Org Chart: The Family Car

My car is a complete embarrassment. It’s not so bad if somebody sits in the front seat. At least that much is kept sacred. But I hyperventilate whenever anyone has to sit in the back seat: Goldfish, raisins, moldy grapes, a lingering banana smell. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.


Considering how much time is spent in the car and the number of different tasks it’s used for, it’s pretty obvious why a little love was needed in the family transportation department. Here are five things I learned along the way.


Contain the trash

Keep a few grocery bags stashed away in the car. When you’re filling up the car with gas, get in the habit of pulling one out to perform a quick garbage patrol.


Keep Wipes Handy

If you don’t already have a packet of baby wipes in your car, you’ll want it as soon as your child spills her first drink all over herself. They’re also great for any other mess that surprises you after you’ve parked.


Preserve the seats

If you have car seats, you know the damage they can do to your upholstery. High-density pads provide a thick barrier between the two and can help salvage the resale value of your car. When kids outgrow car seats, you can upgrade to a thinner version to provide a clean layer between your kids and your car. Plus, many offer extra storage pockets.


Organize the kids

Make that blank wall of space behind the driver and front passenger seats work for kids. There are a wide variety of car seat organizers to contain toys, books and even drinks. Or, if you’re feeling particularly handy, you can sew pockets of different sizes to a piece of canvas and attach it to the seat with ties or Velcro.


Organize the trunk

Crates can come in handy to contain sports equipment, extra diapers and clothes. They are especially handy when carting groceries, because no one wants to hear their fresh produce being slammed around in the back of the car on the way home.


Next month: Family travel

Got a home organization dilemma? Tips you’re eager to share? Send your questions and advice to

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