A few weeks ago I had an oops with a jar of adzuki beans and spilled them all over inside my car. I also got sick of using my ashtray as a pencil pot. The pens kept falling out. I think it had something to do with my eating all the lollipops that were also in there. (every time I go to the bank or my CPA I get a lollipop) But it's always been kind of a game to keep the pens and lollipops at the right balance so they will both stay in. And an annoyance, because they don't.
So I took out the pens and pencils and put adzuki beans in, when I had a minute here and there to rummage on the floor. And I found this out: You know how some coffee shops use a jar of coffee beans as a pencil pot and they hold the pencils up? Adzuki beans do the same thing. I can keep long skinny things in that ashtray now, although I realized that I really had too many pens in the car. The pen for the mileage log is now in the sun visor, and the adzuki beans are holding up more candy. (right now it's a roll of Smarties because I ate all the lollipops again). But I could also keep one or two pens or lollipops in there with the beans, and they probably wouldn't fall out now.
I also thought, what if I put espresso beans in the ashtray instead of those adzuki beans? It could be like an emergency caffeine supply - if I'm driving and I get tired I can chew on the beans. And it would smell nice. The only thing is, coffee beans are lighter than adzuki beans, so I don't know if they'll work in that shallow of a container to hold up pens. But while I'm at it, I could also put some whittled cedar sticks in there and have a car that smells like a cedar closet and a coffee shop all at once. Or a cinnamon stick, or a piece of licorice root. The possibilities are endless!
Then this morning I saw this other handy dandy thing: Someone took a bunch of wooden skewers, put them so they were vertically sticking out of a plastic box, and it was an instant knife holder. You just stick the knife in between the skewers. I guess if it's too top heavy, then do it with a glass vase that has a heavy bottom. Get it at the thrift store or a yard sale, and you'll really have a bargain.