Is your car road trip ready? If not, don’t fret. Our resident professional organizer, Annie, is here with a summer-themed post for Project Organize Your ENTIRE Life today that will get you there in no time.
She’s got lots of great tips as well as some handy product recommendations. (I’ve been meaning to buy the last thing on her list for ages – this is just the push I needed!)
The summer months are fast approaching, and with them, lots of day trips and long-haul journeys.
Regardless of whether you’re driving a couple of blocks for a picnic in the park or are embarking on some cross-country family road trip, the experience is bound to be more pleasant if your car is in order.
Follow these tips and you’ll be headed straight for organization-station.
#1 – Before summer officially commences, give your car a good clean-out.
Starting from clean and orderly will go a long help towards helping you keep it that way. Throw out those stray, crumpled juice boxes, the crumb-covered chapsticks, and the bags of merchandise you’ve been meaning to return for the past three months.
Empty that baby of everything and then vacuum it from pedal to tail pipe.
Since the key to having an organized car is to be incredibly selective with what belongs within, you’ll want to be intentional about what you put back after the cleaning. Only those things that are essential during transit should go in the car.
#2 – To keep children occupied during travel, it’s wise to have a few toys or activities in your car.
Limit the number of such items that end up in the car by allocating specific items as “travel toys.”
Explain to your kids the distinction between those and house toys, which can help alleviate any spontaneous insistence on their part that whatever they happen to be playing with inside must accompany you on your journey.
House toys stay in the house; travel toys stay in the car.
Harness travel toys in an accessory like this backseat organizer. That way, small items stay in place rather than sliding under the backseat at a stop light, never to be seen again. Plus, how cool is the tablet holder?
A product like this can also be used to hold things like an umbrella, ice scraper, flashlight, and so on.
Here are a few “must haves” to pack in your organizer:
- activity books/board books
- bubbles (my kids LOVED blowing bubbles out the window when we got caught in traffic)
- travel games
- snacks/sippy cups
- maps (so they can follow along with your route)
- and a doodle/magic erase board
#3 – Stock your glovebox with a few napkins and plastic silverware to make eating on the go easy and less messy.
#4 – You need to have a place for collecting trash in the car.
Products like this leak proof car trash bag work wonders. At the very least, you should have a plastic or paper bag on hand at all times for garbage.
#5 – Keep Your Trunk Neat.
The golden rule of car organization is this: take out whatever you bring in.
Too often, cars become a dumping ground for things like water bottles, coffee mugs, jackets, and so on. Whatever hasn’t been allocated as a permanent car item–those things you bring in the car with you on a daily basis–should always leave with you at the end of the day or the trip.
This practice takes a bit of training, but if you’re disciplined about it, and ensure family members are as well, your car will always look and feel great.
*post contains affiliate links
Need help feeding your toddler?
Sign up for our newsletter to get a handy stick-it-your-fridge list of our favorite meals for toddlers and a link to all of the recipes!