Comments : 49

Hi there, so happy it’s Friday! OK I am sure you are wondering what the heck I am talking about. Well, this is a very…… let’s say practical post! This is all about what every car should have it in, always. No exceptions. With some of these things I found out the hard way:)

So…here is my list of what every car should have at all times, I cannot wait to hear your say on the matter and what you think of as essentials for the road so I can add to my “arsenal” of staples in my own car.? Here are mine…..



1. PAPER TOWELS. I could lose count counting the ways these are a must have. Something so simple, yet I have had many? instances where there were none and I would have killed for a roll of paper towels, think spilled coffee, soda, kids eating peaches, etc……

2. CASE OF WATER BOTTLES. Because hey you never know. It is always smart to have a half or full case of water bottles in the back. Haven’t you ever been dying of thirst and you are on the run, rushing around with not a minute to spared and would just love a bottle of water? Yes, me too. So now I don’t leave home without them.

3. A NAIL CLIPPER. You heard right. I hate when I get a broken nail (I keep my nails quite short) or even worse, ? you get a bad hangnail…..where are those little nail clippers when you need them! I once again have learned through experience….just the other day in fact.

4. WET ONES/WIPES- So important. Great for wiping down the car, the seats, dirty hands, if you are eating on the run, they really come in handy. A simple little must have.

5. A FEW PLASTIC BAGS. These are essentials for everything from wet bathing suits, to cleaning out the car (all those tiny little papers and wrappers that multiply over night) for garbage or anything that needs to be tidied up. Plastic bags to the rescue!

6. ALMONDS OR NON PERISHABLE SNACKS. SO vital. I will never forget while I was? living in NYC and was pregnant had my mom visiting, we had been to Long Island and we hit the traffic jam of all traffic jams heading back to the city. We were stuck behind the tunnel and literally were not moving for HOURS. I was famished, as most pregnant woman are 24/7 and just dying for something to eat. I remember desperately searching my car for any left over party favors from my kids ,any dropped nibble would have done. So now…..I always keep a little stash of almonds, gummy bears, a cereal bar, anything that has a good shelf life..because hey you never know!

7. AN UMBRELLA.? How many times have you been out and about and it starts raining and you realize you don’t have an umbrella? Well it’s happened to me too many times to be honest so now I have a car umbrella which is a permanent fixture in my trunk. It is not allowed to leave, EVER? except to protect me in the rain then it goes right back in the trunk!

8. AN ICE SCRAPER.? Trust me for anyone in the northeast this would be first on their list.? With the winter we have had, you need this as much as you need the air that you breath. No car should be without. Period!

9. PEN AND PAPER. I am perpetual, habitual note taker. I write everything down. Whether it’s hearing about something amazing on the radio or seeing the name of a new restaurant that I want to try, hearing about a new book,etc….you always need a little pad and paper for those things you just “need to know”.



So there is my list. Now it’s your turn to talk…..what are your staples for the car?? I think for as much time as I spend in mine, most of these things I have learned the value of having the hard way….by not having them when I needed them!

Thank you for stopping in, I hope you have a fabulous Friday and a wonderful end to your week.

Don’t forget-

Calling all Enchanted Home customers.…I would love to get your pictures for my newest contest just announced. Winner gets $100 in my online shop. Already started getting some beautiful pictures. Here are the guidelines-


  • 2 pictures per person
  • Please email pictures to [email protected] and on subject line put ?contest?
  • Pictures must include at least one item purchased from The Enchanted Home
  • Can be of anything or any room in your home
  • This contest starts today and I will take pictures up until March 10th
  • There is a cutoff of 60 pictures so get them in soon!
  • Contest will run March 12th and a winner will be announced on March 15th
  • The winner will win $100 towards anything in my online shop

This is your chance to show off how you have used an item you bought from me. Click here to enter the giveaway for the ginger jar.

Until? next time…..



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I second almost everything on your list w the exception of an ice scraper, I live in the south. The only thing I’d add is a tape measure. They really come in handy when shopping for all kinds of things!

