Organize that Car... Inspiring Ideas I wish I used.

Vacationing with 6 children is like arriving with the circus train and then setting up the big top... When the trip is over your car looks like the circus animals nested in it and you spend the next week sweeping up the pop corn, peanuts and poop... no joke... real poop.
We traveled 800 miles with a family of 8 and a dog. Each kid got a back pack for packing. The clothing is no problem to clean up after a trip. It's the "other stuff" that wrecks my car. I thought you'd enjoy my little photo trip down the car organization aisle... THIS is what I dream of but can't afford.
No, friends. This thrifty momma is going to have to figure out a way to make these car organizers out of cardboard and duct tape. Duct tape comes in different colors now so I'm sure it will be styl'n. I needed one of these side organizers for each front seat.

This front seat organizer would have easily fit between the 2 front seats of my Chevy Express 12 passenger Extended Van. Don't be fooled. It sounds like we have enough room in there for a swimming pool but really, when fully loaded with kids, dog and gear... we have enough room for air and a few cracks to stuff french fries in.

I call this genius a car purse. Every car should have one... mine needs about 6.

Cup holders... do they really hold cups? Ours were stuffed with chargers, sunglasses, half eaten fruit roll ups that were rejected by the kids and half eaten yogurt containers that were also... rejected by the kids.

I need a giant one of these on the back of each of my bench seats... big enough to stow 6 pairs of flip flops so I don't need to hunt for all the kids shoes for those 12 unscheduled potty stops along the way.
This wouldn't be bad either.

In addition to this I need a diaper pail, a bigger trash can and a throw up bucket. Yes friends, our trip home was accompanied with a rather nasty bug that resulted in MANY unscheduled stops to take care of unmentionable business... out both ends. Gross? Yes. Life? Yes. Life with 6 kids? Yes, and to be expected EVERY time you travel.

So, dear family, if you need me, I'll be in the laundry room, scrubbing out the car, sorting 24 pairs of shoes and in my spare time-- duct taping a series of organizers to keep me sane for next years ski trip.

I'm joining in on Julia's Hooked On Party over at Hooked on Houses. -- Of course, today I'm hooked on clean cars:)

How do you tame chaos on long family trips?


Renata said...

Fantastic ideas!! I especially like the top one...Hmmm wonder where I could find one cheap?

Girl with the Curlz said...

These are perfect. I had no idea there was so many of these out there. Great to know if we have kids someday.

Natalie said...

Great ideas. And I feel your pain with the bodily functions. My 3 year old gets car sick. But it's not every time so I feel bad drugging her if she isn't going to get sick. There is no rhyme or reason to it, but it's still NASTY!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Three words: Portable DVD Player. ;) Now that both girls will watch, I need to figure out a way to rig it up to hang between the two front seats so they can both see it from their car seats in the back. :)

Love all those great organizers! I bought my mom the one that sits in the cup holder so your phone can charge. I don't think she uses it. :(

Wanda said...

You're hillarious! I remember a road trip to Kentucky where our children had the same nasty bug...makes for an interesting trip! Oh and the smells! We Moms are tough cookies, huh?!? Glad you survived the trip! Just think about all of the memories you're makiing...the kiddos will never forget it!

Lee said...

All worth it to see your cousin and her 2 adorable children right? We are glad you came. Thanks for the sacrifice :)

salmagundi said...

When we travel with the grandkids and/or our adult kids there are two essential things - a big trashbucket and a barf bucket. Everyone in our family except me is subject to motion sickness. I know what you are talking about. Sally

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

I'll bet you could make something out of fabric and leave side slots for cardboard (or that luan board) cut to fit to keep it sturdy.

When my kids were younger and we did car trips I had a bag for each of my two for every hour or so. It would include a little candy or snack, something like a Mad Libs book, a toy, trivia cards, playing cards, anything that I knew would keep them occupied for a period of time. Depending on the length of the trip depended on how many bags I put together. A bonus for me was if the trip was planned far enough in advance I would pick things up on sale or at the dollar store.

Aly Beth said...

Now I can never share with the world pictures of my back seat! Great ideas though!

Steph @ AnnoyinglyDomestic said...

When we drove from Alaska to Texas, my husband set up a system that allowed the boys to function effortlessly.

He set up a DVD player with monitors for both boys that hung off the back of our seats.

The monitors hung perfectly on top of organizers with fold away trays that allowed the boys to eat, color, or play and store some of their stuff. It was similar to one of those nifty nylon organizers that you've pictured above.

We also set up another nylon console organizer in between the boys seats.

And finally, when the boys started getting grumpy and nasty with each other for being together for so long towards the end of our drive, we removed the seat console and stuck a tall suitcase from the back of the car right in between them for privacy (that was our favorite trick!)

If we never go on another road trip again, it will be too soon. Hahaha!

Andrea said...

We did one in May and I posted a bunch of the things I did here: http://andreasideablog.blogspot.com/search/label/Travel

I also made a trash bag out of a vinyl table cloth, so it is easy to clean out the sticky spots later.

I found a bunch of food gift bags that were the same size as a paper lunch sack. Taped the plastic ones inside the paper ones, and had instant car sick bags. Waterproof & opaque. Good luck next time!

We also had a pit stop 1/2 way and cleaned out the trash & reorganized a bit. It felt so much better!

the Strong's said...

Sounds like you made lots of good family memories. When we took our trip this summer the sanity saver with four kids (ages 7,5,3 & 1) was strategically planned stops to let the wiggles out and a bottle of bubbles. Sure my hand got sticky but it kept the two little ones entertained.
To keep the clutter of toys, books, etc. under control my organization was a simple plastic tote. Everytime we stopped the kids had to put all of their things back in the tote before they got out of the car. And their pass to get out of the car was any garbage or uneaten food so I could throw it away.
When I was little (before the days of cool store made car organizers) my Mom made one to hang off the back of the front seats out of canvas and elastic. It worked well.

Anonymous said...

We check out audio books from the library for our long car trips. The reader makes all of the difference, so if you don't like one book, try another before giving up on them! Our library also allows you to check out audio books by downloading them onto your computer and then transferring them to an MP3 player, which we connect to the car radio. Good luck!

ashleyd! said...

i pretty much live in my car. i bought one of these http://ah.pricegrabber.com/product_image.php?masterid=12659800&width=400&height=400 awhile back and i now can't live without it! i bought it for a fraction of the price on ebay. check there!

Cheri Peoples said...

It's car heaven.
I am starting a NEW Mr. Linky party. It will begin on Aug 10th so everyone will have a week and a half to think about their first post. I have a poll up for votes on which button should be the new button. The "party" is called The Knock Off Knock Out-where THRIFTY meets creative sensation. Go over and learn more about the new weekly event and I would appreciate if you would cast your vote and HELP pick the new button design and its the last week for the July GIVE-A-Way, if you would like to be a part of that event..

Jazzy said...

These organisers are soooo cool. I WANT some!

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Great ideas! I am visiting via Hooked on Houses.
Please drop by and enter my giveaway.

Have a blessed weekend!

Jerri - Simply Sweet Home said...

Great items! I think everyone with kids should have these. I know I'll be getting them when we have kids!

Dana D said...

Love those ideas!
Here's an idea of something I made myself (for FREE) to help keep the kids' clutter organized in the car:

entering http://rpc.technorati.com/rpc/ping