Thursday, June 7, 2012

Junk in the trunk - per request :)

SO, I'm posting this, although I usually hide my OCD tendencies from people because of the relentless teasing. I've been stopped SO many times while loading my groceries by people who ask to take pictures, "pin" it, and/or ask questions, that i figured I had better post this so that I can direct all traffic here and save me the extra 30 minutes of oogling and questions.
I didn't take pictures of all the organization in my momma mini, but I've got the trunk, and I'll answer your most frequently asked questions...



What ARE those hanging things?
- They're actually shower caddy things you hang off your shower head. I got them at the local dollar tree (plus about 10 more, because I use them EVERYwhere!)

WOW. Is your house this organized, too?!
- Not really. There are parts that are, but other parts that more closely resemble HOARDERS instead of Martha Stewart.

Do you do this for hire?
- Ummm, as much as I'd LOVE to organize for a job, no. You hear about the idea that cooks don't cook at home, maids don't clean at home, etc.,  and I'm SO not risking the loss of my organization highs. :)

What to do: Just grab some labels and make spaces for all the things you need during your trips. We are a HUGE road tripping family, so we spend hours and hours and miles and miles in our mini, and these are the things that we need the most often that can easily be stored:

FIRST AID: Band-aids, antiseptic wash (foam version, which my kids love), benadryl spray (Ev is highly allergic to mosquito bites, and we carry this stuff like an epi-pen!). I also have an actual first aid kit in the car as well that has the other medical needs inside.

SUNBLOCK: Sunblock and Bug Spray. I also have extras of both under the seats in another pouch, which also includes the bracelets that repel bugs for impromptu lake trips. NOTE: I have heard that sunblock loses its potency when stored in heat. I have bottles I keep in the house that we use for the pool and grabbing to put in swim bags, but these are kept in my car for emergencies. If I forget to pack my SPF50, it's better that my kids get a less potent was-SPF50-now-SPF30 than nothing at all.

KLEENEX: Pocket Packs. We also have a box in the 2nd row organizer caddy that the kids can reach from their seats. My mini sunblocks and bug sprays have overtaken this pocket as well. :)

RAIN GEAR: Ponchos! There's been SO many times we've gotten somewhere like an OSU game, where an umbrella just doesn't cut it, and have had to stop in at an overpriced stand and buy ponchos. Now we have a half dozen - at least- so they have earned their own pocket.

WET WIPES: Yes. Well, if you can't think of anything that these would be useful for, you obviously have no need to organize your minivan - because you probably drive a two seated boxter or something like that.

SCISSORS & TAPE: Plus pens, pencils, a sharpie for last minute writing-a-name-on-your-kids-towel-because-three-other-kids-also-have-Lightning-McQueen-on-their-towels-too, notecards for who knows what you'll need to take note of, thank you cards for those "Oh crap! It's the LAST tennis lesson?!?! I didn't even get a thank you card!!" moments. (Yes, folks, stick a $5 bill in a sweet thank you and the world is happy).

GERM-X: Absolutely the most refilled pocket in my van, even though we have a large pump in the front seats, too. I'm obsessed, and it has trickled down to the kids. Sigh.

BARF BAGS: None of us get car sick, but Emma has a little friend who absolutely does, and a close call scarred me for life at the thought of throwing up on myself because of the smell of someone else throwing up in the car I'm piloting. SO, last summer during our gazillion trips to the hospitals and chemo rooms, I collected a small stash of barf bags for the car.

ELECTRONICS: Our van is da bomb. It has wall plugs and red/yellow/white input plugs, too. So I store extension cords here, and usually headphone splitters and earbuds for when the wireless headsets are minus batteries. There is also a small flashlight in there, a mini sized box cutter, and an all-in-one screwdriver. (I have batteries stored in one of the front seat consoles and a big spotlight in a side box.)