Yes agree with everything, I also always have coloring books and crayons (twins under 10) and a box of kleenex. Also a map. I hate my navigation its so confusing so still refer to maps. Some things are better the old fashioned way. i laughed about your story looking for left over party favors haha.
Have a nice weekend.

Great list…..I would add a flashlight and in the winter in the northeast, I keep boots, gloves and a hat just in case! Love your posts!

I think every car needs “EZ Pass” and I am always surprised to find some people do not have that.
Funny, how a “clean car” can make one’s life feel in total control. I have a book full of store, museum, car wash, grocer, pharmacy etc, -discount cards and memberships that goes back and forth from my car to my office but I having it at my fingertips for discounts and coupons really is great. Everyone admires it.
My husband would add his radar detector which keeps him honest. ha ha.

Flashlight, Kleenex, blanket. Maps of streets and malls, phone cord, treat for Ferry birds, jacket, tools, flat shoes, and that should be it.

Good list! Also like flashlight and tape measure suggestions. I would add Plackers, hand lotion and a cell phone charger.

Scissors are a must. My friend told me this years ago Good to cut wildflowers along the road. I have done this many times. Of course I do not live in city. Great post and ideas. Thanks everyone

What a great list from everyone. I do have a mini first aide kit in my trunk, and actually had to use it.

My husband said he would keep a small coin purse with several dollar bills and a few quarters hidden away in the car.

Where do you keep all this? It is a wonderful list but needs to be close by when I spill my smoothie!

Water in glass bottles only. Storing water in plastic in a hot car (think summertime heat!) is unhealthy. Love the post and reader suggestions.

This is FANTASTIC! I am making my list and realizing how many things I need to carry and shook my head to several remembering when I could have used that item. Your list Tina was great and I also like the idea of the first aid kit, a small coin purse with extra money (very smart) and scissors. Such a good topic.

Love the list but don’t need the ice scraper and I would be lost without my tape measure.

I agree with everything you’ve listed with the exception of the plastic water bottles. I prefer glass bottles.

Great suggestions from everyone Tina. I would add a blanket or throw just in case for the winter months and the rest of the time if you need to protect a find picked up at an antique or vintage shop.

The Arts by Karena

I keep a basket in my trunk. I would add HIGHLIGHTER, FINGER NAIL FILE, SCISSORS, PACKING TAPE, STAMPS and FLIP FLOPS (for pedicures).

I used to take my ice scraper out of my car each spring as a ceremonial marking of the end of winter. But then, inevitably, I would forget to put the ice scraper back in the car before the first storm hit and I’d be in a pickle. So now my ice scraper (along with most of the other things on your list) has a permanent home in my car. The two things I might add to your list: phone charger and a corkscrew.

Great list! We would add a flashlight, lap blanket, tissues, gum and mints. We love to stop at local antique shops and auctions so we keep a tape measure and magnifying glass. Also, there is fog on our Blue Ridge Mountains so flares are a must. Another lesson learned this winter is to have a tool to break out car windows if your power fails. Safe travels!

Inside car: collapsed miniature umbrella between driver seat and door. Glove box: Hand lotion. Chap stick. Altoids. Insurance card. Small hammer to break window if trapped in car.
In the consol between front seats: pen and note pad, lighter (can be lifesaver if trapped in snow), nail clippers.
Trunk: jumper cables, flairs, snow boots, blanket, portable dog water bowl for dog park. Ice scraper. Bottled water and paper towels.

I would add a snow scraper and emergency kit.

I used to always have a case of water in my car until I read how dangerous it can be to have the plastic in the sun.

Now, I keep them by the garage door so I can grab one on the way out.

Great list! You don’t think about it until you are in a bad situation.
I also have a carpet cutter to cut the seatbelt in case of an electrical failure. Also a spring punch start tool to break the window and a small hammer to hit it with.
Happy weekend, Tina.

Out SW way you don’t need an ice scraper, unless going to snow country, but you do need the case of water. Also add to the list with all the other responses, nail file, first aid kit, floss or picks, and box of Kotex for first aid which absorbs blood if bad accident.

