior is cleared out you can give the seats and floor a quick vacuum to get out all the debris that seems to accumulate over time, but that's not necessary.

Once you've put everything back inside your home that had been in your car, but that you know didn't belong in the vehicle, seriously evaluate all that you've got left and decide if it has "earned" a spot back into your vehicle.

Only put back items from this pile that you regularly use while in the car or would be important in an emergency. (You can check out this car emergency kit checklist to see what types of items I'm discussing, but most of these, with a few exceptions such as your cell phone and charger, would be stored in your car's trunk so mostly you'll worry about this during the declutter trunk mission, which happens tomorrow.)

There are very few items that I suggest you definitely have in your car's interior, because mainly you want to have lots of room for passengers to sit comfortably. They need both room to sit, and leg room as well.

The one item I do suggest you keep in your car's interior is some type of car trash can, to collect the trash that inevitably accumulates while you and your passengers are in the vehicle. We'll discuss this more below, after you see a photo from a reader who has already taken this challenge to get you inspired.

So are you ready to declutter? Here's some photos to inspire you. The first is from a reader, Linda, who said, "It's nice weather, so my son is decluttering out the inside of the car he drives!!!!! Not sure I'm impressed he filled up an entire trash bag!"

Grab a trash can or trash bag and declutter the interior of your car! {on Home Storage Solutions 101}

Top photo courtesy of theKCB

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to get rid of clutter.

Reader Spotlight: Clutter Free Car Interior

Are you getting excited to tackle this mission for yourself? I hope so. Many readers have already done it and have had great results.

One reader, Michelle, sent in this collage photo of her decluttered car interior, for both the front and the back seats of her vehicle.

Great job Michelle! It looks awesome!

In addition, another reader, Brandy, also sent in several photos showing how she decluttered both her front and back seats. She said, "This definitely needed help. I'm gonna try to stay on top of this. I have added an actual trash can because a plastic bag just wasn't cutting it."

Before and after photos of both the front and back seats from a reader, Brandy, who did the Declutter 365 mission to remove clutter and trash from the car's interior {featured on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to get rid of clutter.

Habit To Develop: Remove Trash From Car At End Of Each Trip

use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

Once you've done this declutter mission you most likely know you never want to have to do it again, at least to that extreme.

And beside, if you only cleared the clutter out of your vehicle once a year, like it lists in the Declutter 365 calendar, the majority of the time you'd be driving around in a cluttered overly full vehicle. Not good.

So again, just like several other of the missions we've done, this is one where today is the day to start a new habit, that will help you keep your car clutter free from now on.

And fortunately it is a simple habit to start and continue. All you've got to do is each time you and your passengers get out of the car you have them bring with them their stuff that they carried into the car, and a piece or more of trash.

I know we're all busy when we get out of the car, with our hands full and often we're already focused on the next activity, since the driving is done.

BUT, once I made this a habit, and took those couple of seconds to pick up my trash and have others do the same, the car became a much more pleasant place to be in, and without a lot of effort.

Sometimes it really is the simple things!

The photo above shows a car trash can in action. And as I mentioned it is one of the few things I definitely think you need to keep in your car's interior because they are a great way to actually have everyone collect the trash and throw it away eventually, instead of it just accumulating in the car.

It doesn't have to be a fancy one, although there are many available on Amazon, but it can just be a plastic grocery bag that once it's full you dump in the trash, bag and all.

Have you done this mission yet? When you do I'd love to see your results. You can send in your photos here to show me what you've accomplished. The best ones will be featured here on the site!

Want To Do More Decluttering Missions? Get Started With Declutter 365 Today!

Declutter 365 missions: 15 minute missions for your entire home

Once you declutter one type of item in your home I bet you'll want to declutter some more. After all, decluttering gives you a great reward for even a small investment of time and energy.

The Declutter 365 system is designed to help you declutter, over the course of a year, your entire house, with just 15 minutes of decluttering each day!

Hundreds of thousands of people use this proven system to get rid of their clutter, and bring peace and calm back to their homes.

Declutter 365 works to guide you to clear the clutter without overwhelm, focusing on just one small area at a time, and without making a huge mess in the process, so you see consistent forward progress without all that "messy middle" that makes it even harder to function in your home than before you started.

In addition to building a daily decluttering habit, the Declutter 365 program, along with the accompanying 52 Week Organized Home Challenge, teaches you the skills, habits, routines, and mindsets necessary to maintain the clutter free and organized state of your home from now on, so it'll never be as messy and cluttered as it is right now, ever again.

If you haven't already, make sure to get your copy of this year's Declutter 365 annual calendar here (it's FREE!), find today's date, and do 15 minutes of decluttering on the day's mission. Then, repeat again tomorrow, and again and again. Over the course of the next year, if you do this 15 minutes per day, you'll declutter your whole house!

Click here to take me to this year's Declutter 365 calendar

Check Out These Car Organizers

I've created a round up list of over 30 car organizers in my Amazon store (referral link) that you can check out, if this article has inspired you to get your car organized. To find the list go to my Amazon store (at the link), and then scroll down for that list.

30+ car organizers for road trips, short drives, kids, safety and moreuse this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

Photo courtesy of the HappyChappy Car Trash Bag + Organizer, available on

Some links on this page are affiliate links, meaning that if you purchase a product through them I receive a small commission which helps me provide this information to you for free, plus support my family. My integrity and your satisfaction are very important to me so I only recommend products I would purchase myself, and that I believe would benefit you. To learn more please see my disclosure statement.

Related Pages You May Enjoy

Getting Clutter Free 15 Minutes At A Time Hall Of Fame

Go From How To Declutter Car Interior To Home Page

Comments for Habit To Develop: Remove Trash From Car At End Of Each Trip

Click here to add your own comments

God bless you.
by: Lori Sigl

Thank you so much for the work you did and for your website. I felt completely hopeless. Now I have a plan for 15 minutes. I can do 90 hours if I stick to 15 minutes at a time. Your help makes life better for all who practice your guidance.

An idea is to have an addy that folks can send in money if they choose.

Thank you again and again and again and again.

Car clutter can be dangerous
by: Anonymous

Let's hope it never happens in the first place, but with a crash, all that clutter become UFO's in your car. Some stuff is harmless when you get hit by it, but some stuff can actually hurt you and your family members! I never thought of that until I took a Scid-course. For me it's a good reason to keep the interior of the car clutter free and put stuff away in the glove compartment.

Everything Out, Every Time
by: blondedaniele

"Everything Out, Every Time." My motto pulling into the driveway for the day, for years. They grumble sometimes, but it honestly makes things so much easier that evening, and the next morning.

Develop a reputation
by: Christel

Over the years, I have developed a 'reputation' for having a washed, clutter free car. This helps me with accountability so that, should things look 'rough' I can quickly turn things around, and I love it when my born organized sister in law says, "You have really got this clean car thing down!" She is as organized as it gets and although I am way behind her, it feels good to be recognized by a 'pro'.

Coffee cans work well, too
by: Anonymous

Instead of buying a trash can for the minivan, we repurposed a large plastic coffee can to do the job. I wedged it behind the console between the front seats; that way, it's accessible to me and my husband in front, as well as our two kids in the back seat. It's big enough to hold a couple weeks' worth of the things we throw away in the van, like tissues and granola bar wrappers, but small enough that we can carry it inside with one hand to empty it when it gets full. Our van is always clean now since we started using it. :)

Linda's car declutter photo
by: LM

I love that the dog is helping!

Clean car
by: Melsie

We have a day that we make sure we tidy up the car, it a Friday. If you do this once a week there's hardly much work to it at all. Get all the trash and any items in the car out every time you get back home. Each Friday give it a quick vacuum and dust the dash, etc. We do the drive thru wash when we are already out and it is needed. Ordered special holder for the hatch back that goes across the back of the back seat. It's to have extras in that may be needed. This system has worked for us for many years.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to get rid of clutter.

Click here to get your Declutter 365 products for 2024

Get Decluttering & Organizing Tips Newsletter


Join the Home Storage Solutions 101 newsletter, and get as your free gift the 2024 Declutter 365 Calendar (a $20 value) from me, Taylor, your decluttering and organizing guide.

When you work through the Declutter 365 missions, and accompanying 52 Week Organized Home Challenges, you'll be able to declutter your home one mission at a time, organize what's left, and learn the skills, habits and routines to maintain your space from now on.

* indicates required

Let's Stay Connected!

be a fan of Home Storage Solutions 101 on Facebook Follow Taylor on Pinterest follow Taylor on Instagram

Subscribe To Decluttering & Organizing Newsletter

Subscribe to the decluttering and organizing newsletter

Join Declutter 365 Public Facebook Group (500,000+ Members)

Click to join the Declutter 365 Facebook group

Get Daily Texts

Get Planner Stickers

Coaching From Taylor

Decluttering Checklists Pack

Get Help With Meal Planning

Get Organized HQ