TRASH BAGS: In here are bags for our two trash cans (one in front and one in the 2nd row organizer). There are also dog poop bags in a roll that I used for dirty diapers, but now use for our porta potty, which stores below the 3rd row seats. There is a roll of scented ones in the sliding door cup holder also, and a folded reusable shopping bag lives in that pocket, too, which comes in handy at the farmers market on Wednesdays.

SILVERWARE: You know you've gone through the drive through and came away with a melting sundae and no spoon. We all have, and it only becomes worse when it accompanies a freaking out child. This started off holding the kids little silverware sets, sorta like these, but with actual reusable silverware, not plastic. Sameish case, though. Now that they're both bigger, it's grown to include plastic ware and chopstick cheaters, for asian restaurants.

ACCESSORIES: Em has long hair, We are ALWAYS in dire need of a hairbrush or hair tie. This brush stays in the van at all times. I also stick any extra pairs of sunglasses I find lying around in that pocket, too. I'm a stickler for keeping eyes protected, since they don't have a lot of good eyesight on their genetic trains down the track...

DRINKS: A couple capri-suns and 2 reusable, flat water bottles hubby brought home from a conference. (He goes to the BEST swagtastic conferences, I tell ya! BEST!). These get thrown at them when they are "sooooooo thristy I could DIE", lying limp in the seat, tounge out. The way I see it, if they don't want a warm capri sun that's been cooking in a 101 degree van all day, they're not that bad off. And the water bottles are great for cheer practice (oops! I forgot to pack your water bottle!!). I have a gallon of drinking water in the trunk as well, just in case.
NOTE: I have heard that some drinks kept in the heat can spoil or have bacteria growth. Luckily, my kids go through these pretty fast, and they usually don't stay in the car for more than a week at a time, but after making a few calls and such, I have found that bottled water does not go bad, even with an expiration date, and capriSun drinks are commonly used in backpacking and hunting trunks because their wrapping makes them pretty resistant to basically everything. My theory was that the warehouse they're stored in or the trucks they are delivered in are hot, nasty, and stale (maybe even more than a minivan!!), and the drinks are never refrigerated then, so I figure it's cool...but use your own theory. :)

SNACKS: Fruit snacks, chip bags, granola bars. Whatever they get post-soccer game for a snack and don't need because we're headed to lunch goes in here for a day when they replace the dying of thirst with the dying of starvation. There's also a large collection of the table toppers stuffed in this pocket, too. Invaluable when stopping at rest areas to eat (especially once you read the carvings on the table tops! *shudder*). Which reminds me, I also have toilet seat covers in the under-back-seat pouch. Also a must-have for rest areas!

BLANK: Right now there's a fruit juice bottle in there, but through the years, many-an-item has found refuge there before moving on. It's a good place to keep your old digital camera so that when you forget yours (or God forbid you get in a collision), you can grab it and document the event.

Hanging on the bottom: 1.Umbrellas - the big golf size. Pink for girls and blue for the boys. :)    2. Our first aid kit  3. a "spare clothes" pouch for each kiddo. This started out as they potty trained, but now more for getting in an impromptu water fight at the park or falling in Gradad's pond while fishing kinda deal. Make sure you add a swimsuit for the summertime, and change out the clothing for the winter!

In the trunk: A collapsible trunk organizer that folds out to two compartments (the BEST swag from conferences!!!). Inside I keep a roll of paper towels, a picnic blanket, gallon of water, and a pouch that holds our jackets for cold restaurants and nights. (I'm ALWAYS cold!). I also have a collapsible rolling tote. This has payed for itself tenfold with the number of times I've had to drag boxes of cupcakes to a school party, library books to the return chute, or day-at-the-lake items to our spot.

There are so many cubbies and spaces in my van to store things, it's always a suprise when I don't have something we need, but it happens! I just jot it down on my list and add it when I get home. I also don't use the third row much, so I leave the seats reclined as far back as they go, that way if something terrible happened at high speeds, the contents in the trunk don't fly around the cabin space. They are confined to the trunk.

