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Declutter Glove Box {15 Minute Mission}

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Today's mission is to declutter your glove box, removing trash and things that don't belong, and then restocking it using the list I've provided below to make sure you've got the right stuff in there.

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

The steps for completing this mission are simple and straight forward.

First, open up your glove compartment or glove box, and remove everything.

Second, look at the stacks and piles of stuff that had been in there and throw away any trash.

Finally, third, now put away anything else, most likely back in your house, that does not belong in your glove compartment that had previously been stashed in there. For example, organize or throw away receipts, and file or shred other papers (with a few exceptions I will mention below that should stay in your glove box at all times).

Similarly, condiment packets, hair bands, and more most likely need to get put somewhere else, at least if you've got a whole lot of them.

Anything that you keep in your glove box, just like anywhere else in your car, needs to basically earn its spot to belong in this space.

Below I've created a list of essential and recommended items to keep in your glove box to help you choose the right items to keep in this small space.

How to declutter your glove box, plus list of essential and recommended items to store in your glove box for emergencies and convenience {part of the Declutter 365 missions on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

Photo courtesy of emily @ go haus go

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Before & After Photos From Reader Who Has Done This Mission

Before and after photos when declutter glove compartment, plus list of items that you should keep in your glove box {on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

Here's before and after photos sent in by a reader, Brandy, who's done this mission.

She got rid of some of the trash in there, and got rid of some of the papers not needed, so there was now plenty of room for what she was keeping.

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List Of Essential And Recommended Items To Store In Your Glove Box

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Once you've cleared the clutter from your glove compartment now you will have room to add to it what you really do need.

Here's my list, with most of these items being recommended, but a few that I specifically note I consider essential.

Some of these items are there because legally they are required, or because they are helpful to you while you're driving, or are part of your car emergency kit.

Others are listed for this location because they're small and might get lost in a larger storage location like your trunk.

  • Proof of insurance and registration (essential, because typically it is the law that you must have these in your vehicle while driving)

  • Critical medical information in case you or a family member are in an accident and cannot communicate

  • Emergency contact information (for the same reason as above. You can fill out this free printable emergency contact information form for both this information and for the vital medical information notes I mentioned above)

  • Contact information, membership number and other info for your roadside assistance service

  • Pen and small notepad (if you are in an accident you may need to exchange information or write down information)

  • Vehicle maintenance log to track your vehicle mileage and maintenance information (you can get free printable vehicle maintenance log forms here) or create your own (the link tells you how)

  • Owner's manual for your vehicle (assuming it fits, some of them these days are huge!). This can help you identify what the lights mean that come on, on your dashboard, and simple but important things like the size of the wiper blades you need to purchase periodically to fit your car.

  • Small flashlight (I suggest a wind up flashlight (referral link) if you tend to forget to replace batteries)

  • Tire gauge (referral link)

  • Extra fuses for vehicle lights (these are small, so your glove compartment is a good place to keep them), they come in really handy when you realize a tail light or headlight is out while traveling

  • Phone charger (you may want to consider a wind up USB phone charger (referral link) if you are concerned about losing power in your vehicle to charge your phone)

  • Small first aid kit (optional, it depends if you have any first aid supplies in your trunk, and how convenient you want them to be while traveling in the car, since getting in the trunk is more hassle than getting into the glove compartment)

  • Hand sanitizer or small package of baby wipes (for times like after you pump gas, or similar things, when you want to clean your hands

  • Paper map of your city or town (yes, I know there is GPS on phones and other navigation systems, but this can be really handy in an emergency)

What do you think should be in your glove compartment? Tell me below in the comments.

In addition, once you do this mission I would love to see how it goes, so please send me your photos here. 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. Once at my store scroll down to find the list of car organizers.

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

Top photo courtesy of HighTechDad

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Comments for List Of Essential And Recommended Items To Store In Your Glove Box

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so glad I did this mission!
by: Cyndie

I decluttered my glove compartment in my car today. There was a lot of important stuff in there. Stuff that I had "stuffed" in there when I grab the mail on the way into the car like insurance policies, tax reports. I was glad I did this!

by: Anonymous

May be not in your glove compartment but in your driver's side door you should keep a seatbelt cutter and glass smasher (referral link). We picked them up from Amazon and could help you get out of the vehicle in an emergency. It's an all-in-one tool and cheap!

Thief, call me.
by: Laura Metz

In case of car theft, on the Emergency Contact List add the category emergency cash and put your own phone number for that contact.

Emergency change
by: Sally

I like to keep some change for toll roads, parking meters, even a few dollars to tip someone if you need assistance.

