How to Organize Your Glove Compartment in Just 10 Minutes

The glove compartment: home of ketchup packets, dried-out pens, loose nickels and expired car registrations. We think it deserves more respect — or at least a good cleaning every year or two. Here’s how to organize your car glove compartment in no time at all.

How to organize your car glove compartment in 10 minutes

1. Open the door and take everything out.

messy glove box

Chances are your glove box will look something like this: overstuffed yet underused. Take it all out, down to the last penny, and put it on the seat.

2. Organize into three piles: Throw out, keep in glove compartment and put somewhere else.

how to organize my glove box

Sort all the treasures you find into three categories. The trash I found included dried-out baby wipes, car inspection records from 2012 and crumpled napkins. Out it went. Essential things to keep in the glove compartment included my car registration, insurance info and owner’s manual. Things that might be useful, but maybe could be stowed elsewhere, include car repair records, a rearview mirror re-attachment kit and paper maps.

I have a hard time letting go of maps. On the one hand, I can’t remember the last time I planned a road trip using a paper map. On the other, I do remember the time I got lost with no cell phone signal, and the only landmark I could find was a roadside sign declaring I was in the geographical center of Virginia. A good compromise for maps: keep the state maps that can be useful in rural areas, but store city maps in the trunk (or throw them away).

Things you should not keep in your glove box: your car title (a thief would find this very useful), or things that can melt, like deodorant or chapstick. The jury’s out on whether it’s possible for a lighter to explode in a hot car, so it’s probably wise to leave that out.

3. Clean the glove compartment and put back the essentials.

clean glove compartment

With a wipe or paper towel, get rid of all the crud. Then replace just the things that belong there. Ahh. Isn’t that better?

4. Figure out what’s missing from your glove compartment.

how to organize your car

As I looked at my newly cleaned glove compartment, I realized there were a few things I should add. Keep in mind that your glove compartment doesn’t need to serve as a survival kit. Keep things like space blankets, duct tape, flares, etc. in the trunk. Thing you want close at hand include:

  • A small first aid kit. Keep the comprehensive emergency kit in the trunk, but it’s smart to have a few essentials in the glove compartment, like bandages,
  • Spare change in a zippered bag. If all else fails, you’ll be able to feed yourself out of a rest stop vending machine.
  • $20 for emergencies.
  • Baby wipes. Perfect for quick clean-ups.
  • Tire gauge. Check your tire pressure often, just like Dad always said.
  • Medical info. Nationwide recommends noting medical conditions, medications and allergies for each family member in case you’re involved in an accident.
  • Multi-tool. For minor repairs or cutting the seatbelt in an emergency.
  • Ice scraper
  • Cheap sunglasses
  • Gloves
  • Plastic grocery bags
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Flashlight
  • Lint roller
  • Car cellphone charger

Now you’re ready for any road trip, especially with your road trip checklist in hand. Just don’t forget your map. Safe travels!

Compare Car Insurance Quotes

Share This

Enter your info. Compare companies. Lock-in your price. Be done.