Get Organized: The Car

Thursday, January 26, 2012

We got a new (to us) car last month, and I might as well go ahead and say it - It is a mini van. I drive a mini van now, a Toyota Sienna, to be exact. I wanted it, then I had second thoughts, and now it is mine.

After I got over the oh-my-word-I-drive-a-mini-van heart palpitations, I started to strategize about how I would transfer all my "mom stuff" from my old car to this new, umm, mini van. I had to figure out all the new nooks and crannies, and I was pleasantly surprised. Even though I now have much more room, the transfer allowed me to purge unnecessary items. I became more organized in this area where I am (admittedly) pretty particular.

Let's start at the front of the car. I love (love!!) that the Sienna has a built in hook that is perfectly placed for a grocery bag turned trash receptacle. (I'm pretty sure a mom designed the interior, to be honest.) Also, I try to keep an umbrella and a roll of paper towels within reach.

Ya never know.

I keep hand sanitizer and kleenex in the middle console, but my absolute must-have is antibacterial hand wipes:

I know - some people say we shouldn't be using so much antibacterial goo, or that it isn't good for us. I say, a stomach bug is never good for us. Period. End of sentence. Now, wash your hands.

I have to thank Captain Safety, also known as my husband, for the contents of the trunk. He has always insisted on an Emergency Roadside Kit, and while we've never used it, I'm glad it is there.

I probably need to remove the stroller. I can't remember the last time we used it outside of Disney World. Still, it is kind of nice to know it is back there. The beach towel comes in handy for picnics, or boys who always find a way to get filthy at the park. The diaper bag holds a change of clothes, and the wipes/baby powder do a great job of removing sand.

We keep a first aid kit in the "trunk" as well, and I use it ALL the time. Just yesterday, Big Guy fell and scrapped his hands on a rough sidewalk, and the band aids came in handy.

How do you keep your car organized? What are your essentials?

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14 Responses to “Get Organized: The Car”

  1. We just got a new car too! It's of course used, but new to us as well. To help it stay organized? No food! Ugh, even something that isn't really a messy food will be found hiding under the seats months later. Hmmm, we will see how long this rule lasts. Maybe until next month!


    Hope all is well.

  2. Ha! Love that. We tried the no food rule for about 12 hours. My boys even initiated it, "Mom, this car is so clean. We can't eat in here!" - but it didn't last. They do, however, make a bigger effort to contain their crumbs. And, I invested in seat protectors for under their car seat and booster seat. That at least makes me feel better.

  3. I just went through our car a few weeks ago and I couldn't believe the stuff we had in there and the stuff we DIDN'T have in there! My 70-year-old parents got a minivan last year and the whole family (all 5 grown kids, kids-in-law, the grandkids, AND my parents LOVE the thing! :-) Just popped over from Jule's WMP - fun to see what people are doing. Makes me think I need to rethink what I put back in the car!  

  4. I've started keeping a plastic cereal container with a plastic bag liner in the car.  I like that I have an ENCLOSED trash bin, and I like that it's easy to empty out & keep clean.  

  5. I keep intending to do this, thanks for motivating the rest of us!

  6. Oh, gosh, I don't ever think about my car. Until someone asks for a ride or Mr Park volunteers our car when we're going out with friends. My car is like my purse. I don't clean it out until I get to a point to where I can't stand it anymore. I admire you and all the other people who make a clean car a priority. I would someday like to be one of those people. Great job on this project!

  7. You know, I have kind of always wanted a minivan. They are so darn practical and make life so much easier. I love, love, love an organized car. Inspiring!

  8. LOL - we finally got a mini van last Spring and my reaction was the same as yours :) Now I {heart} my mini van, but it's a PAIN to keep clean!!  Enjoy :)

  9. M car is pretty ridiculous, it is not my strong point.  I love your organization and neatness, it is inspiring to one day get a handle on myself.  Found you from Jule's link up, thanks for sharing!

  10. I have a Sienna, too (absolutely necessary for carting my 3 kids and a couple others in the carpool), and unfortunately it's always pretty messy. As the kids get older, it's not quite as bad, but our biggest problem is the lack of trash receptacles. Gotta add that to my list! (I do have the wipes, and am glad we don't need a stroller or diaper bag anymore!)

  11. Ahhh - like that idea. An enclosed trash bin would be better. Thanks for that!

  12. Thanks, Pam. Yes, I keep the car clean, but you should see my purse. I always find something unexpected in there - it is a mess! 

  13. Thanks, Jules. The minivan is incredibly practical, and useful with the boys. But it has been a somewhat bitter pill for me. Still, I love keeping it organized. Thanks for your continued inspiration!

  14. Just over from P&FF. Oh how I miss how our new car used to look! This reminds me that I should really get to cleaning and organizing it. Have been thinking about making some new car seat covers, to hide the shame of years of cheerios and crackers that have stained the back seats :)