Before you even think about stocking up your trunk, start by clearing out all that junk and popping in a trunk organizer. Try a Google image search for "trunk organizer" and pick the style and size that best fits your car. We love the cheery print on this three-section foldable trunk organizer from Brookstone. (Brookstone, $44)
Load up your trunk organizer with these items
- Jumper cables and printed-out instructions. (There's no shame in stashing a "cheat sheet." It's not every day you have to jump-start a vehicle!)
- Tire pressure gauge. We like the easy-to-read dial and the $3 pricetag on this model from Harbor Freight.
- Rain gear and a blanket. A nylon-backed stadium blanket can be used for warmth or spread out on the damp ground for a picnic. (ApparelnBags, $23)
- Flashlight and spare batteries. This Eton American Red Cross Road Torq is both a flashlilght and a flashing beacon that can help make your disabled car visible to oncoming traffic. (Amazon, $25)
- Stash a small first aid kit (Best Made, $45) in the trunk and be prepared to treat minor injuries on the go. Chances are you'll never experience a car fire, but it's always a good idea to have a small fire extinguisher (Home Safety Matters, $21) in the trunk, just in case.
- Oil, coolant and funnel
- Paper towels and rags
- Small tool kit
- Bungee cords. The Perfect Bungee cords are made of a special polyurethane formula instead of rubber or latex, so they won't crack, break or split. (Amazon, $9)
A flat-bottomed canvas tote bag (or two) is perfect for storing items you'll want to access on a regular basis. This new Women's Solid Capri Tote from Lands' End is big enough to hold all the essentials and can double as a beach or shopping tote. Plus, at only $39, it's both practical and affordable.
Fill your tote with these essentials and stash it in the trunk for easy access
Quick tip: The Container Store
is a great source for products that can help you organize your trunk supplies.
- Snacks and water. Go for snacks that won't spoil anytime soon. Energy bars, trail mix and pretzels are all good options.
- Reusable grocery bags. We're a little in love with the new designs from Baggu.
- Plastic freezer bags
- Antibacterial hand wipes. Stash the individually wrapped hand wipes so they won't dry out.
- Pad of paper, pens and pencils
More automotive tips
Be prepared: What to do when you're stranded
How to change a flat tire
Driving safely with baby on board