Rearranging a Messy Jeep: Tips to Keep Your Cargo Organized

Updated on Jan 11, 2024

Where is it? That pesky 10mm open end or tire plug kit buried beneath the mess that’s accumulated in your Jeep? We’ve all been there before–digging through the loose sockets, wrenches, recovery straps, trash, and every other unnecessary bit that somehow finds a home in your Jeep’s cab.

Though a bear of a task, organizing your Jeep’s cargo is as much a bid for sanity as it is efficiency! There’s something so soothing about popping open your hatch to see your tools, recovery gear, and emergency equipment neatly organized in their delegated space, eliminating the need to rifle through your cab. 

Fortunately, our experts are here to remedy the rat’s nest you call a gear bag, ensuring everything is orderly, easily accessible, and downright pleasing to look at. We’re sharing some of our favorite organization tips, tricks, and products to have your Jeep’s cabin in tip-top shape; forget spending 10 minutes digging for a socket or untangling your straps! So buckle up and whip out your notepad for a lesson in organization.

Kicking Off the Organization Process

To begin, you’ll need to empty your Jeep, down to the trash and coin-packed map pockets, the overflowing tool bag in the rear hatch, and even the receipt-filled glove box that hardly closes. Make a few piles, including trash, keep (but not in the Jeep), and keep (in the Jeep). This’ll help to put into perspective how much gear you have and how much space you need. 


  • Keep the receipts for parts and services, but not in your Jeep. Compile them into a folder (either physical or digital) and keep them in a safe location; odds are you’ll never need these records while on the road.

  • Eliminate duplicate tools, straps, gauges, etc. Contrary to what your gear bag would suggest, there’s no need to carry six tire pressure gauges.

  • Verify that everything you’re holding on to works...and works well. There's no need to lug around broken adjustable wrenches, failed tire pressure gauges, or dried-up tire plugs.

  • Routinely repeat this step. Organization isn’t just a one-time deal; it’s a lifestyle.   

With everything set aside, let’s commence our search for organizational boxes, soft bags, and dividers.  

Storage Solutions

There are countless storage solutions for Jeeps on the market, ranging from under-seat soft bags to cargo area-specific boxes and exterior racks. For the sake of simplicity, we’re organizing (pun intended) this section into three sub-areas–cabin, cargo area, and exterior/other–and listing some of our favorite products for each! 


By “cabin”, we’re referring to your Jeep’s interior space/seating area, excluding the rear hatch/cargo area. This section includes under-seat storage, soft bags, etc.

Tuffy Security Console Safe

Console security safes, or any safe for that matter, are one of the most effective means of keeping your valuables guarded against thieves. Especially while rocking a soft top or none at all, having a secure place to stash your GPS, tablet, and other expensive tools is essential. The Tuffy Security Console Safe is a rugged solution, providing key-lockable storage that tucks neatly inside your Jeep’s center console, out of sight. 


  • Constructed out of 16 gauge steel

  • Lid support feature that keeps lid open while in use

  • Textured powder-coat finish

  • Pry-guard locking system

  • 1/8" thick welded steel components

Covercraft Carhartt Seatback Organizers

Especially with aftermarket bucket seats or base-model trims without factory map pockets, having easily-accessible storage is essential. The Covercraft Carhartt Seatback Organizers make storing notepads, maps, instruction manuals, drinks, and other small cargo a breeze. The rugged duck-weave fabric also protects your Jeep’s seat backs against dirt, moisture, and staining from muddy boots or dirty dogs. 


  • Constructed out of heavy-duty duck weave fabric

  • Classic Carhartt styling

  • Available in Carhartt brown or gravel

  • Fits most vehicles (Measures 18.5” x 23.5”)

  • Triple-stitched main seams

  • Water-resistant 

  • Includes two reinforced pockets & two mesh pockets

  • Easy installation & removal

  • Machine washable

  • Sold individually

Cargo Area

Most of your recovery gear, tools, and other oversized cargo will likely hang out in your Jeep’s rear cargo area behind the hatch. However, it’s essential to have sturdy bags, boxes, and dividers to keep your gear organized and easy to find.

