Free up room in your vehicle's trunk or cargo area with solutions from Scott Roewer, founder of The Organizing Agency.

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Between jumper cables, camping gear, and lacrosse sticks, your car trunk is responsible for stashing a lot of stuff. So it's no surprise this convenient storage space can quickly devolve into clutter. How do you regain control of a messy car and learn how to organize your car trunk in a way you can maintain? Start by adding organizers that give commonly stored items their own space.

Instead of letting car cleaning supplies take up valuable trunk space, stash them in a hanging organizer on the back of the headrest. And rather than let reusable shopping bags float free (and inevitably get trapped in a crevice so you can't find them when you head to the grocery store), keep all of your shopping bags in a space-saving container. Just think: once all of the essentials have a designated spot in your car trunk, packing the car for a road trip or your next beach vacation will be much easier.

How to Organize a Car Trunk, car packed with organized
Credit: Bryan Gardner

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1 Elevate essentials

An organizer that hangs from a backseat headrest can store jumper cables and cleaning supplies, leaving the trunk floor free for larger cargo, such as sporting equipment or suitcases.

To buy: YoGi Prime Trunk and Backseat Car Organizer, $24;

2 Keep it contained

A structured bin holds grocery bags, beach towels, and backpacks and keeps them from sliding around. Use the attached straps to secure it in place in the trunk or on an empty seat up front.

To buy: Drive Auto Products Car Trunk Organizer, $24;

3 Go green

Place a smaller container within your trunk organizer to house reusable shopping bags. Once you’ve unpacked your groceries, return the bags to this spot so they’re always within reach when you need them.

To buy: Department Store Bags, $22 for 2;

4 Be flexible

Stackable, collapsible bins are perfect for transporting loose items from the garden center or big-box store. Fold them flat when not in use.

To buy: Midi Collapsible Storage Bin in Orchid, $15;

5 Reassess regularly

Give your vehicle a once-over after lengthy trips or between seasons. Restock essentials and remove unnecessary items (like wintertime hockey gear).