Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin founded The Home Edit in 2015.
Jiffy Lube International

The Home Edit's Clea & Joanna Reveal The Grossest Things Their Kids Have Left In The Car

And their best tips on how to keep your family’s car organized.

Mom life isn’t always rainbows and champagne — even for Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin of The Home Edit. Sometimes, things get downright dirty. The hosts of Get Organized With The Home Edit each have two kids, so they know firsthand how disgusting your car can get. Especially for busy parents who are often shuttling kids to various schools, practices, and playdates all year. Shearer and Teplin spoke with Romper to share tips on finding a system that works for your family on the road. And, the organization queens inadvertently offered a warning for what will happen if you don’t follow their advice: one day, you might discover some seriously gag-inducing items left in the car.

“I have rules and regulations: no one’s allowed to eat in my car. Everyone will starve,” Shearer tells Romper, before revealing that her kids Stella Blue, 11, and Sutton Gray, 8, have left a banana peel in her photographer husband John Shearer’s car before.

“My husband operates an actual trash truck,” she jokes, “so I am just like, ‘You know what? That's your problem.’ I never have food in my vehicle.”

Teplin isn’t quite as strict with her and husband Jeremy Rubin’s kids, Miles Reid and Marlowe Aerin, who are around the same age as Stella and Sutton. “I think ours is some sort of Pirates Booty [left in the car],” Teplin reveals to Romper. “The cheese, the smell with the cheese and stuff like that falls under the seat. I think that's disgusting.”

Clea and Joanna partnered with Jiffy Lube to create The Car Edit.Jiffy Lube International

But before you give up and simply embrace the messy car life, Shearer and Teplin have come up with several tips to maximize your car’s organization potential and encourage kids to be more self-sufficient in the backseat. The duo teamed up with Jiffy Lube to bring their home organizational approach to the car.

Jiffy Lube did a biometric study in May 2022, which showed that the top two drivers of emotional well-being in cars were a well-organized and well-maintained vehicle. Enter: The Car Edit, which combines the duo’s organizational skills with Jiffy Lube’s commitment to vehicle maintenance.

So just like when organizing your home, Shearer and Teplin recommend starting in your car’s “closets” — aka, the “glove compartment, console, and trunk.” Then, create “really simple systems.”

“If anything gets too finicky, especially in a high functioning space like a car, the system will fall apart,” Shearer says.

“You have to organize for who's using the space,” Shearer continues, adding that kids need to have “really, really simple” systems focused in the backseat. She suggests “easy systems that are plug-and-play that kids know where to find everything and know where to put it back when it's time to get out of the car.”

A well-organized car sounds like a dream to parents — but do kids actually care about this? Shearer thinks so, and she went as far to say it helps reduce fighting, too. “Just having them not argue, knowing where everything is, knowing where their phone chargers or iPad chargers are, knowing where the snacks are, knowing where to throw snacks away, all of that stuff reduces the backseat turmoil, which is absolutely huge. It's lifesaving,” she says.

Clea and Joanna's Get Organized With The Home Edit is streaming on Netflix.

Teplin also suggests making sure your car is regularly serviced. “The other thing that stresses me out so much is when you get into the car and you turn on the ignition and then the check engine light is on or you need an oil change and that just sets your day off,” Teplin shares.

And who needs one more thing to worry about when trying to keep kids fed, happy, and to school on time? Exactly. Ready to do a deep-dive in your car (aka, your “home on wheels”)? Clear out the weekend and try out Clea and Joanna’s The Car Edit tips, which have been edited for length and clarity:

Tips for organizing your glovebox.

Think of your glovebox as the center for all of your important, essential documents and items, organizing by pouches:

  • Car pouch for insurance cards, car manuals, registration, and other important documents.
  • Shopping pouch for coupons, receipts, punch cards, and gift cards.
  • Emergency pouch for extra money/change, bandaids, a window breaker / seatbelt cutter, etc.
  • Snack pouch with non-perishable, portioned snacks, energy bars, and napkins (for our messy eaters).

Tips for organizing your console.

Your console acts as a lifestyle hub, holding all of the items that will get you through the day while on-the-go. Here they like to keep pens, a mini notepad, phone charger cords, mints/gum, disposable masks, sample size makeup products for touchups, hand sanitizer, tissues, and more.

For expanded organizing space, a car seat gap filler is a dream. It fits between the front seats and the console, adding additional storage and preventing thin items like phones, loose coins, and credit cards from falling into the gap.

Tips for organizing your trunk.

In this “car closet,” they recommend putting things you do not need immediate access to, but are nice to have. Examples include blankets, extra water bottles, foldable jackets or ponchos, jumper cables, tire jacks, backup toys, an ice scraper, reusable shopping bags, a flashlight, towels, and more.

Bonus tips!

The organizational duo also recommends adding hooks onto your headrest to hang your purse or grocery bag. They also suggest adding a mini vacuum into your vehicle to clean up little messes and remove trash from your car every single day.