This summer I came across a pin that caught my eye, in a great way! Heidi over at The Castro Family Happynings posted about her Junk In The Trunk organization that I knew I had to try! We were about to head out for several road trips and I knew having an organized van would be a must with four kids and two adults in tow.
Well we were contemplating purchasing a new mini van because we weren’t happy with the way things had been going with our previous van. I LOVED the van that was pictured in the post. After finding out what kind of mini van it was I started doing my research, started test driving vans, and then fell in love with that van!! Needless to say we bought that van, a Toyota Sienna, and 6 months later I am still in LOVE with it! It fits our needs exactly with the optional 8th seat, lots of storage, outlets galore, plus so many features (most of which our previous van had but they actually work ALL of the time in this van).
So I got off subject here sorta but it does bring me to the organization of my van. As soon as we made the purchase of the van (her name is Grace, because she is very nice to us and speaks “gracefully” as she gives us directions), I set out to find the same seat organizers the blogger had used. I was sad to find out that Dollar Tree was no longer selling those organizers in their stores but after searching online I found out they sell them on their online store but you must buy the entire case of 45 (if I remember right). After asking a few friends if they wanted to purchase a few organizers from me for their cars I bought a case… and even bought another case because they were so popular and all my friends, family and even strangers wanted to purchase them from me. (Sorry off subject again, LOL)
Now let me take a second to show you the organization I had BEFORE in my van.
It was an ornament organizing box turned into “On the Go” car kit. I made this myself after seeing a friend receive something similar, but smaller, for her baby shower.
It stored an outfit for each child, crayon set for each child, extra diapers, wipes, baby food, formula, water bottle, sippy cup, juice boxes, snacks, tissue, a few toys, and baby tylonal. Now this worked great when I just had my two boys, but when my daughter was born it was difficult to get an outfit in it for everyone along with diapers, pull-ups, etc times 3 kids! We had four kids now so we had outgrown it but I need some inspiration to a new way to store it all. (NOTE: I used these items A LOT while on the go.)
NOW onto the AFTER organization I found and executed in my new van!
Hanging on the back of the seats are three of the organizers I found at Dollar Tree. They are the 5 pocket organizers. This is now the home of most of what was in my organizing bin. The left organizer has: fruit snacks, emergency applesauce pouches, powder formula, baby num nums, extra set of baby silverware, throw away bibs, and juice pouches.
In the middle organizer I have; sunscreen spray & face stick, tissues, hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, wet wipes, diaper, swim diaper, water bottle and empty water pouch.
The organizer on the left has; a mini roll of toilet paper, extra ear buds, extension cords, bungee cords, and an old camera (for when I forget mine).
*I’ll get to the small bag in a minute.*
You probably recognize that red bin lid…I wasn’t ready to part with that bin just yet. I re-purposed it and it now houses a container for our jackets. The red small bag behind it is a travel emergency kit which hold things like flares, mini road cones, and other items you might need if you were stranded or broken down.
Now the small black back on the left (with the S) is where the kids extra outfits are now held. I have put each child a full outfit (including diaper/pull-up for my baby and preschooler) each in their own ziplock gallon sized back. and then put them inside the bag. On each side of the bag are pockets that hold an empty sippy cup and baby bottle.
Now on the drivers side of my van is a spot where the extra eight seat is stored, we use it a lot for when friends and family need to ride with us so these items pretty much stay where they are but when we don’t need our eighth seat and we are storing it, we just unfold my big 31 bag and put those items right in (with plenty space left in the bag to store other things too! In this storage area is a role of paper towel, windshield wiper fluid, a first-aid kit, and my 31 bag (and lid to it). I also keep a small fold-able picnic blanket in here but if I left it when taking the picture you wouldn’t be able to see the other things stored here. Hanging there is an umbrella.
I have a trash bag in each row and I make my kids take their trash out after we exit the van every time (this helps keep down on the trash and clutter in my van). Hanging on the back of each of the kids seats is one of these organizers but it only stores things like their little toys, pacifier, color books, crayons, and when we travel they put their DSI and Gameboy in them too.
This storage is AMAZING! If you are looking to get your vehicle organized not only for trips but for every day use I highly recommend doing this! You can cater it to exactly what your family needs on the go, it can grow with your family as your kids get older, it’s very minimal in space, and it saves lots of time from digging for items around your car!