Keeping our vehicle organized is key to things running smoothly for us around here! If our van is a mess, you can rest assured that my blood pressure is slightly elevated, but a few simple tips have been the ticket to keeping our mini-van de-cluttered and organized.
First of all, we do our best to clean it out everyday! I'm not talking about a daily car-detailing of the inside of our vehicle (maybe in my dream world)...I'm talking about throwing out the trash, bringing all the stuff inside the house, etc.
In age-appropriate ways, involve your kids.
Recruit them to help you.
Encourage them to take responsibility for the messes they create.
We keep small plastic bags in the car - and this makes it easy to dispose of food containers (I remember a time when eating in vehicles was a no-no in my book! Again...dream world!), dirty diapers, snack wrappers, and on and on and on this list could go. Buy some little trash bags - Reuse some Wal-mart bags - Do what works for you!
Now...for the stuff that stays in the van:
A diaper bag/toddler bag stays in the van at all times - It is well-stocked with diapers, wipes, an extra change of clothes, a few snacks, a few little basic first-aid supplies, etc. Anytime this bag is needed (church nursery, play dates, childcare at our activities, etc.), it is easy to grab and go - only needing restocked every once and awhile. This saves me SO much time when I'm leaving the house in the mornings.
*Some of the Thirty-One Totes work great for this! Again, see what works best for you!*
In addition to the ready-to-go diaper bag, there are two baskets that keep life in our kid-wagon running smoothly.
Do your kids eat all.the.time? Mine do! I learned early on that I should never leave the house without A LOT of snacks coming along for the ride. This snack basket stays in our van - and it remains fully stocked with squeeze packs, fig bars, peanuts, crackers, etc.
Stuck in traffic? Staying out a little past your kiddos' regular lunchtime? This basket will be a lifesaver!
The other basket includes wipes (of all kinds...as you can see), bug spray, sunscreen, hand-sanitizer, small disposable bags for dirty diapers (mentioned above), etc.
This basket stays up between the two front seats - and I love having these supplies easily accessible!
A large bottle of hand sanitizer stays in a cup holder - right next to my coffee cup. I wholeheartedly believe that a mother can survive anything as long as she has a good cup of coffee and large bottle of hand sanitizer!
We spend alot of time on the road, and my husband is convinced that - if ever necessary - we could live in our mini-van. While I'm not so sure about that, we do try to keep it fully stocked with everything we need to survive traveling with little ones.