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Switching to a new vehicle means finding new places for everything. Here is how to organize a car console for $5 using dollar store items & cardboard boxes!

Organize a car console for $5

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Switching to a new vehicle means finding new places for everything. Here is how to organize a car console for $5 using dollar store items & cardboard boxes!

Because switching to a new vehicle means having to find new places for everything, here is how to organize a car console. And I did it for $5!

We recently traded in our old van for a newer model.  Since it is a different make, the console was completely different, yet I still needed to carry around the same stuff.  This console is great because it has an upper and lower compartment, so I wanted to make sure everything was accessible and stayed neat. And since I have a car payment again, I wanted my console makeover to be as inexpensive as possible.

My kids are older, so much of the time it is just me in the van, and therefore I don’t have as much stuff in there as I did when my kids were little.  No extra diaper supplies or changes of clothes – woo hoo!

What my necessities are:

  • a box of Kleenex
  • hand lotion and sunscreen (I DO live in Florida, so sunscreen is a year-round must here while driving)
  • hand sanitizer
  • a charging cord for my phone
  • extra change
  • sticky notes and pens
  • a map light
  • napkins (once a mom, always a mom)
  • store reward cards holder and resident card for my neighborhood amenities
  • coupons and extra blank deposit slips for my bank
  • my lint brush and collapsible dog water bowl and leash (because my dog loves car rides, too)
  • and a “manna” bag the kids’ youth group made. It is a large Zip-loc bag filled with non-perishable foods, water, a toothbrush and toothpaste, mints, and a homemade card.  When I am stopped at a light and see someone with a cardboard sign who looks like they are in need of some food, I can easily hand them this bag.  I LOVE this idea and once we give a bag away, we get items and make up another one. Find out more here: How to make manna bags for the homeless.

Switching to a new vehicle means finding new places for everything. Here is how to organize a car console for $5 using dollar store items & cardboard boxes!

So, here is how I organized my console to fit all of these things.

I am a professional organizer and do organizing presentations at local libraries, so I have LOTS of organizing “goodies” at my house that I use as props during my presentations. Almost all of these items are from the Dollar Store, and many come in packages of 3 or 4 for a dollar.  I LOVE the Dollar Store!

Here’s what I had to work with.  Lots of possibilities!

Switching to a new vehicle means finding new places for everything. Here is how to organize a car console for $5 using dollar store items & cardboard boxes!

So, I rounded up anything I thought might work and lined them up on the seat.  You might notice a couple of cut-down cardboard boxes. Those are also part of my organizing presentation, showing how to re-organize your junk drawer. See that here: Use recycled boxes to organize your junk drawer!

Lower console.

Switching to a new vehicle means finding new places for everything. Here is how to organize a car console for $5 using dollar store items & cardboard boxes!

The lower console is an odd shape.  It is deep, but the bottom sides are rounded.  I put in the tray with the rubberized bottom to stop things from sliding around.

Switching to a new vehicle means finding new places for everything. Here is how to organize a car console for $5 using dollar store items & cardboard boxes!

The Kleenex fit there nicely, and the lint brush fit right beside it. Then I added a small container to hold my lotion and sunscreen behind the Kleenex. Because the sides of the console are rounded, there was space for the dog bowl and my resident card on one side of the tray and the napkins, coupons, and bank deposit slips tucked on the other side. The reward card holder sits perfectly right in the front.  There was already a tiny little shelf right in the front, with a power outlet right below it.  It was probably designed for a specific purpose, but I found the dog leash fit in there nicely, and I didn’t really need the power outlet accessible all the time.

Switching to a new vehicle means finding new places for everything. Here is how to organize a car console for $5 using dollar store items & cardboard boxes!

So if you’re keeping tabs, that is $1 for the tray and $1 for the bin (which actually came in a pack of 3!). So that’s $2 to organize the bottom console! Woot!

Upper console.

Switching to a new vehicle means finding new places for everything. Here is how to organize a car console for $5 using dollar store items & cardboard boxes!

For the upper console, it was a pretty tiny space, so I wanted it to be as efficient as possible.

I used one of the snap lid boxes for my loose change.  I used a small plastic bowl to hold the hand sanitizer (I am always paranoid that it will leak, and this console had a cloth bottom). Then I used a cut down brownie mix box to hold my sticky notes and pens, and the map light, which we have had forever, tucked nicely in the back.  It’s hard to see in the picture, but trust me, it’s there.  The completed upper console doesn’t look like much, but it is everything I need, and all of the items stay in place without sliding around.

Switching to a new vehicle means finding new places for everything. Here is how to organize a car console for $5 using dollar store items & cardboard boxes!

Cost of organizing the upper console is $3. One dollar for the change bin (which actually came in a 2-pack), $1 for the bowl (which came in a 4-pack – SCORE), and the brownie mix had been a dollar, so we got a pen holder AND brownies from that deal! Nice!

Now, you may have wondered:

What about the manna bag?

Well, there just wasn’t room for it in the bottom console like I had hoped there would be. But, this van has a little cubby right in front of the console that I wasn’t using, so that is where the manna bag is stashed.

Switching to a new vehicle means finding new places for everything. Here is how to organize a car console for $5 using dollar store items & cardboard boxes!

And, actually, it is a great place for it.  It is shaded and I can grab it quickly when needed.

Switching to a new vehicle means finding new places for everything. Here is how to organize a car console for $5 using dollar store items & cardboard boxes!

So, that is how I was able to organize a car console for just $5.

I found a place for everything I want stored.  Everything is easily accessible and organized. And, I still have extra containers from the sets as well as a batch of delicious brownies!  I would say this console organizing project was a big success!

Here are some other ideas on how to keep the rest of your car clean and organized! 10 ways to organize and clean your car!

~ Pam

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Author: Pam Hoepner

Hi I'm Pam, a seasoned homemaker with a husband, 3 teenagers, and a houseful of pets. I'm also a librarian and professional organizer (The Economical Organizer) who loves to share my hard-earned homemaking, DIY and organizing skills with others so you too can have a Life, Creatively Organized.

2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Ten ways to organize and clean your car! - LIFE, CREATIVELY ORGANIZED

  2. Pingback: Make manna bags for the homeless - LIFE, CREATIVELY ORGANIZED

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