Any FAQ's I forgot? Ask away, my friend!

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208 comments:

  1. You are sooooo organized! When the girls were little, I always had clothes, baby wipes, and ziploc bags in the car. Ziploc bags are amazing! Trips are so much more fun when you can minimize the fuss. ;)

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  2. Oh. My. I'm speechless. And now I totally can't believe you didn't have any medicine droppers that day...Did you check your trunk? :)

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    1. Lol!! Actually there ARE some in the first aid kit!! I totally forgot!! Boooo!!

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  3. Found this on pinterest and had to click through to see right away. Kudos to you for being a prepared Mama! I think this is nothing to tease about. I love being prepared and although my car does not look as beautifully organized as yours it so nice to have what you need. Just think if you got stranded somewhere. You have what you need to survive and take care of your kids making them comfortable. Thats our responsibility as a parent. I am amazed at how so many people are not prepared for even the most minor of emergency. oh- I too keep thank you notes in my car and blank cute cards for when we need one last minute or leave a note on someones doorstep telling them we stopped by to say hi. Awesome post! Thanks for sharing! Now I'm off to check the rest of your blog out too. (Beautiful Family btw)

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    1. Thank you!! I always think of those families that get stranded, too. Makes me so sad :(

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  4. How are they hanging from the seat?

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    1. Since they are shower caddies, they have a plasticky rope haning loop. I took off the headrests in the back, slipped the loops around them, and pushed them all the way down ( the headrests in our van push down flush with the seat).

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    2. GENIUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  5. How are they hanging from the seat?

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  6. Adding "shower caddies" to my Dollar Tree list right now... found you via Pinterest. Love this post <3

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  7. I found this through pinterest, too. Just awesome!!! Soooo, glad you decided to share. Definitely repinning!!!

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  8. I can only aspire to be as organized as you. I ♥ Pinterest because it leads me to gems like this post. I WILL be working on this project this summer. As my kids get older and more involved in activities, I need more "stuff". Thanks!

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  9. I love the organization. I have a daycare so if my items aren't organized I'm in trouble! I like your van setup much better than mine, do you mind if I ask what you drive?

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    1. Thanks, Janina! I drive a Toyota Sienna (and LOVE it!)

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    2. I love my Toyota Sienna! Question: Did you secure the bottom of the hanging organizers? To keep it from swinging back and forth?

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    3. I drive (and LOVE) a Sienna too. Question: Do you secure the bottom of the hanging organizers to keep them from swinging back and forth? Just curious.

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  10. Found this on Pinterest too and I am so pleased as we are heading off on a road trip next week so have a lot of shopping/organising before we go!! Thank you so much for sharing, look forward to looking over the rest of your blog :)

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  11. Thanks, Briali!
    We are leaving for another trip soon, too! I'll be blogging my roadtrip must-haves so You'll have to check back again! ;)

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  12. Wow! thank you for sharing your great organization! I am always complaining that things end up all OVER my SUV because the kids just throw it! Now I'm gonna get some of the shower organizers and go to town!

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  13. I'm the president of our local mothers of multiples club and was looking for an article/tips to organize all the "stuff" in a car during the summer. I was SOOO happy to find your blog on Pinterest! I'll be pointing another 120 women your way as of the 1st of the month!

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  14. I'm the president of our local mothers of multiples club and was looking for an article/tips to organize all the "stuff" in a car during the summer. I was SOOO happy to find your blog on Pinterest! I'll be pointing another 120 women your way as of the 1st of the month!

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  15. I'm the president of our local mothers of multiples club & was looking for tips/an article to share in our newsletter about staying organized through the summer with all the extra "stuff" that comes with the season. I was sooo glad to come across your blog! I'll be pointing another 120 moms of twins and triplets your way next week!

