Efficiency FileMaster Desk

Efficiency FileMaster Desk (Photos courtesy of each manufacturer.)

Sitting in rush hour traffic, shuttling the kids to sports games and birthday parties, taking road trips to visit colleges — for better or worse, most busy families spend a lot of time in the car. If you approach keeping your car organized in the same way you would the kitchen or mudroom, you’ll find yourself a lot less stressed when you’re trying to get from point A to point B. Here are 13 clever contraptions that will turn your car into, shall we say, a well-oiled machine.

Large Trunk Organizer 

Soccer balls, umbrellas, extra bottles of water, that ill-fitting sweater you need to return — whatever is currently rattling around in your trunk can be neatly corralled in this extra-large organizer that’s perfect for SUVs and minivans. $70, CargoGear

Large Trunk Organizer

Snack and Play Kids Travel Tray

Save yourself from at least a few “Are we there yet?” queries by setting kiddos up with a tray where they can color, read books, play games and have a snack on the road. This tray is crash tested, and includes mesh side pockets for stowing favorite toys and sippy cups. $30, One Step Ahead 

Snack and Play Kids Travel Tray

CommuteMate Dash Grip

Turn previously unused space on the dashboard into a handy spot to stash the items you’re always feeling around the car for as you drive (you know you do it!). Sunglasses, cell phones and other frequently needed items will be within reach, but not causing distraction by sliding around on the dash. $9, Organize-It

CommuteMate Dash Grip

Pocket Blanket

Folded into its teeny-tiny pouch, this cool blanket takes up no space at all, but it might save you in a variety of situations — an unexpected diaper disaster (is there any other kind?), a surprise rainstorm or an impromptu scenic stop (you never know when you’ll want to hop out of the car to catch a gorgeous sunset!). $30, Matador 

Matador Pocket Blanket

Golf Gear Organizer

Don’t let the golfer in your life clutter the family car with balls, tees, gloves and shoes. Pack it all away in this compact case that’s ready to go whenever he or she hits the green. $30, Sports Authority 

Golf Gear Organizer

Tablet Headrest Mount

Not that you bribe your kids with screen time so they behave in the backseat or anything like that … but this mount fits a variety of tablets and has a swivel adapter for easy viewing by multiple little passengers. Just saying. $60, Arkon

Arkon Tablet Headrest Mount

Cup Holder Organizer 

Keep your coffee, glasses, phone, and other on-the-go necessities within easy reach during your morning commute. There’s a slot for power cords to keep your devices charged, so you can arrive at the office calm, cool, collected — and caffeinated! $14, Walmart

Cup Holder Organizer

Back Seat Dog Bed

Protect your seats while your pooch rides in style (and comfort). Perfect for road trips, vet visits and other family outings with your four-legged friend. $225, The Driver’s Seat

Back Seat Dog Bed

Car Seat Gap Filler

Don’t waste another minute of your life attempting to retrieve a cell phone that’s slipped in between your seat and the center console. Bonus: This gap filler will also catch wayward French fries, stray bobby pins and all of the other bizarre things that seem to wind up in that crevice. So simple, it’s brilliant! $10, Walmart 

Drop Stop

Efficiency FileMaster Desk

If your job requires you to be on the road (or you’ve regularly got some time to kill between soccer practice and ballet class), invest in this auto desk that will turn your car into a moving office. Check your presentation once more before heading into a client meeting or finish planning the school fundraiser in between shuttling the kids from one activity to another. $214, Unique Truck Equipment

Efficiency FileMaster Desk

Trunk Organizer and Cooler Set

Picnic at a moment’s notice? Just throw some snacks and drinks in the built-in cooler, and keep the side compartments stocked with blankets, sunscreen and other necessities (may we suggest a corkscrew?), and you’ll always be ready for a day at the beach or an afternoon in the park. $52, Overstock.com

Trunk Organizer and Cooler Set

Sip ‘N Snak

Let little ones help themselves to nibbles and drinks with this handy sippy-cup-snack-container hybrid that attaches to car seats. They’ll be able to refuel before they get cranky, and you won’t have to search under seats for fallen cups and baggies full of treats. $6, Amazon

Sip 'N Snak

Portable Car Mount and Charger

Charge two devices at the same time, and keep your phone safely in your line of sight to read directions or make hands-free calls. But, no texting while driving, please! $40, Kenu

Kenu


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