Ever heard the term “Mom’s Taxi”? Do you identify with that on a personal level? Always rushing, getting kids to practices, games, meetings, etc. Are you “Dad the Driver”, always hauling kids and equipment? At any given time can you produce some sort of sports equipment, snacks to feed an entire team/club, or possibly a long forgotten sock? Getting kids where they need to go for all of their extracurricular can be exhausting, leaving you wore out and probably not ready to tackle cleaning out the car. Fear not! Today I present you with some tips to cut down on the clutter in the car, what is a must-have, and some things that will just overall make your chauffeuring a more pleasant experience.
Tips for Every Day Organization
1. A small tote
I keep a small tote (one that isn’t very deep but long enough to fit on a floorboard properly) that I put all of my papers I receive from daycare, school, sports, etc. That keeps the papers all in one place instead of on my passengers seat or my floorboard (which is where they were before). I put mine behind my passenger’s seat on the floorboard, which works well because my daughter is in a car seat and her feet cannot touch the ground. Obviously put it where it works best for you.
2. A small basket/plastic tote from the dollar store
I bought a small plastic basket from the dollar store to use as a catch-all for a few toys and books the kids have in the car to try to keep them in one place. I have a child in a booster seat and one in a car seat, so the basket fits perfectly in between them and is easily accessible by both.
3. A trash receptacle of some kind
You can buy the bags that latch on to a seat or door handle, or a gift bag, or just a plastic bag, but I went for a slightly different approach. I used a small plastic crate (like a miniature version of what you would us to put files in) and put a plastic bag in it. I place that on my floorboard on the passenger’s side so it’s easy for me to access without having to fight something open. It’s easy to empty and is pretty stable (I haven’t had a spill yet!)
4. A trunk organizer
You can buy a trunk organizer, use totes (similar to what I have for the papers), collapsible cloth bins, fabric grocery bags, etc. Whatever fits your needs. I know the trunk can be tricky with chairs, equipment, and strollers, so trunk organization may not be that big of a deal for some.
Must-Have Items to Keep in Your Car (when your kids have you running around all the time!)
1. Baby Wipes
Baby wipes, for me, are the most multipurpose thing I have in my house and car. Clean kids, clean messes, wipe your face, clean car… I always have a pack of baby wipes in my vehicle at all times.
I think everyone has at least a couple fast food napkins in their car at some point. I have a few in the glove box for unexpected spills or messes.
My chair storage is now in my trunk. They are used so often I just leave them in there.
My extra blankets have came in handy for all types of occasions. Rain, not enough seating, it’s cold, blankets have saved the day. I normally just keep the cheap little fleece blankets in the back, but honestly I would prefer one that zips up and is waterproof (they seem pretty handy!)
I try to bring extra bottles of water with me everywhere we go (especially in the hot weather). That way we are prepared if someone forgets their drink or drinks it faster than expected and runs out.
Most people have an umbrella in their vehicle in case it rains, but I have found that I have used my umbrella more often for shade than I have for rain. It’s definitely been a life saver!
Tips to Make Your Car Feel Clean
1. A good air freshener
I tend to pick an air freshener with a crisp, clean smell to use in my car. I prefer those over the fruity or cologne-type smells so it helps trick my brain into thinking that my car is cleaner and fresher than it really is.
2. Full hands out
If you have worked in food service, you are probably familiar with the phrase “full hands in, full hands out.” I try to apply that to a lot of concepts in my life. I found that if I left something in my care overnight that wasn’t crucial, it would normally stay in my car a lot longer than intended or needed. If I carry in a little bit at a time when I am coming home, it makes the task less daunting.
3. Detailing wipes
I have a tub of Armor-All interior wipes that I use to wipe down my dash from time to time (that thing gets dustier than you would think!) If what I have to look at constantly while driving looks cleaner, I feel like my vehicle is cleaner.
The things I have listed above really help keep my car as clutter free as I can hope for with how much we run around. Do you have any tips to keep your car clean? Post them in the comments below!