Find: Car Butler (Aluminum Frame Tote)

car tote.jpg

It’s true that I’ve probably never met a tote I didn’t like. However, this one is unique simply because it suits such a heretofore unmet purpose. I’m calling it the car butler.

Several months ago I read a a book about organizing that suggested creating an “errand box” which would work like an in-box for the car. You would put it by the kitchen door to collect any items you needed to handle that day, then take it with you to the car, where you would place it in the passener seat. You could see at a glance what you had to do, like returns, mail, etc., and keep coupons and circulars at hand.

I couldn’t imagine a good looking ”errand box” until I saw this tote. Voila, I knew I had found just the ticket. But since an ”errand box” sounded onerous (isn’t it enough to have a “to-do list” to work?), I decided to think of it as a car butler, which sounded pleasant and ready to serve. Indeed, it has been serving well:

  • Perfect size for the front passenger seat
  • Laminated fabric comes in all sorts of solids and patterns and can be wiped clean
  • Mesh pockets at either end are perfect for business-size envelopes to hold mail, carpool tag, school correspondence
  • Handles can pull together like a picnic basket; lightweight; keeps its shape
  • Can be folded flat for storage
  • Can be moved to the trunk easily (if visible packages or returns could invite theft)
  • Attractive enough to leave out when collecting items that need to go to the car (won’t scratch leather upholstery)
  • Use it to unload car at the end of the day, sort things into their proper places, and then put by the door until next outing
  • Can be monogrammed or personalized
  • Open top =  flip through contents easily

The tote’s handles aren’t sturdy enough for heavy items like library books, but the tote is still perfect for grabbing the mail or newspaper (especially when it’s in a rain-soaked bag), and for gathering the odds and ends that somehow get left behind in the car after every outing.

I found my ”butler” at Snoozy’s but Blue Willow in Cahaba Heights and several other specialty shops sell them. They are around $24 and would make a handy gift.