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Now, let me start by saying that if my husband & Dad saw this post, they would probably laugh, because although I do all of these things to keep our car organized, there are always extra shoes (cleats, usually, from sports) in the back seat, always a snack or water bottle left behind and you can count on seeing two or three coats left behind (not to mention a few toys). With that being said… Here are the things I do:
Every Sunday we do a “family car cleaning”. The boys take grocery bags & put EVERYTHING into them. They bring them inside and I go through them.
I leave coats in the trunk (well, pull-overs). I do this because our kids are constantly cold, especially in restaurants, so if I can have a coat handy, it works out great.
I keep an extra pair of flip-flops for our kids in the trunk. Our 2 year old often forgets his shoes (or takes them off and throws them out into the garage when I am not looking, while I am getting everyone in the car) Our older boys have been known to break a flip-flop, so having extras is always a good idea in our house.
I keep all plug-ins & chargers (gps, phone charger, DVD charger) in the little console below the dashboard. When it is closed, you can’t see anything.
I keep extra plastic grocery bags in our car, along with extra diapers, just in case.
My best tip for keeping your car organized: I have a basket located towards the front. My Mom had this idea and it has worked out really well. I have the kids bring everything up at the end of every trip (except their Leapster Explorers- they stay in the car. Read more about why here) I just take the basket in and go through it. It takes about two minutes and then I take the empty basket back out when I’m done. This works as a garbage can and a collect-all.
I liked these ideas, too: