If you’re a busy mom, you may feel like you spend almost as much time in the family vehicle (aka “Mom’s taxi”) as you do at home or at work. One pitfall of so much driving is that the interior of your vehicle may become messy and disorganized – but this can easily be fixed using a few simple items you may already own, or can buy for just a few dollars.
1. Repurpose a shoe organizer
Seatback pockets are ideal for holding papers, but not so much for finding what you want. If you have young kids in the car, a shoe organizer can organize lots of things besides shoes. Strap the organizer over the back of a front seat and fill it with whatever your child needs – a sippy cup, books, and toys. Your youngster can reach what he needs when he wants it, and you can concentrate on the road ahead.
2. Use storage trays for eating in the car
When you’re balancing soccer, ballet, and flute lessons, you don’t have time to stop back home for lunch. However, takeout bags will quickly lead to a greasy and sloppy mess. Plastic organizers from the dollar store are ideal for holding sandwiches, fries, fruit, a drink, and a napkin, so the kids can eat neatly in the car. When you’re done for the day, just wash the trays and store them in the car for your next trip.
3. Stash the trash
Plastic cereal containers keep food dry and fresh. They can also serve another purpose – an in-car waste container. Just line the container with a five-gallon disposable plastic bag and store it on the floor for trash. Toss filled bags in the trash when you stop; keep spare bags in the center console or another storage compartment. You can also repurpose an empty tissue box to hold extra trash bags.
4. Create kits for life’s emergencies
Besides the requisite car repair and first aid kits, you can create additional kits using zippered pouches, and store them in your car’s console or in a container under the seat. Label each pouch and use them to hold extra sets of clothes; vitamins and medicine; snacks; and hand wipes and diapers. Make it easy for your older children to access these items on their own. When your trip ends, replenish supplies for the next one.
5. Make use of laundry baskets
Some cars have sectioned storage compartments, ideal for holding groceries and other items in place. If your car doesn’t have this feature, try lining up laundry baskets side by side. The baskets will keep groceries, sports equipment, and other items organized and securely in place. When you get home, just bring the baskets in with you.