So…in the spirit of revealing how un-supermom I am, I have a confession to make. I have this handy-dandy bin in my trunk that I wrote about a while back. I wrote about how important it is to have whatever you might need at a moment’s notice–how helpful it can be when the unexpected happens. (You can read that post here).
Enter: reality. That was two kids ago.
Little did I know at that time that we’d end up with 4 kids under the age of 5. Needless to say, the trunk bin hasn’t been updated since then. <hang head in shame>
It’s one of those things I think of doing all the time, but I never get around to actually doing it. I’m sure you can relate.
I can barely stay on top of things like the diaper bag/purse switcharoo (which clearly I need to work on), so getting even more organized by preparing necessities ahead of time ends up being way down on my list of priorities.
That is, until I needed something. I was at Chick Fil A for a play date a couple weeks ago with my crew of little ones and my 21 month old decided she’d rather spit her food out all over her shirt than swallow it. It was pretty gross. I don’t do well with saliva and chewed things. So I went to grab that extra shirt I always keep in the diaper bag and it wasn’t there.
I ran to the van to grab an extra shirt from the bin, and of course it wasn’t there either–seeing as how I haven’t updated the bin in at least 21 months. I grabbed what was there, which was a too-big brown football shirt that she proudly wore with her floral shorts the rest of our play date. I distinctly remember at least one “look” from another mom I didn’t know. I thought she might have offered one of her daughter’s extra shirts, but she didn’t.
All that to say, it really is a good idea to make a trunk bin full of all the essentials you might need. You can see my recommended list here.
(And another “hang my head in shame” photo…you can see on the left how bad I let that trunk get).
In addition to the trunk bin, I have a few other things I consider must-have. I really, really, REALLY don’t like clutter, so this is a very short list.
Stroller with mommy hook
A blanket (I really like the kind that fold up and zip with a handle)
Something that holds an extra jacket or sweatshirt for every family member so they’re all in one easy-to-find place (I use a reusable bag)
And just for fun…here are a few tricks I use to keep the van clutter-free and looking fairly tidy most of the time:
- Keep a trash bag inside the vehicle and throw trash away before it has a chance to collect
- Keep a big umbrella handy
- Empty the bottom of the stroller before putting it back in the trunk
- Have a place for kids’ artwork other than the trunk (I hang the special ones in our play room–you can see more about that here–and I throw the rest away (gasp!))
- Teach kids that whatever they bring with them into the car is what they are responsible to bring with them when they get home (ie: do not leave your collection of matchbox cars in the van!)
What are some of your tricks for keeping the family car clean? Do you have any must-haves I didn’t mention? What are your ideas for what you should always have in your car (if you have kids)?
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