Thursday, October 9, 2008

Organize Your Car

I just can’t stand driving in a messy car! Now, my hubby has TWO cars of his very own but insists on driving MY car! Really, I don’t have a “cool” car, it’s a minivan for goodness sake but, no matter how much I yell and scream calmly ask him to stop, he drives my car every night to work. I also have a messy little piggy wonderful daughter, The Princess, who tends to be a bit untidy. Given these two factors, it is difficult for me to keep my car clean and organized. Here are my tried and true tips for maintaining your vehicle:

-Keep two trash cans in the car. One up front, one in back with the kids (if you have more than one piggy child, add another trash can to the third row of seats)
-Empty these trash cans OFTEN. I empty mine every time I fill the car with gas.
-Keep plastic bags (like from the grocery store) in the glove box in case you eat in the car or have a trash overload… You can also dump the cans into a bag and empty them more often.
-Vacuum, dust, and clean the windows and mirrors often.
-Just like in your home, have a place for everything and everything in its place.
-Take everything in with you once you get home (sweaters, gloves, coffee cups, toys and any purchases you have made)
-Make your husband Ask your hubby nicely to wash your car or do it yourself if you like that sort of thing.
-Make Car Kits with specific purposes and just leave them in the car. I LOVE kits of any kind. They keep things together and organized so there is no searching around to find things. I make EVERYTHING into kits. For the car, I have the following kits: Cleaning Kit, Beauty Kit, Emergency Kit, Craft Kit, Fun Kit, Office in a Bag… Wow this seems obsessive compulsive a tad much but they really work and we use them every day.

Ok, I now feel compelled to tell you what is in each Car Kit. I love these and even make them as gifts. A few years ago everyone got the Emergency Kit for Christmas, last year my “girls” (other Stay at Home Moms that I love) got the Beauty Kits, all the kids eventually get the Craft Kits for birthday gifts and the family have all received the Cleaning Kit at some point. These kits are not revolutionary, they are simply things we want, use, need or already have assembled With Style into cute, organized, ready to go kits. So now I will tackle each kit, one at a time so that you can make your own. Most of this stuff you probably already have and/or can be found at the Dollar Spot at Target or any Dollar Tree.

Cleaning Kit- small brush and dust pan (mine is pink and very useful to sweep off seats and the floor), mini car vac (plugs into AC adaptor), Swiffer Duster (I use this every day , the handle extends and I whip it out to dust the dash board while driving), glass cleaning wipes, Armor All Wipes, Clorox disinfecting wipes, Tide spot remover pen, paper towels, baby wipes all in a black flattish bag with several pockets that fits under my center console between the two front seats.
Beauty Kit- I love these! I have one and The Princess has her own! I also love giving these, there is so much stuff in these and it is all so usefull plus I put all the stuff in super cute Makeup Bags- mine is a Coach Makeup Bag! Ok, tooth flossers, tooth brush, tooth paste, breath spray, tweezers, mirror, brush, hair spray, oil absorbing pads, small deoderant, nail polish remover wipes, anti-bacterial wipes, nail file, nail clippers, small scissors, sewing kit, safety pins, stain removing pen, wrinkle releasing spray, static cling spray, q-tips, femenin hygine pads, first aid kit, band aids, liquid band aid, bug repellant wipes, after bite bug bite lotion, sunscreen, hair bands, bobby pins, barrettes, makeup: powder, eye shadow, eye liner, mascara, lip gloss, perfume… Can you believe that all of this fits in a makeup bag??? Of course they are all travel sized but I always have everything I need!

Emergency Kit- I admit that mine is one of those pre-made kits that came in a nice black vinyl bag and I just added a few things to it. It came with jumper cables, emergency blanket, flares, Help sign, air compressor and I added a flashlight, tool kit, glow sticks, ponchos, batteries, water bottles and some other things that escape me right now. HMMMMMM, I better check out my kit tommorow huh?

Kid Craft Kit (grown ups like it too!)- I order cute, clear, vinyl back packs and stuff them full of FUN!!! Crayons, markers, colored pencils, assorted papers, scissors, foil ( yes foil, kids love this stuff. The Princess and her friends will play with foil for hours!), stickers, glue dots (not runny glue in the car), pom poms, google eyes, pipe cleaners, playdoh, coloring book, stencils, paper plates, craft sticks, index cards, hole punch, yarn, stamps, old magazines and hand wipes (for cleanup). I also keep a new cookie sheet in the car in the Fun Kit that can be used as a lap desk to do crafts on and because it has a lip around it, things don’t spill as easily!

Fun Kit- small pillow, blanket, outdoor blanket (the kind you can put on the ground and won’t get wet), Frisbee, balls, cookie sheet, magnetic letters,numbers, anything magnetic, sweater, swimsuit, water shoes, towel, sand toys, hats, trash bags, water, non perishable snack, books, card games…I change out some according to the season. The point of this Kit is so we don’t have to run home or go buy something to have spontaneous FUN. I use one of those collapsible, fabric totes with handles and I keep it in the trunk.

Office In A Bag- This is indispensable for all you busy Mom’s taxi cabbing your kids all over the entire worldlovingly driving your children to their very important activities. I have found myself waiting in the car, at doctor appointments, ballet, Kung Fu, gymnastics… Anyway, this is a great way to get a ton of work and correspondence done while you wait. I found an adorable pink and brown tote thingy with tons of small pockets, dividers, and spaces just perfect for an office. They are meant for Scrapbooking supplies and I actually got several on sale for $9.99 each! Then I added: an assortment of colorful pens (I like to match my pen color to my stationary or to the season, Orange=Halloween, Red and Green= Christmas…, an assortment of cards, paper and stationary for letter writing, electronic dictionary and thesaurus (I can’t spell at all!), new magazines I haven’t had time to read, scissors, index cards, hole punch, book rings ( cut out articles, write recipes… hole punch and connect with a book ring), stamps, glue dots, stickers, address labels, double sided tape, assorted ribbon, address book, book of quotes, paper clips, labels and a clip board. I can do anything right in the front seat of my car and look cute doing it!

So, this has been long enough and I hope you have found some useful tips for making your car clean, organized and super efficient!


Jillian said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jillian Kaplan said...

Hi Stacey,

I previously attempted to leave a comment, but an older one was posted somehow. So sorry!

I love your blog! I came across your "organize your car" advice and can completely relate. With 3 kids, my minivan is a wreck! I started keeping a small trash can in the car thanks to your suggestion.

I am a crafter based in VT and I hand paint and personalize items for kids which help organize all of the "stuff." My plastic lap desk would be a wonderful addition to your car kit. You can view it at If you are interested in my products, please give me a call.

Thanks for the wonderful advice.

Have a great day,