More items for your glove box
by: Susan

We keep a small bottle of eyeglass cleaner and a cleaning cloth. We got ours from Walmart. Also keep small jar of lip balm.

add to glove box
by: Anonymous


lip block

mosquito repellant

coin purse


Considering the times we live in these days, with car jackings, car thefts, etc, it might be a safer alternative to carry personal information, e.g., proof of insurance, registration, names/addresses of emergency contacts, etc. in smart phone inside your handbag rather than keep in car glove box. Reason I mention this is when I was mugged 20 yrs ago they took my key ring w/house key (not my purse), credit cards along w/the car. I was petrified the creeps would go to my house because they had access to my address on car registration & insurance docs in my glove box. Changed all my house locks immediately. Just a thought.

response to Kathi re thoughts on keeping car registration in purse instead of car
by: Taylor

First Kathi, let me say I am so sorry to hear your car was stolen. It sounds like such a scary experience and I'm glad you were physically unharmed. The problem with keeping those items in your purse is that you are also likely to have it lost/stolen, so you'd run into the same problem. The other reason is that you may not be the only person who drives your car, and unless everyone remembers to grab the license and registration for the car as each new person drives it (which seems like it would be hard to remember consistently) then people who need it won't have it when they are required, by law, to show it if pulled over, in an accident, etc.

I think, unfortunately, this is just a hard issue. It is really too bad that dishonest people ruin these things for everyone else because if we didn't have to worry about thieves we wouldn't be in such a conundrum. Anyway, just something else to think about when making the decision for yourself of whether to carry your registration and other car info on your person, or keep it with the car.

add replacement bulbs for your lights
by: Shawnda

Usually, when you buy replacement bulbs for head or tail lights, they're a small bulb that goes into a hole of a large lens (unless your car is pre-90's). They come in two-packs. I put the extra one in the glove box of the car to which it belongs so I can easily find the replacement if another goes out.

I bought a $1 #10 business envelope-sized accordion file (referral link) for all of my car-related paperwork. Insurance card, registration, repair logs, etc. It works really well to keep things orderly, contained, and intact. It also makes it easier to replace the old registration or insurance cards when the new ones come, rather than just tossing another set in with the rest. ;)

Identity theft
by: jjc

A few years ago a friend of mine had his car broken into. Only thing they took was CD's and little cash. Then soon after he discovered they took his information off his insurance and registration.

They had his contact info and insurance and made a fake insurance claim against him. Claiming he caused an accident and they sued for injuries.

He had an internet insurance provider who didn't bother to check with the client and they almost got away with it, if he didn't call and get another proof of insurance card, he may have never known until it was too late.

For now on, I have all that information on me in my wallet and I carry it everywhere. And I have so much s*** in my purse I pity the scum bag who tries to mug me!!!

$20 bill
by: Joanne

I keep a $20.00 bill in mine for use in taking a taxi. My kids know it is there if they or any of their friends need it to avoid drinking and driving. They need to tell me if it gets used so I can replace it but no lecture.

Emergency Tool!!!!
by: Anonymous

I love what you have, but of huge importance, is an emergency tool. One that can cut seat belts as well as breaks a window. They are compact and usually fit easily in the glove compartment. And don't cheap out. Buy a good one!

Rubber gloves
by: Bev

I like a pair of latex gloves. They are small and I can use them to pump gas if I don't want to get dirty or for first aid. They might be handy to change a tire as well.

food and thermal blanket
by: Anonymous

Protein or granola bar, especially in winter when you may get stuck in snow or a ditch and be there for quite a while before help can arrive.

Emergency thermal blanket (they sell them all folded up about 3" x 4" in size. They are silvery in color.

Tape measure
by: Richard A

In the minivan, since I use it for trips to the lumber yard, I keep a compact 10' tape measure. Also convenient if we find a usable piece of furniture or cabinet on the side of the road.

Also in glove box.
by: Barb

If you sometimes have a dog with you especially if you go out of state you will need copy of all papers. They can be quarantined until the paperwork is available.

glove box item
by: Anonymous

Gloves! for scraping windshield and/or pumping gas.

Glove Box - Limit Important Papers
by: Anonymous

We keep the roadside information and insurance, but not registration or other information. We have a google account we all share (family and that gives you access to google drive. We scan and put all those important papers there...copies of DL, insurance, registration, medical power of attorney, etc. You can access from any computer and most phones.

I've had my car stolen too and the police advised about keeping too much personal info in your car. In my state if you are pulled over and do not have your proof of insurance/registration, they will write you a ticket, but if you submit your proof within 30 days, the ticket is waived. I'd rather go through that process than identity theft.

by: Anonymous

Baby wipes!!!!!!! For everything!

by: Nancy

I wear contacts and am nearly blind without them. So I keep a small bag with old glasses, contact case and solution. I have had to use this to get safely home!

Something to add to the contacts list
by: Sheila

I have a contacts list but also I have a special note on it that lists my pets and who I want to take care of them should I be in a serious accident. I want to know that my fur-babies are being taken care of.

by: Anonymous

I always carry a multi tool and strike anywhere matches or a lighter.

Gas money
by: Anonymous

I also keep a $10 bill in there in case of needing emergency gas money.

Get rid of the mileage tracker
by: Julia

Great app is Mile IQ. Its a smart phone app that tracks all of your mileage. You can set up tracking categories, and get a weekly email of your activity. Get that paper out of the car!

