Housekeeping · Organization

Organize Your Family Car (or – Never Be Unprepared Again!)

One day recently when I looked at my Motivated Moms to-do list for the day, I saw “Straighten First Aid Kit/ replenish if necessary” scheduled as one of the day’s tasks.

Hmmmm.  That got me thinking.  I don’t have that kind of stuff in our car.  In fact, there are a good many things I don’t have in our car.  Things such as…..well, any number of things a family with five kids might need!  I never seem to remember to bring along even some of the most basic things.  You’d think I would have learned by now, but alas.  That’s why we can be driving along and….

“Mom, I need a tissue.”

“Sorry, Sweetie, but there aren’t any out here.”  (Like I said — basic.)

That task scheduled on my list got me motivated to really do it right this time.  I knew I had just the thing I needed to keep a bunch of little (but very important) things stashed away in our car for when we might need them.   I had picked up these great little plastic sandwich/lunch box things with handy dividers inside them at Goodwill for a dollar or two, because I thought they looked very useful.  Turns out they are.  (Useful, that is.)

Have a look.

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Of course there are the always necessary band-aids, accompanied by the “makes it all better” first aid cream.  I even included some gauze pads and first aid tape, just in case.  And some alcohol prep pads — sure, why not.

A thermometer?  And a tongue depressor?  Well, they were just extras floating around my bathroom drawer anyway.

Some ibuprofen, and a couple of junior strength Advil tablets.

A tweezers.  Again, extra one taking up space in my bathroom.   And because my kids tend to toss their shoes and run barefoot so often, I just might  need them for pulling out “prickers.”

Dental floss.  Helps your mouth feel clean even without a tooth-brush.

And, some necessary items for Mom.

I didn’t stop at the first aid items.  Since I had a second matching box, I had to fill it up too.  In here you’ll find….

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Anything you’ll need to fasten something.  Like tape, rubber bands, twist-ties, clothespins, safety pins, and paper clips.  (Hey, they don’t take up much space!)

A handy little needle and thread kit that I collected somewhere along the way.  It even has two spare buttons.  Now that could really be useful some day.

A scissors, even if it is a tiny one.

And a para-cord.  Could really help us out some day.  ( Oh, and some pony tail bands — necessary for girls with long hair.)

These boxes fit conveniently beneath the passenger’s seat, tucked out of sight, but ready whenever called upon.

I also tucked a roll of paper towels under the back of the seat.  And I stuffed grocery bags and Ziploc bags into cardboard tubes.  They fit in the glove box.  (You know that Ziploc bags can serve as barf  bags, don’t you?!)

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I decided I didn’t need to store empty CD cases inside the console anymore.  So I put in some things we use more frequently like pen and paper, chewing gum, toothpicks (we use those pretty often — really), nail clippers, etc.

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Look,  right there are the tissues!  And hand sanitizer, hand lotion, and wipes.  And my cup holders are actually empty — ready for holding….cups!  Yay!

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Not pictured here, but important for this time of year is bug spray.

Another good one for summer — keep a jug of water/ice in your freezer ready to grab and let thaw in your hot car during a long day of errands or a day trip to some fun place.  Take along some empty cups, and you’re all set to offer a nice cold drink  to parched and weary bodies.

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These are the much-needed improvements I made  to our family car’s hoard of necessary items.  What are your ideas?  I still have a little bit of room left….

For more organizing tips:

Ten Simple Ways to Organize Your Home

Craft Closet Organization

Organizing All That Paper


13 thoughts on “Organize Your Family Car (or – Never Be Unprepared Again!)

  1. Clara and I are wondering if you had umbrellas on your list? We have sudden thunderstorms here in the Northwest, and if we travel to Vancouver. . . . Also, we keep a picnic blanket and chairs (those nice ones in bags) in the back of our van in the summer for soccer games or BBQ’s. Great ideas! Anything to make getting out the door with everyone more efficient. Now there’s not so many items to check off the list, because you keep it stored in the Durango. Oh, flashlight? Or is that under Dad’s seat? Clara said jumper cables, but I’m sure that’s on hubby’s list, too.

    1. Yes, we’ve always kept an umbrella in the back, but I totally forgot about a flashlight — how could I?! During the summer we do keep our camp chairs in the back, but I have to take them out if I want to bring home a load of groceries. =/ A picnic blanket is something I could certainly add without much trouble. Might come in handy on cool evenings as well. Thanks for the ideas! (And yes, Anthony handles all things under-the-hood — jumper cables are in there. I do know where they are, and I think I’ve even used them with him talking me through precisely how to do it while on the phone with him. 🙂 )

  2. Great idea stuffing baggies into tubes. And just for everyone’s info.–use the ziplocs, NOT grocery bags for barf bags. We have learned the hard way that grocery bags often leak… 😦 I love your ideas! Please keep them coming.

  3. I NEVER would have thought to put sacks and baggies in tp and pt tubes! Great idea! I also NEVER thought about freezing a jug of water! Awesome! I’m guessing your children don’t eat in the car… I don’t see a single crumb! We just got a new car 2 days ago, and it happens to look as nice as yours right now. For now, there is no snacking in the car!

      1. Oh, if you could really see our car, the rest of it, I mean! Yes the kids snack in it. They track gravels and dirt in it (we don’t have a garage). It was recently cleaned out and vacuumed, that’s why you don’t see any crumbs. 🙂

        I harvested the tp tube idea from the internet somewhere — I was glad to stumble upon that one too. My mom used to take a jug of ice along in the car, so that’s where that idea came from.

        I like the laundry basket in the back idea. Good way to contain everything. Unfortunately, we don’t have enough room behind the third row seat in our Durango. There’s barely enough room to put groceries back there. 😦 So I had to come up with a compact way to store everything.

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