parenting

Organization: How to Organize Your Car and Keep it Clean

parentinghome management

Organization—I recently took a gander at the back seat of an SUV owned by a family with two young children. Plastic bracelets, kid’s meal toys, and shoes were tossed about on the floor. Small feet kicked the back of seats to get their mom’s attention. There was even a traveling potty to step over on my way to the finger-smeared windows.

Now I don’t have advice on how to prevent your kids from wiping boogers on the windows or how to stop your two-year-old’s small hands from loosing grip on their sippy cup as it falls to the ground, but there must be some sort of organization in a vehicle.

How to Organize Your Car and Keep it Clean

  • First, one thing that may seem obvious to some, keep things that you use the most in the most accessible areas. Items may include your cell phone, chapstick, sunglasses, pens, and other go-to items in areas such as open built in compartments and the upper section of the arm rest. We keep tissues and napkins in the glove box to grab and give as they are usually needed. Cylinder wipe dispensers are also handy to have in a cup holder.
  • Visor organizers can really clear up a lot of space. Don’t clutter all of you compartments with empty CD cases. A CD visor organizer can hold all of them and create that easy-to-find and put-away-place that is perfect while driving. They often come with other storage pockets that you can use for tissues or sunglasses.
  • A garbage is a must! You can keep a small bag hanging from your glove box or other area or keep a small garbage can in the passenger seat. But why keep all the garbage in the front? By all means, put a garbage sack or canister in the back for the kids, so they don’t need to hand it up to you. Just remember to empty them every time you get gas and you’re set!
  • Protect the back of your seats from dirty soccer cleats by using kick mat seat back protectors. I’ve seen a lot of them in stores and although I have yet to do it, I feel that you could make your own by attaching a simple strap to some strong polyester fabric or vinyl. Yes?
  • As far as all of those toys go, you can create a hanging organizer with lots of pockets or simply hang a backpack from the headrest to hold all of those coloring books and plastic dinosaurs. You can also use plastic totes or boxes on the ground to keep everything in one place. Have your kids put their things back before they get out of the car to keep it clean.
  • Who designed cars with cup holders out of kid’s reach? Add a portable drink holder or purchase a travel tray that connects to your child’s car seat, which also functions as a great play table.
  • To the trunk! If only we could fit it all in there, right? Well, let’s fit as much as we can in an organized and practical fashion. The first move is to lay down a waterproof and machine washable mat to avoid wet stroller wheels and muddy hiking boots from seaping into your floor.
  • The more containers the better! Within your compartments, add plastic storage boxes to separate different categories. Keep a roll of paper towels, bottled water, a supply of plastic bags, a change of clothes for the young kids, and jackets for the family. If you have compartments under the seats, fill them with the items you are likely to use the least, such as jumper cables, a flashlight, an ice scraper, a first-aid kit, and blankets. Crates and bins also prevent items from shifting and can help you bring in groceries. Look for containers that fold down when they aren’t in use to save space.

How do you keep your car organized and clean with the kiddos?

Feature image courtesy of Flickr.

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Cambria VandeMerwe

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