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  16. Found on Pintrest. WOW! I will be adding this to my MommaMini! I was wondering if you ever fold the 3rd row flat into the floor with all that on there? I seem to end up transporting large items alot and often have a 3rd row seat folded into the floor. Wouldnt want to have to remove these each time. Thanks for all the great ideas!

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    1. I do! A lot of times I'm hauling bikes and such and fold the seats down. I just leave everything on it, and it seems to stay put, though a hard brake might jolt a few things loose. I probably have it so packed, it's stuck!! Lol! :)

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    2. Thanks so much for sharing!!:) This is such a great idea!:) I'm heading to the Dollar Tree today! Be sure to check with the doctor, but I think drinks (any) harbor bacteria if left in a heated car. ;) Please continue to post your ideas!! Thx again. :)

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    3. Good idea! I'll do that! I always just figured it wouldn't be any different than being in the manufacturers warehouse for long times, but it's probably hotter in my car! Fortunately, they get replaced pretty often with my two!
      Thanks!

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    4. It's not that it spoils, it's that the plastic releases harmful chemicals when heated.

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    5. Maybe keep an assortment of dry powders/mixes to put in water instead of capri suns or juices??? Just another idea :) Love the post! (Thank you pinterest!) Tons of great ideas :) In addition, I keep an extra binky for my littlest.

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    6. It's the BPA in the plastic. But I think you can find water bottles that are BPA free!

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    7. The heat makes the BPA from the plastic toxic, but I think most of the water bottles these days are BPA free! Just like baby bottles!

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  17. Wow, you are fabulous. What brilliant ideas you have and are prepared for anything!

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  18. Wow! Found this on Pinterest! You have inspired me to get organized! I just need to find something to use in my car that would be easy to store things in since my two girls take up much of the back seat with little room to spare with their toys and car seats!

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  19. I love this idea! Have read that keeping sunblock in the car is actually not a good thing - the heat can break it down and reduce its effectiveness - but I will definitely be introducing some organization to my trunk ASAP!

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    1. This is true!! I have heard that as well, but if I forget to pack our normal can in the swim bag, I figure a lowered SPF 50 is better than none at all!

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    2. Take it or leave but here's what I know, there has been studies made buy consumer reports magazines on sunblock and although it is true for some sunblocks most of them are made to be left in the sun (think day at the beach, you won't be putting your sunblock in a cooler will you? no, chances are It will be sittin on your towel) they are made to stand the heat so I wouldn't worry to much about it being less effective.

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    3. I just wanted to second Anik. If you are concerned about it, you can always get a mineral sunscreen (zinc oxide) instead of a chemical sunscreen. They don't break down the same way. I use the Livestrong kind and it seems to be effective even after many 100 degree days in the trunk!

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    4. I wanted to second what Anik said. If you are concerned about it, you can always use a mineral sunscreen (zinc oxide) instead of a chemical one. They do not break down the same way. I use the Livestrong kind, which seems to be effective even after many 100 degree days in the car.

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  20. WOW!! Such an amazing job! I wish some of your organization skill would just rub off on me!

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  21. I am impressed with your organization. Just be careful leaving sunscreen in the car. I have heard it loses its potency if it gets hot.

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  22. I have a couple of big bags for my little guys in my Forester that have night time necessities, but I NEVER thought about doing this! I keep everything in bins on the floor and it's always a mess... I might be heading to Dollar Tree in the next 5 minutes to go get a couple of these before I make a 14 hour trek solo with my boys. You're brilliant (and I'm sure not sorry about getting those gawking stares!) Thanks for sharing!

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  23. Amazing! I too drive a Sienna, and am so excited to go copy your ideas! Thanks for sharing!

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  24. this may have been already answer not sure what r the hooks on the back of the seat

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    1. The hooks on the seat backs come that way in our van - they're fab!

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  25. This is great!! Thank you so much for sharing!! I MUST go to the dollar tree asap!