No registration
by: Anonymous

My mother in laws car was stolen and the officers who took the report said NEVER TO put registration in your car! The thief can go straight to your house and burgled you there. She changed her locks immediately.
My insurance provider has it it so we can download our insurance card and it's accepted in Va.
What I have other than gloves and the car manual is my church stewardship envelopes. I never manage to write my offering til on the way to church!

stuff for the dog
by: Mary

extra dog leash, and a fold up water cup

by: Jocelyn

I also keep an accordion file in my passenger side door for my coupons. I have them organized by type (pharmacy, car, grocery, fast food, etc). This makes it really easy to remember coupons when we stop somewhere spur of the moment that we didn’t plan on. Having it in the passenger side allows the passenger to look for the coupon while the driver is driving. When my hubby is not with me, having it there forces me to wait until I’m safely parked before searching for a coupon. I have a plastic accordion file because I’ve found that the paper ones get torn up too quickly when we’re pulling them in and out of the door a lot. I got mine at Staples, but Amazon is probably cheaper.

by: Anonymous

I put gloves and nothing else in my glove box. Console compartment has flash light, driving glasses, a survival kit, car manual, reg and ins, and pepper spray.

N95 mask and pet vaccination records
by: r b

Try to keep an N 95 mask, in the event one must shelter in place. Also I keep my dog's vaccination records.

Essential glove box items
by: Anonymous

Napkins and a pen are essential too!

ponytail holders
by: Dana

I keep ponytail holders in my glove box for holding cords, corralling extra items instead of using rubber bands that will fall apart due to the heat.

consider what can be retrieved after an accident
by: Anonymous

DO NOT keep a seat belt cutter/window smashing tool in your glove box. A glove box can be warped in an accident if hit from that side of the car or if the car rolls making it impossible to open it. Best places for it are in a pocket on the front bottom of the drivers seat, in a middle storage area near the dashboard or anywhere but in the doors or the storage area between the seats - the doors can be crushed making it unretrievable or the seats can be forced against the storage area making it impossible to open. This also applies to a first aid kit and your registration. Make a copy of your registration and keep the original in the glove box but keep a copy in a protected zip lock under the driver seat clipped to something that is part of it so it does not get dislodged or in a storage pocket made for visors. I only keep items in the glove box which I do NOT need if I were in an accident. I was in a near death collision (got t-boned by a red light runner) and the passenger doors and glove box were rendered unusable. Now I only keep napkins, a rolled up washcloth, auto manual, a takeout menu of restaurants we frequent (your phone may work to call them but the web with their menu may not not)and extra sunglasses in the glove box. If you and your spouse have two vehicles keeping an extra pair in both avoids having to go back in the house to get the ones you normally wear if your forget on your way out. If you regularly use anything of value and store it in your door pockets for easy reach, you can kiss them goodbye in a bad side crash.

Two essentials
by: Anonymous

Feminine care products in a discrete bag and an emergency $20 bill-has saved me dozens of times for unforeseen tolls, gas when I left my purse at home (now there’s google pay, but in small town situations maybe not!), and more! My husband thought it was crazy to keep $20 in each car, but he’s glad to have found it each time he ran into a pitfall.

Glove compartment nice-to-haves
by: Anonymous

Here in Asia we often give AngPows (red packets) with money at weddings instead of buying gifts. I usually have a small stack of them in the glove compartment in case I forget to prepare one beforehand. Also useful for last minute birthday gifts of cash.

What to keep in your glove box
by: Phyllis Thrush

Hi Taylor. I have a question about keeping the registration and proof of insurance in your glove box. I used to always do that and then was told it's dangerous to do that in case your car gets stolen - the thief would have information about where you live and with the title to your vehicle in the glove box thieves would then have all of the information needed to easily sell your vehicle—your title number and the registration information.

What are your thoughts - it's so convenient to have it in the glove box and my car has never been stolen so I feel it's overly cautious not to keep it there but what if?

reply to Phyllis's question
by: Taylor

Another reader, Kathi, asked a similar question below. I guess I come down on the side of needing to keep things in your car that are required to be there by law, and at least where I live keeping the proof of insurance and registration for the vehicle inside the car is a legal requirement.

Check out my reply to Kathi for more thoughts. I guess, for me, I've decided that although this is a possibility, that I still keep the items in there because it's not a high probability, but some of the other scenarios where the documents are needed are more likely to happen (or I've even experienced before), so I keep them in my car. You'll have to make the ultimate decision for yourself though!

My essentials
by: Anonymous

-a baseball cap, in case I forget one, for dog walks on sunny days
-extra poop bags
-a spare leash
-a collapsable water dish
-usb stick with both dog and human medical info
-copy of local law allowing dogs actively training to be off lead in parks

glove box neatness
by: Anonymous

I love my RAV4. It has so many nooks and pockets I only keep minimum as suggested in my glove box.

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