Photo: Georgijevic/iStock/Getty Images

8 of 10
The Car (Or, "The Storage Space on Wheels")

If you have to clear off the backseat for company, there's a problem.

What shouldn't be in the car: old food wrappers, toys, the dry cleaning or recycling you've been meaning to drop off for a week (just take it out of the car until you're ready to make the trip), out-of-season tools (if it's June, you can remove the ice scraper from the trunk).

What should be in the car: registration, insurance certificate, owner's manual, maps and/or GPS, extra pair of sunglasses in case of glare, small folding umbrella, headset for your cell phone (preferably you're not talking while driving, but if you are, please be hands-free), envelope with supermarket and drive-through restaurant coupons and any gift certificates you've received (it's pointless for them to be in the drawer at home).

What should be in the trunk: tool kit, flashlight, working spare tire. In winter, add ice scraper, bag of kitty litter (for traction in snow), a small blanket.