Rugged Ridge Cargo Cover

Alright, while not necessarily a storage solution, cargo covers effectively prevent unnecessary damage to your Jeep’s cargo area while loading up gear, especially muddy recovery equipment, dirty tools, jacks, etc. The Rugged Ridge Cargo Cover is tough and water-resistant, keeping your Jeep’s rear seatbacks, carpeting, and plastic side panels from incurring scuffs, punctures, and stains. 


  • Patent pending design protects carpet, door panels, and cargo area from damage

  • The fold-and-tumble rear seat feature allows the rear seat to remain in place with the cargo liner installed

  • The seat can be removed or folded and tumbled forward if kept in the vehicle

  • Built-in front curtain wall helps to keep items and pets from entering the front seat area

  • A unique side retention system ensures the cover stays securely in place

  • Quick and easy installation

Rugged Ridge Cargo Storage Drawers

A vehicle-specific drawer system, like the Rugged Ridge Cargo Storage Drawers, is one of the most effective and efficient means of organizing your Jeep’s cargo in the rear hatch. This system includes two spacious drawers, allowing you to organize your tools in one and recovery equipment in the other while hardly losing any cargo space! 

The drawer system’s upper deck functions as a non-slip, tie-down-equipped replacement floor, maintaining most of your hatch’s cargo capacity for coolers, sleeping bags, and other loose gear. 


  • Two storage drawers with a pull-out workstation table

  • Large paddle locking handles

  • Easy-glide drawers

  • Black powder-coat finish

  • Recessed tie-downs

Rugged Ridge Heavy-Duty Recovery Bag

If full-blown storage drawers are a bit excessive, try out the compact and portable convenience of a soft recovery bag, like this heavy-duty canvas solution from Rugged Ridge. Soft bags are easy to load up and toss anywhere in the cab, cargo area, or under a seat, providing plenty of additional room for oversized cargo. And when you find up stuck on an obstacle and need a winch, bringing all of your recovery straps, hooks, and shackles out of the cab and to the front of your Jeep is a massive time-saver.


  • Heavy-duty canvas gear bag

  • High-quality snag-free zippers

  • Reinforced side-handles

  • Includes removable shoulder strap


When interior cargo storage isn’t enough, there are several options to organize and secure your gear outside of the cab.

Rugged Ridge Premium Mesh Recovery Gear Bag

If it’s not uncommon to get your recovery straps and tow straps soaking wet when traversing a water crossing or hitting the trails in the rain, invest in a quality mesh recovery bag like the Rugged Ridge Premium Mesh Recovery Gear Bag. You can easily tuck this compact bag in your cargo area while not being used; when you need a place to stash your soaked recovery gear, toss it in the bag, drape it out of your hatch, and keep excess moisture out of the cabin! 


  • Tough, nylon mesh construction keeps your gear in one place

  • Features 12" diameter opening and cinches shut via drawstring

  • Includes adjustable nylon shoulder strap

  • Reinforced bottom panel

EZ4x4 Tailgate Table

While not necessarily a cargo storage solution, or mounting outside of your Jeep for that matter, you won’t be using it unless standing outside of the rear hatch…so we’ll count it. The EZ4x4 Tailgate Table makes setting up for repairs, laying out your gear, or simply eating lunch on the trail a breeze! This bolt-on steel table mounts to the interior of your Jeep’s tailgate and folds out when necessary, making it an ideal workspace or prep area. 


  • Folding tailgate table for Jeep Wranglers

  • Constructed from premium aluminum

  • Textured black powder coat finish

  • Single-tier table folds out to provide a durable work surface

  • Stays flat against tailgate when not in use to retain rear storage space

  • Easy installation with all needed hardware included

Paramount Cargo Carrier Basket

The Paramount Cargo Carrier Basket allows you to effectively organize dirty gear, fluids, or anything else you don’t want in your Jeep’s cabin in one central location. This rugged steel basket bolts to your Jeep’s tailgate for a solid installation. The tubular design makes tying down cargo a breeze, keeping your gear secure on the trail. 


  • Crafted from one-inch round steel tubing

  • Fine textured, corrosion-resistant black powder coat

  • 35-pound weight capacity

  • Dimensions: 39” x 18” x 7”

  • No drilling required

With all of your storage equipment on order, pair likes with likes and get to organizing. We’d recommend having separate storage drawers, bins, and bags for recovery gear, tools, and emergency equipment. Once everything is settled, you’ll enjoy your Jeep’s streamlined and organized cabin! 

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