Fabulous 15 Minute Organizing Fixes: a blog series from simplify 101

This week, we’re dusting off a blog post from a few years ago, originally titled “How to Organize Your Glove Compartment in 15 Minutes for Under $5.” We hope you love this Fabulous 15 Minute Organizing Fix! 

Does your glove compartment need an organizing intervention? If you’re like me, this is a place you don’t use all too often except perhaps when someone needs a napkin or when you have an extra ketchup package from the drive-thru…and you need a place to stash it for later. (Or possibly forever.)

The last time I opened my glove box (before yesterday) was last spring after a startling but otherwise uneventful little rear end “collision” while I was driving home from a client’s home. (More on that in a minute.) At that time, because I knew exactly where the important stuff like my insurance and registration papers were, I didn’t notice that my glove box actually looked like this:

Glove box

Does this look familiar? Not sure? Next time you’re in your vehicle…take a look inside your glove compartment. If it looks like mine did, here’s how you can organize it in fifteen minutes for under $5.

First, clear everything out of the glove compartment and load it into a portable storage container. Take your bucket of stuff inside to a flat surface (I used the kitchen table) and sort like with like. Toss out the things you don’t need (like old ketchup packets) and find a new home for items you need but not in your car.


Next, use storage solutions to organize the items you want to keep. I used a couple of items I picked up while school supply shopping—a plastic supply box and a small expanding file. The total cost for supplies was under $5. The supply box holds wet wipes, a few salt and ketchup packets, and napkins. I also put the tire gauge and a multi-tool in this box (which isn’t exactly like with like but I didn’t want these items to get lost at the bottom of the glove box.)

Organize your glove box in 15 minutes for less than $5.


Next, sort and organize any papers you keep in your car. I organized maps and vehicle repair receipts (which I have always kept in my car) and organized these into the small expanding file.

Expanding file

The final step in organizing your glove compartment is to put everything back into your glove compartment and possibly elsewhere in your car. Prioritize what goes where based on how important the items are and how often you use them. Here’s how I did it.

I decided that the items in the expandable file will be stored in a compartment on my door…so that the most used items could be in the best storage location in my car—the glove box.

Expanding file on door

I did not put my registration or insurance documents on the door—they went back in the glove box along with some other items that had been stored in a nice little storage area underneath the passenger’s seat. This drawer contained my Collision Kit from Buttoned Up. Now here’s the funny thing…remember that startling but otherwise uneventful collision I told you about earlier? Well, during the startled moments right after the collision, I didn’t even think about the Collision Kit stored underneath the passenger’s seat. Instead, I called my husband and said “I just got rear-ended. What do I do?” Not the best approach. Had this been a more serious accident where people or cars were more than startled, there are a few things I should have done. My Collision Kit would have walked me through the process. The kit includes (among other things) a clipboard and an accident checklist (which doesn’t say “call your husband and ask him what to do”).

Collision kit

I decided to take the kit apart and put the contents in my glove box along with my insurance and registration papers. This way, if I need the insurance and registration papers (like in an accident) I will remember that I have the checklist. (Bingo!)

I clipped the insurance and registration papers to the clipboard, and tucked them into the glove box behind the green supply box. The kit’s disposable camera and pen are also stored inside the glove box, which means all the most important stuff is organized and easily accessible in the glove box. (And it looks a lot better, too. Want to see?)

Glove box after

So that’s all there is to it! Happy organizing!

Writing this post made me really curious about what other people keep in their glove boxes…and if this is a space that you’ve organized recently. Or is your glove box like mine…a forgotten space? Thanks for sharing! 

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Aby Garvey is a creative organizing expert and simplify 101’s founder. She has created 14 online organizing classes, which she has been teaching since 2007, helping thousands of people around the world get organized. Aby loves to help people create positive change in their lives through her online classes and organizing eBooks.

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