4 Things to Always Keep in Your Car (Just in Case)

As someone who was always the mom of the team or friend group, I think it’s my responsibility to always be prepared no matter what. I’m not talking about doomsday prepping, but having an extra Tide Stain Stick, tampon or hair tie has saved the day more than once. If you drive a car, I highly recommend that you keep a set of these things with you in your trunk, as you never know when they’ll come in handy. 

  1. 1. Clothes

    I like to keep an entire set of clothes in my car. Just grab a sling bag and throw in an outfit that you can wear in almost any weather. For example, I keep a short sleeve t-shirt, a zip-up hoodie, leggings, a pair of underwear, socks and a pair of old running shoes. These are items that I can wear all year long in a pinch. I recently added in a mask as well, so if a friend or myself forgets ours, we’re covered!

  2. 2. Tools

    I’m lucky enough that my dad has worked in garages for a good portion of my life. Because of this, I have a roadside repair kit that is fully stocked. If you don’t have access to a kit like this, no worries. Try to keep jumper cables, a small wrench set, a screw driver and a flashlight on you. Some people have battery packs that you can use to jump start your car if needed, but you have to remember to charge that battery every so often, so keeping traditional jumper cables is important.

  3. 3. Organizer

    I hate when I need to find my insurance card or registration at the dealership, so to make it easy on myself, I grabbed an old plastic folder and threw in some plastic page protectors in it to make extra pockets. In the first pocket, I keep my most up-to-date paperwork. Although it is unnecessary, I keep the previous copies of the same files as well in a separate pocket. I also have a copy of my license and three of my most recent repair orders. This folder cleans up the glove compartment to give me more storage in my car for the important things, like a water gun that was used in my high school’s water gun wars.

  4. 4. Extras of every day items 

    In addition to the previous things, I also have found use for other, more every day items. One example is a blanket. Even though you may not need it in an emergency, a blanket can come in handy if you want to have a picnic or sit at a drive in movie theater. If you like to hike or just walk on trails, keeping a small pack of toilet paper is a life saver. Something else that I’ve done in the past was keeping a cooler of water bottles in the trunk of my car. I don’t put ice in the cooler, however, the added insulation makes sure that the bottles don’t get too warm if my car sits in the direct sun. If you’re from a place where it snows, invest in a large ice scraper, one with a brush and a plastic “blade” on it. Too many of my friends don’t have one or have a small scraper that doesn’t work well, and regret it every winter. One last thing that I don’t think is super obvious, but think about picking up a large cup from a fast food restaurant. Not a styrofoam one, but a hard plastic one. Once it’s empty, don’t throw it away, keep it somewhere easy to get to. If you find yourself in a position where you can’t get to a bathroom for any reason, you can sacrifice that cup instead of a reusable mug or another item that you may actually care about.

From personal experience, most of these items have made my life easier at some point. I think it’s important to be prepared, especially when you’re driving by yourself. You don’t have to prepare for the apocalypse, but having a complete extra set of clothes has come in handy too many times to count. Even if it’s just because I got uncomfortable with what I was wearing while I was with friends!