Adding a great Pendleton blanket all wrapped up in a nice handled bag. Or the one from orvis. It is waterproof on one side and plaid flannel on the other. It is in a handled carry as well. The use….for warmth but more importantly for wrapping precious finds from antique shops estate sales etc

Hi Tina , you are so right! It’s good to be prepared… I’m not very good, though, all I have is an ice scraper, a pen, and possibly an umbrella, although I’m not sure. Oh, and a folding stool – it’s for when my weekly painting group decides to paint en plein air instead of in the studio. I definitely should add some things from your list. I’ve also been told that you should keep an old pair of running shoes in your car, as well. Better safe that sorry.

I photographed the wonderful new Enchanted Home ginger jars this week so will be sending them your way soon!

Hope you have a lovely weekend. Any break from the snow and cold in sight? Hope so! XOXO

Great ideas from all. I keep what most of you have described, as well as: Kleenex, extra napkins, chapstick, handcream, scissors, germ wipes, hand sanitizer, first aid supplies such as bactine spray, polysporin, bandaids etc.., nail files, eyedrops and a small bottle of contact solution, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, breath mints, cough drops, Tylenol, baby aspirin, LED flashlight, emergency flasher, tool to break glass, pepper spray for potential bad guys, keep the tape measure in my purse at all times, magnifier with light, emergency whistle, Costco freezer bag for getting cold things home without melting in the 100 degree temps and an old blanket. I usually like to keep zip lock bags containing water, granola bar and $10 McDonald’s gift card to hand out to the homeless as necessary. And, being a nurse, I keep a mouth protector for Emergency CPR situations.

That is a great list and almost exactly what I keep in my car (minus the ice scraper) but I do add a flashlight. One last item I keep in the back is a bag of those awful plastic ponchos that theme parks, like WDW sell when it rains. After having to buy more than my share over two or three visits I was looking for some use to which I could put them when we returned home. I pray to never break down on the side of the road, or have a wreck in the rain, but if ever either event occurs I have enough ponchos for me and my passengers to stay dry and (with the yellow ones) be very visible!

Plus– Flash light, spare slip lead leash (for that stray dog you find loose along the road. It has happened to me!) doggie poop bags, water bowl, phone charger, mini first aide kit, No plastic water bottles left long term. They leach toxins when they get hot, or so I’ve been told. I have one of those window breaker things too.

How about doing a must have list for your purse? That should. E fun!

A great list and unfortunately we need the ice scraper now too! I have a flashlight in my glove compartment too, just in case! Happy weekend, Tina ~

Love all the lists. I might just add having an un-expired bottle of regular aspirin….just in case you or a passenger develops symptoms of a heart attack. Chew and swallow the aspirin and call 911. It saved a family friend.

I always keep a blanket in case of emergency and it is always good to have in case you need to sit on the ground for a soccer game or impromptu picnic. Since I live in Canada and travel on the freeway I also keep a large candle and some matches in case of emergency.

I’d add more item….. Tweezers. As diligent as I am, there’s always that one stray chin hair that can’t be seen in the house but glaringly appears in the car mirror. Having tweezers in the console quickly solves the problem. :))

Kleenex and flashlight. And here in California, where stores don’t give out bags, one needs to have a couple of reusable bags. BTW we were just shopping for a new SUV and one of the important criteria was cup holders. Our new car has nine!!

Mine are pretty basic: jumper cables, a crow bar, two blankets, paper napkins, wet wipes, phone charging cords, map(s), my insurance verification, a two foot length of bodark for bad guys, my reusable shopping bags (easily folded under the seat, a flashlight, and a tire gauge.

Hi Tina .. Im laughing at your subject today πŸ™‚
but in the frozen north of England a fully ‘stocked’ car is a must…and if you live with an Italian you dont even go for a country walk without taking extra food and coffee!! so I have all that is on your list plus:
de-icer and flashlight , blankets and pillows for tired kids, dog treats and towels for muddy dog, spare shoes, extra money in case of stolen handbag. Map,
and of course….flowers scissors and bucket
Just in case I see a friendly looking blossom, or holly with the best berries ( shhhh….)

Have a lovely weekend my dear XX

On the topic of car essentials. Plastic used for making individual bottles of water is likely to break down and leach into the water if stored in your car during hot summer months. Very unhealthy.

