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Clean Up the "Carbage" Because It Can Drive a Mom Crazy!

Clean Up the "Carbage" Because It Can Drive a Mom Crazy!

Garbage in the car can make a mom crazy, especially if she spends a portion of her day shuttling the kiddos. Some people chalk it up to having children, but many parents had cluttered vehicles before babies. Whether it's snack wrappers, forgotten toys, or spare clothes, here are five tips to eliminate the moving mess!

  • One-toy rule. Lil ones love to bring a toy box worth of goodies with them wherever they go, but few kiddos ever get to playing with all their loot, so limit them to one belonging. And make sure they exit the vehicle with it.
  • Pay the meter, toss the trash. Food cartons, water bottles, and juice boxes can add up — especially when kids need to snack between activities. To prevent backseat buildup, toss the trash each time you park or pay a meter. Turn it into a game for your youngsters by delegating the task to one of them.
  • Save the paper and plastic. Find a spot in the trunk or glove compartment and start a bag arsenal. Instead of tossing the sacks you get at the drug or grocery store, keep a few to use as trash receptacles or in an emergency.
  • Assigned seating. Most families have one messy kid— the child who has mysteriously sticky hands or empties his sandy sneakers on the car mats — so stick to assigned seats that hold each kid responsible for his or her space.
  • Weekly wipe down. Keep your vehicle tidy using wet wipes and a hand vac to clean spills and hard to reach crumbs at least once a week and make sure to enlist your children in the routine. When they find out how much time and energy goes into cleaning up soiled messes, they are less likely to make another one!
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MissSushi MissSushi 6 years
We do a back pack as well, because I don't like carrying toys around on top of the stuff I already have to carry, and becuase they can pick and choose what they want to bring from an early age as long as it fits inside. If I'm going to be somewhere extended, like say if the dr is fitting us in and I know its going to be a 4+ hour situation, I just fill my jansport with toys and have her bring her own as well. Im a fan of entertained children, I have no idea why so many people bring nothing and then get exasperated when their kids want to explore and run around and get into things. My only car vice is never vaccuuming it so there is about 6 months worth of dirt, leaves, and dog hair in it right now that drives me insane.
starbucks2 starbucks2 6 years
Oh man, I just cleaned out my car today. What a mess! Especially with all the dog hair. I gotta admit that I'm the one responsible for the trash, though...Baby girl is barely 6 months old so all the blame's on me...
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 6 years
Great rules! I use the one toy rule for short trips and the small backpack suggested my anonymous above for longer trips and visiting with freinds/family. This rule eliminates toy loss... you know, when you get home and the little one cries and screams, "MMOOOOMMMMM I can't find my pony/car/whatever!!!!!!!!" And then you spend the rest of the day calling stores and running around looking for it. What a pain... I learned that rule early. My only criticism... instead of THROWING THOSE WATER BOTTLES AWAY... why don't you take them home and recycle them together? You are your child's first teacher, after all.
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