Have a Messy car? Here’s a Simple Tip…

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Does the inside of your car tend to collect wrappers, receipts, napkins, and other small pieces of trash? If you’re like me and always seem to have a messy car, especially with kiddos, try keeping a small trash can inside.

Hip Tip: You can opt for the smaller bags that are scented and keep your car smelling fresh!


A plastic cereal food storage container can easily be re-purposed as a small trash can. If you’d like it to stay put, try adding on a strong Velcro strip to one side so it will stick to the side of seat.


 Lina (lina@hip2save.com) loves cooking new recipes, thrift store shopping, and DIY home decor projects. 
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Comments 46

  1. Heather C

    Great idea. Also, doubles for nauseous tummies โ€“ eeeew, ha ha. Anyone else old enough to remember when you used to get little plastic trash bags when you filled up your car and you would put them around the cigarette holder? My mom used to do that.

    • Liz

      Yes to the cigarette knob holder!!!! Haha

    • Kristen

      Another trick is to take the vomit bags from your airplane seat… Great back up to have in the car!

      • Jennifer

        Our emergency room has neat vomit bags. The bag collapses down into a small circle that doesn’t take up space. I always snag one if I unfortunately have to be there.

        • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

          Yes I have one in the seat pocket I saved from the ER just in case!

  2. 4Ella

    I have a trash can in my car
    I have the one that pops up and my friends always admire me when they see it LOL
    I can’t stand messy car

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Super smart!

  3. Kristen

    “…especially with kiddos” … or especially with husbands? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Kristen

      From one Kristen to another, YES GIRLFRIEND! ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿผ

    • Ai

      hahaha that’s exactly what I was thinking!

    • Erin

      My husband’s vehicle is pristine . . . But he’s a mess in the house. Vice versa with the kids. Thought about doing this but it would be less trash receptable than additional trash to kick around the backseat.

  4. Donna Smith

    I just hang an empty store sack by the handles over the gear shift. Works great!

    • bceballos80

      Lol, that’s exactly what I do Donna!๐Ÿ˜Š

  5. Lauren

    I’m totally doing this today, I have a mess in my car and this will hopefully be my solution, Thank you!!

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Sure! Thanks for reading Lauren!

  6. Tony

    Omg that’s genius

  7. Naomi

    Omg! Love this idea! Thanks for sharing!

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Sure! ๐Ÿ˜€

  8. lore

    I did a small box and every time I put gas I empty it ๐Ÿ˜€

    • priscilla

      I use an empty tissue box (the square kind). Since I already have one on my floor, there are just 2 of them. The only issue is when the actual tissue box gets low and people can’t figure out which one is the trash. Then I just empty it at the gas station like Lore.

  9. Neta

    I use a mini one and keep it tucked in the storage space on my driver’s side door. Has saved my life… all receipts and gum wrappers go directly inside and I empty every time I’m pumping gas ๐Ÿ˜€

  10. Emily

    You could even paint it to match the interior of your car so it would be as noticeable.

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Great idea!

    • Woodmore

      I was thinking the exact same thing

  11. Nee

    I use something similar to this – except it’s one of those dishwasher tab tubs. The lid flips up as well!

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Very smart!

    • Vanessa

      That’s a great idea for me, I recently bought 2 tubs and was wondering how to repurpose them. I even have some spray paint somewhere.

  12. Amy

    A tote bag, small laundry basket or something similar that I leave in the van has helped me make with making sure I can carry in all the misc. items that seem to find their way into the van. My hands seem like they are always full and who has time for extra trips to the car? I also have started doing this with groceries. I have a couple of big 31 totes and a couple square laundry baskets (actually the sterilite square ones that I got a great deal on frequently posted here!) that I pop in the trunk when I go grocery shopping and load the bags directly into them. Cuts down on so many trips in and out unloading groceries and the pinched fingers from trying to carry in too many bags at once.

    • Jennifer

      Amy, this is genius!!! I hate unloading the car because I’m either holding my 8 month old or he’s crying for me because I make him play on the living room floor while I unload the car (and even though he’s fine I feel terrible!). This will totally cut down on unloading time and the pinched fingers like you said! Thanks for the tip!

    • Brittany

      Great idea!

    • Nikki

      Thanks, Amy! I’m going to start doing that!!

  13. Jo

    I have a small flexible vinyl bag (kind of like kids tote) that have handles. I took out the headrest in passenger side and slipped one of the handles, then put the headrest back to pin it. Then I put a small plastic bag to line it. This way, my kids (9 and 4 yo) can do the trash by themselves while I’m driving. I just need to replace the liner. Works great so far.

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Smart idea! Thanks for sharing Jo ๐Ÿ˜€

  14. MsB

    Definitely need to do this!

  15. mel

    I have a small grocery tote (that I won from a contest a few years ago!), that I use for trash. Usually keep it on the floor on the passenger side. When it’s full I just dump it in the house garbage. If it gets dirty, I can just toss it in the wash.
    I also like to keep a beach towel on the back seat in case I get caught without an umbrella! Then I can wipe myself off (and the inside of the door)

  16. Amy

    I throw all the trash in the cubbie on the door. then its very easy to empty. I empty everytime I get out, if there is anything. There usually is with 4 kids. I also keep a long handled scrub brush to brush dirt by the doors out very easily. I also use those weather tech floor mats. Every new car should come with them. I will never have a car without those again. Ever! They are the best thing!

  17. Jen

    I use an empty Kleenex box… Have terrible allergies half the year so always have a supply of empty tissue boxes

  18. jade

    I keep forgetting to do this! Thanks

  19. Beipooful

    I just hang a bag behind the front seat.

  20. Amy

    We each keep a small dishwashing tub in the front seat floor of our vehicles. Works great for garbage or storage.

  21. Carla

    Good idea but would drive me nuts to keep a trash can in my car! I simply take out the trash in my hands when I get out of the car after every drive.

    • jennifer e

      I am the same way. I make sure my kids take out all their garbage too. Keeps for a cleaner car in my opinion.

      • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

        I need to do this more clearly! ๐Ÿ˜€

  22. Christine

    It is a great idea, back in the summer it was posted when Dollar General had the buy 1 get 1 free coupon for their cereal containers I bought those and have had 1 in the car for trash ever since

  23. Sarah

    I keep the newspaper bags from the Sunday paper and use those for trash bags in my van. I hang an edge over the open glove box and then shut it and it hangs there.

  24. Abby

    The rule for our car is that everyone clears their own garbage out of the car every time we get somewhere. Target? Take ur garbage. Grocery? Take ur garbage. Home? Take ur garbage. No container to clutter up floor space. Personal responsibility.

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