By Anh-Minh Le
It’s hard enough to stay organized when you spend your days in a dedicated office space, outfitted with file cabinets and such. But when you’re running your business on the go—constantly driving from one job to another—it can be even trickier. To cut down on paperwork that can get forgotten or lost in the car, Breezeworks can definitely come in handy, since you can store customer information on your phone. But there are still some items that can create clutter and cause frustration—like paper checks, which can slip between nearly impossible to reach places.
So we asked Samantha Pregenzer—who is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers as well as a small-business owner (she launched Simply Organized in 2011)—for some tips for staying on top of things, including your health and sanity, if your car has basically become a secondary office.
Utilize the Vertical Space: “Much like I do in a client’s home, when organizing inside the confined space of a car, I always take advantage of vertical space. Hanging a car organizer over the passenger seat is a great way to contain necessary work items like pens, small office supplies, and more. Everything is neatly contained in one place and easy to reach so you aren’t fumbling around while driving. This goes for those car visors, too. There are so many great car organization products available to make your car an incredibly functional workspace. There’s even portable office storage solutions for the back/trunk of your car.”
Keep It Clean and Tidy: “This sounds so simple, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t do this: Have a small trash can or bag in the car and make sure you actually use it. If you’re driving around in a messy car, it will be too easy to add to the mess and just toss trash onto the floor board and tell yourself you’ll get to it later. Also, treat yourself to a car wash 1-2 times a month. It’s amazing what a clean, fresh-smelling, organized car can do to improve your attitude about driving around in it all day.”
Check Yourself On the Food: “One of the biggest struggles for those working out of their car is regarding food. Plan ahead by keeping a small cooler in the back of your car—and avoid the temptations of the drive-thru! Pack the cooler with fresh foods and snacks, like fruits, salads, and granola bars, along with some iced coffee and water. You’re already going to feel sluggish from sitting for long stretches in the car, so why not try to eat better? All it takes is a little organization to make those healthy choices an easy, available option.”
Take Security Precautions: “Have a bag that’s used solely for removing important items from your car at the end of the day. Sadly, car break-ins are not that uncommon. A thief is easily tempted when seeing your laptop or personal items sitting on the other side of a window. Keep a bag that makes it easy for you to unload those important items at the end of the day. This is especially important if you have business contacts or financial information in the car. In the morning, all you’ll need to do is grab the bag and bring it back out to the car.”