5 Mobile Organizing Solutions for the Road Warrior
One of the hardest things about being on the road all the time is keeping your car organized and
prepared for whatever may come your way. In my job, I travel from site to site quite a bit so it is important that
I have everything that I will need. Even if you’re not travelling for business,
many of the things that I have learned along the way can help keep you better organized for
My job requires a lot of paperwork. From lease agreements to client files, it is essential that
I have any of the paperwork and forms that I need at my fingertips at a moment’s notice. To
accomplish this, I have purchased some portable file boxes. There are a number of different
types, but I favor the kind that accommodate hanging file folders so that I can easily transfer
them back and forth between a regular filing cabinet and my portable system as needed.
Plastic tends to be better than the cardboard because they can take more of a beating, however you can find some decent cardboard ones on the cheap. The biggest
consideration is size, both in regards to the number of files you will be carrying and the space
you will be putting them in. Make sure to measure well and find a store that will allow you to
return them easily if they don’t work for you.
Many of my trips require overnight stays so I have to make sure that I have luggage handy
all the time. I keep an overnight kit in my car at all times. In this kit, I keep two changes of
clothes and all the toiletries that I may need for a stay. The key is to make sure that any dirty
clothes gets taken into the house as soon as I get home and replaced with clean clothes so that
I’m ready for the next trip. There’s nothing worse, for me, than scrambling around at the last
minute looking for the things that I need to take. Even if I don’t have an overnight stay, I always
have extra shirts, pants, and ties available if something happens to the ones that I am wearing.
Nothing ruins a sales pitch faster than a messy lunch that leaves a stain on your tie.
Like most travelers, I don’t always have time for meals when I’m on the road and I get really tired of fast
food. For this reason, I keep a supply of various types of energy
and granola bars and other good, quick snacks that will tide me over until I can get some real
food into my system. I make sure that the food I keep in the car will
not melt; so no chocolate-covered anything in my rations. Also, try to keep track of your supplies so that you don’t get caught without your afternoon
energy fix and have to go in search of a convenience store. I keep a supply of snacks in a
plastic storage container under my front seat and a larger stash in the trunk to resupply. In
my car I also have a “message center” with a pad of paper where I can keep a shopping list. Staying hydrated is extremely important so I also
carry a small supply of drinks that I keep in a cooler that hooks up to my 12-volt power supply to keep them cold. Don’t keep drinks in a hot car for long periods of time, though, if they
are under pressure. I prefer energy drinks and juices that are not carbonated so I don’t have to
worry about the potential mess.
My message center is my mobile memory. I keep paper and pens handy so that I can jot things
down as necessary. If I have to take a phone call while I’m on the road, I can pull off to the side
of the road and take notes without having to fumble for paper. I keep a storage-type
clipboard with all of my supplies that fits between the seats of my car. You can easily pull it out and take notes that you can file at at a later date. It’s great for making
sure I don’t forget anything important.
Keeping It Tidy
I sometimes need to transport clients, so it’s very important that everything be kept clean and uncluttered. I employ lots of different sizes of plastic containers for this purpose. Everything that
I carry with me has a container it goes into and that container has a home in my vehicle. All of them are labelled on all four sides
and the top so I can easily find what I am looking for. Containers that stack well together without shifting too much
is very important and I have rigged a support system in my trunk that holds everything in place
while I’m moving. It’s amazing what you can do with some bungee cords.
Today it seems like, whatever we do, we spend more and more time in our vehicles. Whether
it’s traveling across country, commuting, or heading off to sports practices; it’s good to be organized
while still keeping the essentials with us. Not only will you be happier when
you contain the clutter, but so will your family and guests that you may transport.
Art Gould is a division manager with Self Storage Company, which operates a group of websites, including a Arizona self storage locator. Art often travels between sites, from Texas to the Colorado self storage site, and in doing so has developed several strategies for staying organized while on the road.