In the first sentence of the definition of “glove compartment,” Wikipedia states, “often used for miscellaneous storage.” As someone who helps people unclutter their lives for a living, the phrase “miscellaneous storage” instantly sends up red flags. Unfortunately, Wikipedia hit the nail on the head, as most glove compartments no longer store people’s gloves (once worn to keep one’s hands clean while driving), but used as spaces for storing miscellaneous objects #cluttertrap.
This past weekend, I tackled by glove box (AKA “glove compartment,” AKA “glovie,” AKA “jockey box.” If you happen to use the last two words to describe the built-in storage space on the passenger side of your automobile, you are silly). I found napkins, hair bands, half-broken sunglasses, spare change, parking receipts, miscellaneous “tools” and a whole lot of other papers.
While my glove compartment is an unorganized mess, the only time the mess really bothers me is those rare occasions I get pulled over and asked for my registration and proof of insurance. Of course, those are the most frustrating times possible to have to sort through the mess, while I’m debating in my mind if I’ll get a ticket or a warning and fuming about how much the fine will cost while trying to appear calm.
So I did myself a favor by sorting through this clutter trap, making future run-ins with law enforcement a little more pleasant.
Here’s what I kept:
- Current registration & proof of insurance (I recommend getting a plastic envelope or something to protect these documents and make finding them easy in times of crisis.)
- Owner’s manual
- Tire pressure gauge
- a handful of napkins (neatly stacked)
- a 20 dollar bill for emergencies (like toll roads, grrr)
- phone car charger
Here are some other suggestions for your “glovie”:
- gift cards (store in here instead of weighing down your wallet–just remember they’re there!)
- small first aid kit
Here are things to remove:
- expired registration and proof of insurance documents
- the life history of your car in maintenance records and receipts (keep ‘em in the house! or better, digitized on your computer or “cloud”)
- used napkins & other garbage
- spare change (how much do you really need? most parking meters take cards now, and none take pennies or nickels)
Now go forth and cleanse your clutter trap. Next time you’re pulled over, you’ll thank us:)