Auto parts stores and sites like Ebay and Amazon are full of hundreds of random odds and ends that are designed to make your driving experience a little bit nicer.  Many of these things are either cheap, junky gimmicks, or just way overpriced. We have also noticed that once the word “automotive” goes on the package, the price doubles (“marine” makes it quadruple).  What most people don’t know is that your local discount or dollar store is full of great things you can re-purpose in the car.  Here are just a few of them:

DryerSheets Img1DRYER SHEETS

Open a box of dryer sheets and stick it under your seat. Keep the car smelling fresh for less money than the expensive air fresheners.

CAT LITTERcrystal cat litter

Fill an old sock with Crystal Cat Litter and put it in your car to absorb moisture and keep your windows from fogging. Crystal Cat Litter is the same silica gel used to absorb moisture in packaging. Any cat litter can be used for traction in snow and ice as well.

laundry basketLAUNDRY BASKETS

Laundry baskets make great organizers for the trunk of your car. Keep things organized, and carry them in and out of the house with ease. Check Dollar Stores for various sizes and other containers

FITTED BED SHEETSbackseatwithcover

Any parent or pet owner knows that rain means mud tracked into the car. Keep a couple old bed sheets around to cover seats to collect dirt, crayon, pet hair, and more. Fitted ones stay put on the seats. You can cut holes for seat belts as needed, and the whole thing will pop right in the washer.

old beltAN OLD BELT

While it may come in handy if your pants won’t stay up, you can use an old belt to help secure your trunk when hauling oversized items, or for bundling things like luggage, clothing, etc.


A couple towels can be a life saver for a spilled drink or bringing home a wet kid from swim lessons. Towels can also be rolled up and stuffed in the gaps beside your seats to keep things from dropping down there, or used as a pillow for passengers on long trips.

road mapMAPS

So few cars anymore have maps in them because we have become so reliant on GPS and Google Maps. Having a paper backup is always a good plan because electronics tend to fail when you need them most. Highway rest areas often have free maps of the state you are in. Stop and grab one.


Don’t toss those just yet. Keep a few grocery bags in your car for cleaning up trash, or organizing loose items. They also come in handy for keeping things dry in the rain, or for containing messy or dirty items.

showercaddycarwindowSHOWER ORGANIZERS

Suction cup shower organizers can attach to windows to hold crayons, snacks, and other items for kids. With a little creativity, you could probably use one to hold your phone, a GPS, sunglasses, etc. Shower caddys with handles make great ways to store extra fluids, cleaning supplies, and other odds and ends, or even keep those french fries from bouncing around!

CEREAL CONTAINERScerealcontainercartrash

Those big tupperware cereal containers make great trash cans. They close to keep it all contained, and can be operated with one hand. Line it with the Grocery bags above, and it makes removing the mess a breeze!

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