Depending on where you live, a significant percentage of you and/or your family’s life could be spent in the car. At times you may even ask yourself why you bought the big fancy house and the little sports car; it should have been the other way around.

Make the most of your travel time by taking some time to organize your car.

Jane’s List of Car Must-Haves:
1) First aid kit – I’m not suggesting you be prepared to perform a roadside appendectomy. A few bandages, antibiotic ointment, and aspirin (in a child-proof container) are sufficient for most people. The Mini-Emergency Kit is a good start. If you prefer to customize something to your lifestyle, create your own first aid kit by filling a Barcelona Bag with exactly what you need.

2) Flashlight – From late night reading or to find a dropped earring between the seats a flash light is important, even if you wouldn’t dream of changing a tire in the night.

3) Trash bin – Keep one in each door so there are no excuses for stray tissues and gum wrappers. Empty the bags each time you pump gas. My favorite type is flat and slides into the door cubby. I’ve only found them at car washes or gas station gift shops. You could also recycle gallon size resealable bags–just not one you previously used for frozen fish. A shop towel or some paper towels can also keep your auto neat and tidy.

4) Cash – I read somewhere that Jackie Kennedy always kept a dollar zipped in her purse for emergencies. A dollar won’t go far these days, so I recommend a $10, two $5, and five $1 bills in your glove box or center console. If you spend it be sure to put it back, and don’t ever let your children or husband see where you hide it.

5) Girl Stuff – Why is it that bad things come in multiples? It’s rare for me to have just one thing go wrong in a day. If I’m going to split my pants, pop a button, chip a nail or have an early visit from my monthly visitor, it’s all going to happen at once. The Working Girl Survival Kit contains 22 health and beauty essentials including stain remover, a mending kit, an emery board, and even feminine hygiene products, all in a compact aluminum case. You can also make your own kit by filling a Jane Marvel Pouch or document size Barcelona Bag.

6) Emergency Repair Stuff – It’s not that I can’t change a tire or jump start a dead battery, it’s that after working full-time and parenting a baby and two teenagers I’m tired. Just dialing roadside assistance from my mobile phone seems like a lot of work. Nonetheless I keep jumper cables and a tire iron, but only in case I find a cute nice stranger to assist me.

7) Snacks – Break the fast food habit by keeping a few travel friendly snacks in your car. A bag of nuts, an energy bar (pick a type that won’t melt), or some trail mix will keep you from chewing your arm off or worse– eating junk food. If you have kids, a few juice boxes can also come in handy.

8) Office Supplies – I’m not suggesting you prepare the TPS report during your morning commute, but there are some occasions when you could use a few office supplies on the road. Kill time waiting for a meeting or appointment by getting some work out of the way. A quick thank-you note to a client. Pay some bills. It’s amazing what you can accomplish with some basic supplies like envelopes, a few stamps, two pens, a pencil, a sharpener, a highlighter, sticky notes, paper clips and a note card or two. In the electronic age it’s nice to send a handwritten note, and the only time I have for that is when I’m stuck in a doctor’s waiting room for several hours.

9) Trunk Organization – How do you keep all this stuff from rolling around your trunk with every stop? If you have a trunk, use a sturdy cardboard box to contain all your supplies. If you have a mini-van or SUV your mobile organization may be clearly visible to the rest of the world. Use a plastic lidded bin or a pop-up bin. I like the bins from Bungalow.
















Image above: 1. Mini-emergency Survival Kit, $15; 2. Bone Paper Clips, $8; 3. The Seven Year Pen, $8; 4. Lilly Pulitzer ‘Stuck On You’ Sticky $12; 5. Capsule Highlighters $8; 6. Working Girl’s Survival Kit $38. 7. Animal Note Cube $15; 8. Pencil Pusher Sharpener $6.50; 9. See Jane Work Basics Pencils $7

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