Sunday, May 29, 2011

Mom's giant, rolling purse, the vehicle, gets organized

Mom, does your vehicle look like a giant purse? Take a few minutes this week and the following ideas and turn your giant, rolling purse into an organized vehicle of transportation for you and your family. This project requires a trash can, two baskets for returning items to their homes in the house or vehicle, a laundry basket works well, storage totes, a vacuum cleaner, wipes, window cleaner and car wash supplies or money for someone else to clean it inside and out and your children.
Start by taking everything out of the vehicle, younger children love to clean out the car, older kids may need a nudge. Place all items in either the trash or the baskets. Once everything is out of the vehicle you have two choices, if you have money in your budget for a trip to the car detail and wash shop go now. No money in the budget allows for more fun at home, wipe down all leather, vinyl and plastic parts inside, clean the windows inside and vacuum out the vehicle. Don't forget to clean the cup holders and compartments where the kids stash their candy, gum, crayons and lipgloss. Removing the seats will allow you to reach those nooks and crannies where the cheerios and change are collecting.
Now move onto the baskets, place the basket of items that go elsewhere in the house to be emptied later. The basket you have left needs to be sorted. The ages of your children and your families activities will help determine what items to keep in the vehicle. Sort the items that were found in the vehicle by activity or need, than make a list of items you need to retrieve from the house or need to purchase.
Once you have determined the items you need in your vehicle, what will contain them? Check the house for baskets or totes that you can use, if you must make a purchase decide what will be in the tote before purchasing in order to purchase the correct size. As with any organizing project your needs, wants and budget will make the final decision in what will stay in your vehicle.
Here is a list of supplies that you may need or want to keep in your vehicle. The list isn't comprehensive it only serves to get you started.
Everyday use items:
  1. first aid kit
  2. vomit bag
  3. trash can with extra bags
  4. jumper cables
  5. reusable grocery bags
  6. change of clothes for each child and mom
  7. sunglasses and hats
  8. extra diapers/pull ups if you have small children
  9. diaper wipes for spills and dirty faces or hands
  10. activity kit or goody bag for each child
  11. straws or sippy cups
  12. sunscreen
  13. hand sanitizer
Summer items for unplanned fun stops:
  1. picnic supplies: tablecloth, paper towels, forks, cups
  2. flip flops or water shoes
  3. laundry bag with outdoor toys: baseball items, frisbees, 
Winter items for breakdowns or weird weather:
  1. coats
  2. blankets
  3. scarves and mittens
Remember proof of insurance, car registration papers and the vehicle owner's manual should always be kept up front in the glove box or other compartment where you can quickly access it.
After the inside is finished the outside needs to be washed if it wasn't earlier. Take it to the car wash or pull out the water hose and have fun with the kids in the driveway. Then enjoy a picnic at the park.
To keep your giant, rolling purse organized remove any trash and unwanted items at the end of each day's trip and clean your vehicle inside and out once a month.

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