Ditto to leaving water in plastic in the car-not safe but easy to recycle liter bottles every day or so.
Must haves for me: space/thermal blanket, a strobe and flashlight combo with mini toolkit device, first aid kit with scissors, phone cards, granola bars, small ice chest (which holds some of the above), latex gloves, plastic garbage bags, can opener, paper towels and phone charger, some cash and word puzzles-I love to have lots of those to keep my mind busy.
If one is prepared one need not worry!

Stay safe!

Great list Tina. I always keep few dollars (mad money) in the glove compartment and a pair of sneakers with socks in the trunk in case I need to run into the mall or just go for a walk during my lunch break.

I always have a blanket in the trunk and, these days, a spare charger in case you are stuck with a dead battery or whatever. Today’s chargers can hold a charge for up to 6 months and have been a lifesaver a few times.

Hi Tina ~ Great list! I drive along a five
mile stretch of road that parallels a huge
lake, so believe it or not, I keep a special
hammer with a point on it in my car that’s meant
to break glass, in the awful event that my
car ever ended up in the water. Two nights
ago a man was driving on the lake from his
ice fishing shack towards the road and his
truck fell through the ice. He quickly rolled
the window down before the front end of his
truck was submerged and managed to get
out that way. Today started at -5 degrees,
so you can imagine how COLD that water
must have been!

Have a wonderful weekend,
xo Suzanne

In cold wintery areas I keep a bag of kitty litter in the back in case I get stuck. I would add duct tape, extra glasses, contact lens case and contact lens lotion, pashmina and Tums to the list above. I am going to make a list of the items listed above by others and check for them; it is so much better to be prepared than to be miserable.

I also keep hard plastic bins in the car to transport all the plants I buy so I don’t get the dirt/mess all over the car.

Love Mo’s keeping a corkscrew in the car; I consider that as vital as the insurance card!

Since my husband has been on the board of Blue Diamond Almonds for over 30 years, I was thrilled to see the Blue Diamond package and your enjoyment of our healthy favorite nut. I live in the middle of an almond orchard which is just peaking bloom for the next crop. It’s been early and exquisite as always. Keep on eating those healthy and delicious almonds! BTW…love your site…working on plans for our dream home right now. What a thrill!
Have a warm weekend!

Always a change for tolls, phone charger, insurance & registration in the console, spare napkins, a pen & notepad in the glove box, an small collapsible umbrella in the door. In the back of the car I keep a large vinyl coated tote that I use to make carrying multiple smaller purchases into the house easier & a first aid kit along with a spare tire & jack. *Safety tip: Did you know that you should check your spare tire annually to make sure that it’s properly inflated?

I keep a torch, first aid kit, rain ponchos and umbrella in the glove box. I also have a high visibility vest in case I need to get out and flag down traffic. I had a nasty accident a few years ago when I hit a dead black Angus steer on the road. The person who had hit and killed the beast was standing next to his car (lights on high beam blinding me)trying to flag me down, but despite him wearing a fluorescent t. shirt, he was quite invisible and I didn’t realize that his car wasn’t moving and that there was a hazard ahead until I hit the beast. A high vis. vest has reflective panels that would have shone in my lights, I would have seen this and slowed down and prevented my accident. I have subsequently flagged down traffic myself when other animals or fallen trees have made a road hazard, but my vest makes me safe and highly visible.
I also keep a bag of munchies in my centre console box along with heartburn tablets and pain control tablets, a bottle opener, packet of matches and a multi tool. For summer there is also sunburn cream and a box of baby powder to help dry the bits after swimming! It is very hard to strip off wet bathers and dry oneself well concealed under a beach dress or beach towel!

Hi Tina,

I am so with you. The wipes are a really good idea. Gonna pick some up today. My MINI is a bit of a hot mess at the moment – all that commuting and living in the car. I usually have 2 coats, 2 pairs of shoes, scarves… Can’t wait for the warm weather to get it detailed or trade it in!

If I order today from your shop, (which I have been saving up to do), I think I might be too late to get a photo for the contest. I’ll look at your shipping times. I’d love to win a gorgeous ginger jar.

I hope your weekend is going well.

Sending you love,
Deb xo

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