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  26. This is awesome!! Thank you so much for sharing!! I MUST go to a Dollar Tree ASAP!!!

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  27. Great ideas! Gallon ziploc bags make great "barf bags" too. That way once finished, can either throw away at rest area or zip it closed until the next stop...containing the mess and the odor! I always have a stash of those...just in case! :)

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    1. Yes! Our ports potty uses gallon ziplocks, too, so we use them for the same anti-smell reason! Good idea!

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  28. I think I saw you (or the back of your van, rather) at a soccer game in Stillwater? (I found this on pinterest- small world!) I thought, "oh wow-and I thought I was OCD" and laughed. But ever since then I have thought of a million times I could've used something like this in the back of my suv! :) Amazing!

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  29. I think that you are my new hero! I love organizing, and have our van in pretty good shape.....but I never thought to use the shower caddies! I think that you should do a post about the rest of your van......no one on here will tease you (more like applaud you!) :)

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  30. A friend in high school called me Inspector Gadget (old cartoon with an inspector whose trench coat held EVERYTHING!) because I had everything. I think you just took away my nickname! ;) ♥love, ♥love, ♥love it!

    ✿.。.☆♪♫*❤*Melly*❤*☆.。.✿

    Stapler’s Strategies for Sizzlin' Second Graders!

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  31. Love these ideas! My Sienna will be sporting some shower caddies ASAP. Thank you for sharing.

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  32. Love this, and I think I will be doing something similar, although I think I'm going to try to get a canvas shoe holder since I try to avoid plastic, especially PVC due to the lead and phthalates.

    As for the drinks in the car, the bigger issue, even with water, is the plastic leaching into the drink when it's exposed to heat. Even if it's just in there for a short time, the plastic will leach toxic chemicals into the liquid

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  33. Well now I want to see the center console fun you've got going on. I only have a cooler with snacks and a plastic tote with other stuff (changes of clothes, more snacks, TP, ziplocs, first aid kid, slings/mei tai) under the baby's leg room in the van where we can easily grab stuff. Totally jealous of all the fun hooks and stuff in the back of your van, mine's older (and less fancy with hooks and cupholders).

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    1. Yes more pictures of the rest of the van organizing!

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    2. Yes pictures of the rest of the van organizations!

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  34. Great post! I'm a fellow OCD mama, you'll get no laughing or judgement here :D Funny how everyone has something to say about every little thing now days.
    I can't believe I haven't found these at our dollar store. Perfect size for the car! You even covered the carpet! What a genius idea. I've just been using a cheap vinyl tablecloth and it is always slipping around.
    I'll have to figure out a different way to hang them in my van. We are always re-configuring the 3rd row.

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    1. I use sticky plastic carpet cover (not exactly sure what it is called). You find it at Lowe's or Home Depot in the Household carpet section for about $11. The roll will last forever and you just pull it up and throw it away when it gets dirty.

      It is kind of like contact paper but made for carpets.

      Suzy

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  35. I just have to ask where you are from? You don't have to tell me if you want to keep that private. I just was reading this and I saw OSU I'm from Bend and we travel a lot my daughter is a competitive gymnast and sadly the other 3 boys watch her for now :) they are to young for sports. And I am going to try to do this it would help so much for our constant traveling to the valley and so forth. Thank you for sharing

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    1. Hubby and I both are OSU alumni, so we are raising our kiddos orange! :) were still in Oklahoma...for now!

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  36. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!! And my favorite part?? The air freshener plugged in the side! We have an outlet in the back of our Honda, so I've got to try this! PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE share the rest of the car! And all of your other organizing tips! I need so much help!

    www.apurposedrivenhome.com

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    1. Thanks! I love the air fresher, too, lol, I just may have to blog the rest-you're not the first to ask! :)

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    2. As a busy mom with 3 older, very active kids, who is always teased for "living out of her suburban"- I'd LOVE to see the rest of your organizing! Between the basket of necessities in the back, dance bags, tae kwon do bags, etc, I rarely have room for groceries! I will be heading to dollar tree first thing tomorrow!

