Notice how some objects in your trunk tend to roll and bounce around while driving?
Do you also realize how difficult it would be to access items in that same trunk because you pile them on top of one another?
While the market is flowing with tons of products for car trunk organization, such solutions are either too expensive or just not the right fit.
If you are keen on getting items in your car trunk organized, we’re here to offer you ideas for a DIY trunk organizer.
How Do Vehicle Trunks Vary?
The trunk of a car, also called the tailgate, is its primary cargo or storage compartment. It is usually a hatch at the rear.
We can classify vehicle trunks into two designs: closed compartments and open compartments.
Closed compartments are the ones you typically find on sedans, while open compartments are those in sports utility vehicles.
SUVs have increased flexibility in trunk space because their rear seats fold to expand the trunk.
No matter the size of the trunk, it is generally just one large cargo hold that does not have multiple partitions for content segregation.
As such, it can be a challenge for anyone to keep things organized inside their trunk.
Nevertheless, the following ideas apply to every driver or car owner, and there are several options for each vehicle type.
DIY Trunk Organizer Ideas
After having your car for some time, you will start to notice what items you always keep in the trunk wherever you might go.
These items will help you realize which of the following ideas is your best approach.
Think of these ideas as organizing items in your garage but on a much smaller scale.
Pop-up Trunk Shelf
A pop-up shelf can be as simple as a folding table, but it should take the shape of your trunk’s interior to maximize available space.
The good thing about a pop-up shelf is that it can protect delicate, perishable items stored below while in transit.
With this trunk organizer, you never have to worry about getting home to find smashed fruits and veggies while unloading groceries.
In addition, this organizer makes it much easier to access objects stored under the shelf.
Things You’ll Need
The plywood should be enough to cover the horizontal midsection of your trunk but feel free to use any plywood you might have lying around.
You will also need four folding leg brackets, a jigsaw, a screwdriver, your trunk mat or liner, and a pencil.
If you don’t want to see the wood inside your car, you can paint over it or cover it with car upholstery.
Use this step-by-step guide to build the pop-up trunk shelf:
Step 1: Cut and Fit the Plywood
Lay your trunk liner and trace its perimeter over the plywood. Use your jigsaw to cut along the lines at a 90-degree cutting angle.
After cutting, fit the plywood into your trunk, and check if you can put it in and take it out without any obstructions.
If you can’t put it in or take it out with ease, try trimming it down a bit along awkward edges.
Repeat this process until you find loading and unloading effortless.
Step 2: Attach the Legs
Once you are satisfied with the plywood cutout, cut the 2×2 legs to your desired size.
The ideal length should be about less than half the height of your trunk roof or car ceiling from the trunk floor.
Next, attach the foldable leg brackets to the legs using a screwdriver.
Choose a suitable location for each leg, ideally about three or four inches away from each corner of the plywood.
Be sure to form a rectangle with the mounting position of the legs, especially since your cutout plywood won’t have a regular shape.
Finally, screw the brackets in place with each pair of legs folding towards each other.
If you do not like to tinker, you might as well save some time by just using stackable crates.
Stackable HDPE crates are the most straightforward solution for mobile item organization, and they come in many colors and sizes.
Another advantage is that these crates have side grilles, making it much easier to identify the contents.
However, stackable crates are very bulky. Plus, you will need to take them out before loading large items into the trunk of a sedan.
Furthermore, having stackable crates up to the car ceiling blocks the driver’s line of sight to the rear.
Foldable Trunk Storage Case
Foldable trunk storage cases typically have cardboards wrapped in fabric and insulating layers as their primary materials.
They work like closet organizers, dividing the trunk floor space into sections.
Since they are foldable and lightweight, you can easily stow them away to make room for a large load.
If you’re into needlework, you might just like crafting one that fits your trunk perfectly.
While we do not recommend stacking this flimsy trunk organizer, it is the perfect solution for preventing objects from rolling inside the trunk.
Things You’ll Need
You will need some old shoeboxes or similar cardboard sheets, several yards of your chosen fabric, and a basic sewing kit to begin this project.
Additionally, you will need some aluminized thermal lining if you want a portion of the case to have an insulating property.
The following outlines the steps for building a foldable trunk storage case:
Step 1: Make a Rough Sketch
Begin by measuring the extents of your trunk space, and decide how big a storage case you want to fabricate.
Set actual dimensions for each compartment and label each panel.
For every cardboard panel, allot two pieces of fabric for the inner and outer faces.
Step 2: Cut All the Pieces
First, cut all the cardboard panels and insulating sheets to size.
For every cardboard piece, cut two pieces of fabric with a hem allowance of 1.5 inches on all sides.
Step 3: Start Stitching
Sew a pair of fabric together and insert the corresponding cardboard pieces and insulating sheets before closing off the final side.
Repeat this process for all other panels.
Step 4: Combine the Panels
Finally, combine all the panels, and assemble the entire case.
Once done, the case will be quite stiff because of the unfolded cardboard linings.
Press each compartment into the desired fold. Repeat the procedure on all partitions until you can flatten the entire case.
Combine All Three Together
Each of these ideas has its pros and cons for handling trunk storage.
Nevertheless, you can take advantage of them by combining all three into a set of convertible storage spaces.
Once you complete your DIY trunk organizer, you’ll realize how much time you can save from having to sort things in an unorganized trunk.