Here’s a list of things to keep in your car that’ll ensure you’re comfortable and prepared anywhere you go.
I’ve got some ordinary stuff on the list, a list of things to have in case of emergencies, and then my favorite: the unusual stuff most folks don’t think of!
Before we jump into the things to keep in your car though, let’s talk about a handy tool for finding quality products on Amazon.
Fakespot: Find Quality Amazon Products
Fakespot is a free web tool and browser extension that analyzes Amazon reviews.
It grades the reviews on any product on Amazon, letting you know if it thinks they’re real or fake.
I love it, and check every product before I buy. I ultimately installed the browser extension on Chrome which allows me to see the reviews as I’m browsing.
You can see the little letter grades in the top-left corners of each product.
A word of caution
One word of caution though: I’ve come across several products that have F grades on Fakespot. I’ve decided to purchase them anyway and have been very happy with them.
Two examples I have are the Anker USB charging cables for Android, and a book called Stories That Stick by Kindra Hall. These two products are definitely worth owning, and so the Fakespot rating proved to be inaccurate.
All this is to say that you should take the ratings with a grain of salt. If you think the product looks good anyway, give it a shot. Just be sure you can return it first!
Also, if the rating is garbage, Fakespot provides alternative recommendations on their site. I ran into this scenario when I was checking out jumper cables for this episode, so I decided to provide both product recommendations below.
32 Helpful Things to Keep in Your Car
Here’s the list of 32 things to keep in your car!
Keep in mind that some items are pretty obvious, so they don’t have descriptions!
32 Things to Keep in Your Car: Ordinary Things
1. Phone charger
Arriving at your destination with a full batter is always a win. Dedicate a charger to your car so you never have to remember to grab one.
You never know when you’ll wind up stupid thirsty, and you’ll wish you had a drink.
Or, if you’re driving and need to take any meds, having a bottle of water handy is helpful.
I aim to keep a sealed bottle in the car at all times. Whenever I open it, I take it out and replace it with one that’s sealed.
Why sealed? I find that opened water starts to taste funky after a couple days in the car, so I prefer to keep one that’s unopened.
Pretty often, restaurants give you too many napkins. Whenever that happens, I toss them in my glove compartment. It saves on waste, and they’re very useful to have in the car.
4. Pen & notepad
If you live in a place that gets cold, and don’t have a heated steering wheel, these are essential.
There have definitely been times when the wheel is so freezing cold in Michigan that I couldn’t hold onto it. Driving without gloves would’ve been impossible.
Plus, gloves are good to have in case of emergencies, regardless of what type of steering wheel you’ve got.
7. Ice scraper
For cold climates, and (unfortunate) essential.
I got mine at Menard’s.
I almost put this one in the Unusual category below, but it really belongs here.
If you’ve ever gotten caught in the rain (who hasn’t?), then you know why this is a good idea.
In my car, there’s a gap underneath the back seat. That’s where I keep mine.
9. Tire pressure gauge
Another essential. I switched to a digital gauge a few years ago and have never gone back.
I love my AstroAI Digital Pressure Gauge, and I think you’ll love it too!
32 Things to Keep in Your Car: Unusual Things
10. Basic medicine
I keep four basic meds in my car:
- Allergy relief
- Migraine relief
11. Hand lotion & lip balm
12. $5 bill
This has bailed me out of a couple of I’m-at-a-toll-booth-without-cash moments.
I keep the bill in the driver’s side visor, under the flap that covers the mirror.
13. Dental floss
I keep a bag of Dentek Floss Picks in my car. Food in teeth = miserable. This prevents that!
14. Point massager
You still should!
15. Fork, spoon, straw
In case the folks at the drive-thru window forget!
I keep a pair in the glove compartment. Super handy if you need to open packaging.
17. Cereal canister
I’ve got one of these under my passenger seat in the back. I use it as a trash can.
This Rubbermaid canister isn’t exactly the one I have (mine is like… 10 years old). But! It’ll get the job done.
18. Lint roller
Keep this in my passenger door.
19. Wrinkle releaser
A travel-sized Downy Wrinkle Release spray is with me all the time!
20. Receipt organizer
Back in Episode 11: The Very Best Life Hacks for Your Car, I recommended using an accordion organizer to store and manage receipts. Head back there to check out the full details!
