Got Keys?

Always loosing your keys?  I often work with clients to set up a landing pad – a place where they ALWAYS put their keys, phone, and other important items.

But keys can get misplaced. If losing your keys drives you crazy, here are some creative ways to remember your keys:

Or get rid of the house keys all together: One of my clients installed a keypad number lock on all her doors, instead of a traditional key lock, because she always was losing her keys!  The other members of her family had the same issue and they happily agreed to get a keypad lock. I think this is a clever solution to an annoying problem.

Travel Tip: 4 Tips for an Organized Roadtrip

View detailsMore Travel Tips coming in from Neat Sheet readers!

These ideas come from my wonderful college roommate. Each summer she and her family take a multi-day roadtrip from their home in Oklahoma to see relatives in the southeast.

Here are some great ways she made the drive easier and reduced her car clutter during the roadtrip:

  • Pack a suitcase for the final destination, but use a smaller shoulder bag for the overnight stops. Just include the necessities – PJs, toiletries, and clothes for the next day. This means the bigger suitcase can stay packed in the car – and you don’t have to re-arrange everything each time you stop for a night.
  • Use a small laundry basket in the back seat to hold snacks and a trash bag. Contain the snacks and trash in the basket, making it easy to tidy up and keeping the rest of the car clean.
  • Designate one bag/backpack per child with their own books, games, DVD player, etc. When it’s time for an overnight stop, items go into the bag and can be carried to the hotel or camping site. Each child should be in charge of his/her own bag!
  • And here’s a tip for one you are home: Since my friend makes regular roadtrips, she decided to make one bin the “roadtrip box.” She put all the things she only uses on long car trips, such as the maps, picnic table cloth, travel cups, and car plugs for the electronics. Putting all these things in one place eliminates the chore of hunting it all down before the next trip.

I’m going to try out the small laundry basket idea and overnight bag on our next long road trip.  Happy travels!

Favorite Container #5: Car Trash Bag

For May my favorite container is my Mod Mobile car trash bag. Trash bag? Yes, trash bag!

This isn’t any ordinary trash bag – it’s durable yet beautiful. It makes me smile when I look at it. And it’s easy to use and keeps my car clean, as I’ve written about before.

Having easy access to a trash bag – whether it is one like mine or a plastic bag – is essential if you want to keep your car tidy.

And when choosing containers, remember:

  • Sometimes a specific container designed to solve a specific issue (= car trash) is best
  • Pick containers that you like the look of because you’ll be more likely to actually use them
  • Containers should be durable and easy to clean

For more on car organization and to see the trash bag in action, check out my video from This Mom Needs Help!

Organizing for Car Trips

When my family set out on our drive to see relatives for Thanksgiving, we actually left on time! Exactly on time, not 10 or 30 or 60 minutes late, which is usually what happens. We sailed along traffic-free and had a great drive to grandma’s house.


What happened so that we got out of the door at the appointed hour?

  • Got out our bags a few days before the trip.
  • Made a list of random things we had to bring – a wedding gift, a stack of books to return to my mom.
  • Packed as much as possible the night before; generally I say I will do this but don’t really pack everything – this time I did it!
  • Used bags to organize: I created a “car” bag for all the random last minute things that need to go in – GPS, camera, snacks, baseball hat.
  • Set up the cereal, bowls and glasses on the counter the night before; this made breakfast easier in the morning.
  • Let everyone in the family know my expectations: when we planned to leave, that we’ll need your help packing the car, etc.

What are your secrets for starting a car trip on time?

De-Clutter & Donate: Cars, Boats, Trucks

Not everyone will have a car sitting around to donate, but if you do I just learned that the Salvation Army will not only accept your used vehicles, but that they also take motorcycles, trucks and boats!

Other organizations that accept car donations include:

  • Kars4Kids in Massachusetts
  • Cars for US Troops (supports US Veterans)
  • America’s Car Donation Center (can choose to support many different charities)

If you are in the mood for some big Spring cleaning, consider getting rid of that old vehicle, even if it isn’t in working condition.

Product Review: Auto Trash Bag from The Mod Mobile

Containing litter in my car is now a snap, thanks to the stylish Auto Trash Bag from The Mod Mobile!

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I’ve been posting about car organization. It all started when I was interviewed by The Boston Globe for an article; the writer was getting his first new car, and wanted ideas for keeping it looking like new. My tips appeared in the second part of this Globe car organization article.

In the first part of the article the writer mentions cool, hand-made auto trash bags from The Mod Mobile. He picks out one for his new car.

I had heard about this trash bag a while ago, and at one point even thought I could make my own (researched sewing instructions online)…but since I don’t sew often, I finally decided to purchase one. I’ve upgraded from a plastic bag to a hand-made, beautiful-but-tough, piece of art.

After all, a trash bag is something that I use all the time, so why not get something fun?

And as a bonus, my daughter loves how it looks and is now eagerly looking for things to toss in. As I tell my clients, if you find an organizing tool that you love to look at, you’ll really use it.

That’s Neat! Organizing did not receive any compensation for this review. I just love the product!

Spring Organizing Project #3: Clear the Car Clutter

April is car care month, and the right time to give your car a little TLC. Spend 15 minutes de-cluttering your car after the long winter.

  • Take a garbage bag out to your car and clean out any trash.
  • See what you’ve stashed in the trunk and back seat that really belongs elsewhere…or can be tossed/recycled.
  • Clean out the glove box. All you really need to keep in the glove box is the car registration, a small first aid kit, flashlight, the few maps you’ll use the most, and an extra car charger for your cell phone.
  • If you are feeling really industrious, vacuum out your car and then wash the outside - or take a quick trip to the local car wash.

That’s Neat! Organizing was interviewed for a Boston Globe article on car organization!