Stash the compartments with granola bars, hand wipes, tissues, and such, then reach for the cardboard savior when your backseat drivers are steering you toward Crazytown (population: one frazzled mom).
2 of 14James Wojcik
Pencil as Key Lubricant
If a key is sticking in the lock, scribble on its edges with a trusty number two. Graphite in the lead helps the key glide and turn more easily (so it also makes your day go more smoothly).
3 of 14Aya Brackett
Accordion Folder as a Glove Compartment Organizer
Store your car insurance, registration, manuals, and maps in a neatly bound holder to avoid an avalanche of papers every time you reach in for your sunglasses. It's the first step to getting your car chaos under control.
4 of 14Kana Okada
Baby Oil as Chrome Polish
Forget keeping skin soft, baby oil also polishes chrome. Apply a dab to a cotton cloth and use it to shine everything from faucets to hubcaps. You'll end up with shiny, happy surfaces from a medicine-cabinet staple. (Who actually owns chrome cleaner, anyway?)
5 of 14Frances Janisch
Car Wax as Sink Polish
Polish faucets, sinks, tile, even shower doors with Turtle Wax, which leaves behind a protective barrier against water and soap buildup, so your hard-earned sparkle will last past the next tooth-brushing.
6 of 14Aya Brackett
Car Wax as Garden Shear Lubricant
For cleaner cuts with less elbow grease, rub a little paste on the hinge of a pair of garden shears so they don’t get jammed.
7 of 14Sang An
Bath Mat as Car Seat Protector
Protect your car seats from muddy paws by covering them with a bath mat or two before packing Lilly the Lab in the backseat. The rubber bottom will help the mat stay in place. Between trips, stow the mat in the trunk.
8 of 14Lucas Allen
Car Wax as Stovetop Polish
Preserve a pristine stovetop by applying a thin layer of car wax, then wiping it off. Future spills will lift off easily.
9 of 14Anna Williams
Rug Pad as Trunk Liner
Keep shopping bags steady on the drive home by lining your trunk with a non-skid rug pad. That way goods won't tumble every time you take a turn.
10 of 14 Charles Masters
Tube Socks as Wiper Protectors
Come on―when was the last time you wore them, anyway? Instead, slip a pair over your windshield wipers on the eve of a storm so you won’t have to deice the blades in the morning.
11 of 14Jens Mortensen
Scratched CD as Safety Reflector
Want drivers to see—not sideswipe—yourmailbox at night? Glue headlight-catching CDs onto its side.
12 of 14Quentin Bacon
Zippered Plastic Bag as Record Keeper
Keep receipts handy and wrinkle-free. Corral keys, your phone, and loose change before hitting airport security. Store your car’s insurance card and registration in the glove compartment.
13 of 14James Wojcik
Ice Scraper as Pastry Dough Lifter
Lift sticky pastry dough from the work surface. Next to ice, this job really isn't quite so hard.
14 of 14Levi Brown
Button as Earring Holder
Travel is best done in pairs (think of Lewis and Clark or Thelma and Louise). To keep a set of earrings together on your next overnight jaunt, fasten them to a button so they won’t get lost in your suitcase pocket.