The one I have is a Cypress Lane 13-Pocket Expanding File Folder.
21. Trunk organizer
Another throwback, again to Episode 46: 5 More of the Best Car Life Hacks.
I love my Feezen Trunk Organizer, and you can use one to store many of the items in this list!
22. Small tool set
Found a tool set — the Apollo Precision Tool Set — that’s perfect for the car! And it includes scissors, so it does double duty.
23. Collapsible snow shovel
I don’t have one of these yet, but I’m definitely going to grab one soon.
If your car has ever gotten stuck in the snow, you understand why this Rhino USA Folding Survival Shovel will come in handy.
24. Cat litter
This is another stuck-in-the-snow hack: If your car gets stuck, you can sprinkle cat litter around your tires.
This helps your tires get traction, allowing you to escape the slick snow.
25. Reusable shopping bags
26. Second umbrella
I like to be a nice friend, so I have an extra umbrella in case someone’s with me and it starts raining.
I also don’t like to share my umbrella, so… ?
27. Change of clothes
If you spill something or rip something, you’ll be glad you thought ahead.
32 Things to Keep in Your Car: Things for Emergencies
28. Emergency multi-tool
My mom has insisted I keep one of these in my car since I started driving. It’s a tool that allows you to bust the windows / cut free a seat belt in an emergency. It’s also a flashlight.
One problem I always had was that I could never remember where in my car I kept it. And, the last thing you want to be doing in an emergency is searching for the thing you need.
As I was looking for a product to recommend, I stumbled on this KNGUVHT Emergency Tool on Amazon, and am 100% buying it.
It does the same two things as the regular emergency tools, but with several fantastic upgrades:
- It doubles as a USB adapter for your DC power outlet (i.e., cigarette lighter)
- It’s a battery, which provides extra juice for your phone in an emergency
- It’s a flashlight that doesn’t require separate batteries. No concern about dead batteries in an emergency.
- It lives in a convenient, memorable spot! You can’t forget where you put it.
29. Jumper cables
You never know when you’ll need a jump!
Here’s another upgraded product that I’m pretty excited about: It’s a portable jumper cable: BEATIT Portable Car Jump Starter.
The cables are attached to a battery, and it allows you to jump your car by yourself.
Also, as I mentioned on the show, here’s a second product you can check out (this one’s got a better Fakespot review): PowerMax Portable Car Jump Starter.
These ANMEILU Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets are super compact, thermal blankets. Those kinds you see in space movies.
I’m going to get a pack because they’re so small, and they’ll be very handy if I’m ever stranded in the cold.
31. First-aid kit
A first-aid kit is a must. I like this Be Smart Get Prepared 100 Piece First Aid Kit.
32. Spare tire (+ jack + tire iron)
To round out this list of things to keep in your car, you’ll want to double check on something that should already be there!
Double check that your car has its spare! And, also, ensure that the jack and tire iron are there, too.
7 More Things to Keep in Your Car w/ Easier Listener Rachel
Little #18 — Travel
Click below to listen to part one:
#58: 32 Helpful Things to Keep in Your Car
• • •
In Little #18, I spoke with Rachel, an Easier listener and pharmaceutical rep who travels for work a lot.
Based on the amount of time she spends in the car, she recommended a few additions to my list. These are great for anyone, but especially for those who drive long distances
Rachel’s things to keep in your car
1. Backup glasses
Rachel always keeps an extra set of glasses somewhere in her car, just in case.
2. Behind-the-seat organizer
For long solo trips, flip this behind-the-seat organizer to the front for easy access to drinks, snacks, phone, and more.
3. Manicure set
Always handy to have at least a nail clipper in the car. I do, and about the only time I take to cut my nails is when I’m sitting in traffic.
4. Toiletry kit
Definitely keep the basics like lotion, toothpaste, and deodorant handy.
5. OXO Good Grips Tot 2-in-1 Travel Potty Seat
Rachel loves this OXO Good Grips Tot 2-in-1 Travel Potty Seat for potty emergencies with kids.
6. The Piddle Pad Car Seat Protector
And, just in case you didn’t bust out your travel potty seat in time, this car seat protector will make cleanup much easier.
Rachel’s starting a podcast!
She’s working on starting a show about intentional living. You can get on the waiting list to be notified when it launches by clicking here.
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