I’m a bit of a hoarder. I always have been and I don’t ever see myself changing. I swear I was a boy scout in another life, because I truly believe in the “always be prepared” way of life. There is my list of car essentials – the things I always keep in my car.
1. Homemade “First Aid” Kit
I have this little zip up glovebox first aid kit I got from a local car event last spring. They were given out by GM & Sparrow (local hospital) and came stocked with all your basics – tweezers, band aids, rubber gloves, etc. I personalized it a bit and threw in some chapstick, tampons, handwarmers, tylenol… things that I like to keep on me, but don’t want floating around in my drink holders. It’s still easy to get to, but my car isn’t a huge mess.
2. Reusable, Folding Shopping Bags
I LOVE my Ikea Upptacka Bags. I have 10 in varying colors and I keep them all in my trunk. I use them all the time. I use them for grocery shopping, but I also use them carting around all kinds of things. They really are handy and I would suggest getting at least one to throw in your glovebox. Unfortunately, on their website they don’t have the bright colored ones anymore, but you can still find them online. Just google “Upptacka Tote” and you’ll find them. They are on ebay and amazon. Or you could go with Ikea’s replacement bag (the Knalla). From what I can tell, they are very similiar. The do have wider handles, which is probably a good thing. They are super cheap (99 cents for “family” members or $1.49 for everybody) and they fold right up.
3. A Makeshift Trash Can
I keep a plastic cereal container (got it at the dollar store) with a ziplock bag inside it. I use it as a makeshift trashbag for all those gum wrappers, receipts, tissues and other items. It’s great because it’s got a sealed top.
4. A Blanket
I keep a blanket in my car all year long. In the summertime it’s great for picnics, night baseball games and things like that. It’s also a great precaution for winter time. If your car were to get stuck in the snow, it’s a great item to have. Sometimes those tow trucks can take a long time.
5. Ice Scraper & Collapsable Shovel
These items are for winter. I don’t have a garage or a basement, so I tend to keep both of these in my trunk year round.
6. Jumper Cables & Battery Charger
I am notorious for locking my keys in the car and leaving my car lights on. I haven’t had any incidents since I bought my new focus, but when I had my sunfire, I had a problem at least once a month. You see, the door chime didn’t work anymore. So when I left my lights on or my keys in the ignition, nothing happened. So I was gifted a travel battery charger that you hook right up to your battery and it jumps it. However, I would also forget to charge the unit. So I got into the habit of keeping cables on me too. You really should have cables on you at all times.
7. Phone Charger
Anybody who knows me knows that I CANNOT let my phone die. Plus, it’s very important to have a charger for emergency situations. Nobody wants to be stuck in the middle of nowhere with no way to call for help.
My name is Sarah and I am an umbrella hoarder. It’s true. I have 4 umbrellas in my car – one in each car door pocket. I used to carry a large umbrella in the trunk too. I decided that was a bit much.
9. Car Manual
I know this is incredibly basic, but you really need to keep your manual in your glovebox. You will need it, trust me. From figuring out how to change the clock to checking to see what kind of oil you need, your manual come in handy time and time again.
10. Wet Wipes & Car Cleaning Wipes
I keep a couple of wet wipes in my armrest and a container of wipes specifically for cars in my trunk. The wet wipes are for me and the car wipes are for my car. The car wipes are great for greasy prints, spills and just picking up accumulated dust.