Organizing the Car
photo credit: Travis Hornung
Keeping your car organized can be a challenge. We all know the scene- open the mini-van door and hold your breath to see if anything falls out. Animal cracker crumbs on the floor, toys strewn about, DVD’s not in their cases and random shoes under the seat. Then as your kids get older you will find dirty sport uniforms and socks, candy bar wrappers, and DVD’s not put back in their cases. So, what to do to keep the family car from looking like the family dump?
Well, for starters there are all sorts of innovative organizing products for cars out there now. Some of my favorites can be found at Lillian Vernon but you can also pick them up at local department stores.
I love my cell phone holder that clips onto the vent of my car. It holds not just my cell phone (for hand’s free talking) but has a place for lipstick and gum (or whatever you would choose to keep there) as well.
If you work from your car (I call it my mobile office) then invest in a sturdy plastic file box with a handle that can serve as a portable office. You can use Velcro adhesive patches to keep it secured to the floor, to avoid files going everywhere if you need to slam on your brakes or take a sharp turn.
Use an over the seat organizer to house DVD’s, books and small toys. If your kids won’t keep the DVD’s from getting scratched then put a CD holder on the passenger side visor to hold the Disney movies.
Keep a trash bag (I use a small re-usable one that I bought at Wal-mart) in the front seat and the back seat. My kids aren’t allowed to start playing with the happy meal toy, etc. until the trash has been put in the bag. If your children are old enough, emptying the car trash can be a chore just like cleaning their room and putting away their clean laundry. If not, then make it a habit to bring the trash bag in the house with you to be emptied.
Have a box in the trunk for things that need to be taken in the house. That way if your son is changing into his basketball uniform in the van on the way to a game (yes this happens, at least in my family) then he can toss his other clothes in that box instead of wherever they may land. Assign a day or two a week to bring that box in and empty it. I also have a box in the trunk that houses the articles I would like to get around to reading, the shirt that needs the button sewn back on or the thank you note that I keep meaning to send. Those are perfect waiting room or stuck at soccer practice activities for us busy moms. By keeping them in the trunk, it is one less thing you have to remember to grab before you run out the door and when life gives you a few moments to spare- you can make the most of the time!
Invest in a sturdy tote bag that “car” toys can be kept in, especially for little children still in car seats. The bag can be set on the seat beside them for easy access and every few weeks you can change out the toys in the bag so they don’t become bored with the selection.
As your kids get older, don’t let them out of the car until their area is free of clutter, trash and crumbs. Hey- we moms control the locks.