The Mom's Beat: Top 5 ideas to keep family car organized

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  The Mom's Beat blog by Laura Stetser The Mom's Beat blog by Laura Stetser

The good news and the bad news is that my family is in the market for a new minivan. I wish it could be a different style of car, but it truly is the only mode of transportation that works for us.

 After driving the same one for seven years, I am looking forward to a clean slate. I can’t wait for that new car smell, unfaded upholstery and corners without hidden crumbs.

 I am dreaming of the seats yet unstained by ketchup droppings from meals on the go and of a pristine paint job that has not been scratched by uneven writing of children as they make their mark in the frost that forms on the door panels on winter mornings.

 I swear to myself that this time our van will look different. It will be organized. It will be cleaned out each time the kids get out. It will not carry maps from states we visited only once five years ago.

 In preparation for my spanking new vehicle and my new beginning, I turned to the only place one can go for tips on keeping the place looking civil: Pinterest.

I pinned dozens of ideas, but here are the most usable tips I came across:

1. Cloth book organizer – 

I like this option for all of the kids’ books so they don’t end up being trampled by muddy footprints as they are tossed on the van floor;

2. Plastic cereal container as trash bin –

This seems like a good idea - and it looks better than a a plain grocery bag hanging off the purse hook - but what keeps it from falling over at every turn?;

3. Visor organizer –

Everytime I try to find CVS card among the dozens of others I have on my keyring, I swear I will unload this every growing collection of key tags that I have seemingly acquired. This sorter could allow me to keep the bigger versions in my line of sight and allow me to lighten the load on my keyring;

4. A bin for your reusable shopping bags –

Nice idea, but this would require my folding them each time I am finished with them, and that’s not really going to happen. I don’t think I could look myself in the mirror if I was this organized;

5. Shoe organizer for small items –

This tip from Martha Stewart’ site is practical, but her description of it is not: “This 16-pocket organizer was cut in half and hemmed at the bottom. A ribbon loop at the top is hung over the back of a front seat. Long ribbons stitched to the bottom corners reach around the seat back and tie in front.” Who has time or the desire to hem a shoe organizer?

 I know that two weeks after we get the new van, things will start to go downhill, but in the meantime, I am dreaming big and wondering what you use to keep your mobile command centers organized.

 Leave me a comment below or on the Facebook page HERE.

Laura Stetser is a full-time reporter and mother of two school-age children. Connect with her via email at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @TheMomsBeat.

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