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  37. Wow. I am not even packed this well when we go on long road trips. This would have been so nice when the kids were littler. Still, might work for us nonetheless. Just amazing. New follower!

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  38. I also found you through Pinterest and I think this is AWESOME! I am not OCD but I do like to have certain things remain in my van and take a bit with me when I go out with my little ones. I just knew I needed those organizers when I saw them at the Dollar Tree, I haven't seen them for a long time now. :( I shall keep a look out so I can organize the back of my Astro this way (or close to it). I had no idea there was an air freshener in the back until I read the comments because I was in such awe of everything else, LOL!

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  39. I am not alone :) I don't keep all of my supply in the vehicle, I have a rectangular tote that comes in and out with part of it so I can replenish and change up for special things.

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  40. LOVE THIS! I can't wait to get my Swagger Wagon organized tomorrow. Thanks!

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  41. What an inspiration! I have a big tote full of...okay, I don't even know what is in there anymore. My SUV is my diaper bag on wheels. This would be fabulous for us! Where do you keep your jumper cables?

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    1. Paula- I actually have a plug-in jump starter under the drivers seat. (and AAA just in case!) ;)

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    2. Oh, I have been trying to figure out a good place to store mine! It does not quite fit in the rear pocket (in the "trunk") of our Odyssey so it tends to float around back there. Possibly moving it soon...

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    3. Heather- I drive an Odyssey and our jumper cables are rolled up and fit inside the center of the spare tire in the floor hatch behind the driver's seat.

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    4. I too drive an Odyssey. Our jumper cables are rolled up and sit in the middle of the spare tire in the hatch in the floor behind the driver's seat.

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  42. A.mazing. I may use single serving kool-aid packets for the drinks. We often bring them to restaurants and order kiddie waters with lids. I am always forgetting the packets! Thanks for sharing!

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  43. A.mazing. I may use single serving kool-aid packets for the drinks. We often bring them to restaurants and order kiddie waters with lids. I am always forgetting the packets! Thanks for sharing!

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  44. I want to see pictures of the backseat storage too! I know what I am doing this weekend! ;)

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  45. Have you organized around the kids seats? I'm looking for ideas for to go bags for the kids. Right now, I have bags for each kid and the are hanging off the clothes hooks. It worked for a bit but the stuff still ends up all over the floor. Plus, it doesn't stay organized in the bags!

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  46. I would love to see the rest of your van! I need ideas for to-go bags for the kids.

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    1. I wrote a post a couple days ago called "road trip busy bags" . Perhaps this is what you were asking about? :)

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  47. Hey there! I totally deleted a couple comments while attempting to moderate comments on my phone, so here's one from Melissa who asked about my wallflower plug- my van came with regular wall plugs all through it. I just added a three-prong-to-two-prong-adapter to make it stick out further from the wall.
    And Tammy A. Wrote about using non-plastic containers for their water because of toxins. (it was a great comment, but it won't let me copy/paste!).
    Thanks, ladies, and sorry about that!! :)

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  48. WOW! THANK YOU! My son is in hockey and tball and we are always on the go this is just what we needed! Amazing.

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  49. Love this idea! I have finally come to the realization that I have to turn my vehicle to a mommy-car. I fought it for awhile but no longer! I am so excited to start this organization process. Plus, now I have a perfect solution for the little sample type packets of sunscreen that float around my house. I always forget to bring them with me, and now, if they do go bad in the car, I won't be throwing out a full bottle!

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  50. Can you tell us what you have in the second row for the kiddos? I have some of the same items as in the back, but don't want the excess!

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  51. Can you tell us what you have in the second row for the Kiddos!?!?! I want to get some ideas!

    Thanks!

