How do you keep your car clean when you have kids?
Anyone who has kids knows that messiness is a part of life. But I wonder, is it possible to make living a clean organized life easier?
You set rules & follow them.
If you pack an activity bag to keep your kids busy during the drive, you insist that before you get out of the car at your destination that everything from that activity bag is back in it before the doors open.
If you allow food and beverages in your car, keep a garbage bag (or walmart bag) in your car. Insist that any and all garbage, food, and empty drink containers be in that bag before you open the doors to get out ~ at the destination & when you get home.
It will be different at first, as all new things are. If you notice your children resisting against this new system then you simply need to ban anything being brought into the vehicle. "We'll eat when we get there." or "You can look out the window for something to do". However you want to put it, but if they aren't going to pick up after themselves, then don't let them have anything to pick up.
Pretty soon they will be willing to do it because they want something to eat or something to entertain them during the drive.
The most important thing is to hold your ground on this one. I have 6 of my own children, so I know it can be done. My kids even immediately go to the back of the van to help unload groceries without being asked now because it is part of the routine.
Thanks for your answer. It is motivating to know that a Mom of six can stick to a plan and maintain some order. You are very right...if we expect our children to be consisten in behavior then we must also be consistent in our parenting,
I wasn't able to. I'd like to say, though, that I have a theory about a lot of people with clean cars versus people with clean and neat homes. My theory (based on a lot of people I've known) is that a lot of people with super clean cars are people who have super-messy homes; but they either care more about themselves and their cars than their home, or else they only keep what people can see super-neat and clean.
I had no trouble whatsoever keeping order and "clean" in my home when the kids were little. I had a system, a lot of energy (had to), and kept 20/21-hour days much of the time. With the car, it was different. We had to spend a lot of time in the car. Sometimes we'd have to pick up my husband. With three kids (and for about eleven years there was always one under three), spending so much time in the car meant I wasn't about to be always after them. Besides, if I didn't want to strap them all into a car and disregard whether they were bored and miserable, I let them have snacks and toys. Then, too, since there would often be need to collect wrappers and trash in a bag (and since they weren't about to be allowed to toss their trash out windows or leave in trash receptacles not intended for the public; there's be trash. The front seat of my car was always super clean. As for the backseat.... Well, once I actually had grass growing from a package of grass seed that I'd been tired to get soon enough before rain came in the window and watered it. (lol) Drive-thru window people used to be stunned to see it. There was one point where I had a giant stack of board games on one corner of the backseat. Hey.. It kept my children entertained and happy. That was thing: They were always entertained and happy in the car (when they hadn't fallen asleep), and we enjoyed our time out together. It was kind of fun be "temporarily careless" in the car. I think, too, though, it was understanding because kids can't be cooped up in one place for too long and stay happy without stuff to entertain them or let them get rid of hunger when it sets in.
In general, messiness isn't usually a part of my life; which is, maybe, why I could be so relaxed about the car. To me, life was in the home - not the time we spent in the car going between one place and another. Kids grow up and there's plenty of time to have a clean car when they do.
Thanks for your answer Lisa HW. It does seem that it is impossible to maintain the house and the car, especially because the kids are young. If I must choose between a clean and organized home, or car, a clean home is the clear choice.
I didn't even see them as the same thing. All I cared about was that the house was always clean and neat. To me, too many people worry about whether their car is clean - and sometimes with the price of having kids miserable in the car.
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