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  52. Genius! Just... genius! This organizing-obsessed girl is highly impressed! ;)

    http://www.domesticblissdiaries.com

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  53. When my kiddos where little, my mini was similar. I had the kid that got sick (ziploc bags are awesome - they don't leak and I always had grocery bags to put it in until we got to a garbage can). With 2 special needs kids I had to be prepared for anything at any time. And 99% of the time I was. You are doing a great job - and it is not OCD - it is being a great mom.

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  54. Can this be done in a car? I don't have a mini even though I need one I have 3 kids and not enough room for the things I need in my car. I'm tempted to remove the jack from my car to put in folding boxes. This is so clever! You are y hero!!

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    1. Lol! I don't think I'd remove your jack, but I'm sure you could put something together! I used to have a Rubbermaid tote with everything in it when I drove a smaller car.

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    2. I have a car that I am in the process of reorganizing; so far what's working best for me is a tub on the floorboard below my daughter's carseat. Inside I keep clear plastic zipper pouches (some curtains I bought came in them) filled with many of the same necessities as in this article. They're not as easy to access as a van would be, but at least I know I have things when I really do need them.

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    3. I'm in the process of reorganizing my car, and what's working pretty well for me so far is a tub on the floorboard below my daughter's carseat. In it I have clear zipper pouches with many of the same items as in this article, though not as extensive. It's not quite as easy to access everything as it would be in a van, but at least I know I have everything if I need it. Plus, the perk of a car is that whichever of us is sitting in the passenger seat can grab what we need without us having to pull over (tissues, busy bags, water bottles).

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  55. I think it is official... I am in love! Thank you for this post... all of us who clicked here from Pinterest have the same OCD tendencies/fantasy, so no teasing here. Just love and a desire to do the same!

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  56. This is great! I have 2 small kids and am always on the go and always needing snacks and stuff. May have to try this! The van is a HUGE mess right now. i hope you do show the rest of the van, I could use the help :)

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  57. I'm not even a mum and I have a bunch of stuff like that in my car (though not as organized as you, that'll change this afternoon if I get to DT. I don't like being uncomfortable so that's why I have all my stuff in the car. Thanks for sharing your organization.

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  58. Love the organization! But am concerned about things flying in case of an accident. As a Rehab Nurse, I've seen too many cases of kids being hit in the head by the only thing lying around in the vehicle... and ending up damaged for life. Also, keep in mind that heat will affect any medications, including the Benedryl Spray. It usually makes meds weaker... but not always.

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    1. I agree. It always makes me nervous, too. That's why I recline the back seats all the way back until they touch the back window.

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    2. I would think that Velcro dots might work really well to make the pockets "close" and even to keep the organizers from flopping around too much!

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    3. In looking at everything, and reading the concerns about things flying around, I'd just sew or velcro a tea/hand/kitchen towel to the top of each caddy (or, I guess one towel covering all 3 caddies would work, as well), and velcro each of the bottom corners. Serves multiple purposes: keeps everything contained (limiting flying objects) and covered (limiting sun contact with aforementioned questionable items, prying eyes - sinister as well as just curious). And, if you just velcro them down, you have 3 towels as emergency backups. By the way, I, too, am extremely jealous of your organization!!!

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  59. So I ran across this on Pinterest. Being a mommy of two young ones myself, this is quite impressive! This might seem really off topic, but I'm looking leaders in my organization. Obviously, you've got that "magnetic" personality. If I could show you an income opportunity, while not jeopardizing time with your family would you be interested? I'm growing my business across the U.S. You can E-mail me at laynie@laynieharris.com.

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  60. All the people concerned about drinks and medicine getting hot can get an ice chest that plugs in the cigarette lighter to keep them cool

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  61. I absolutely love the idea! I was called "mary poppins" in high school because I always had everythng in my purse... I will be a new mommy in december and have a smaller 4 door car but I think I can do a mini project in the back seat and continue in the trunk, right now things are crammed in the glove box and in the floor in the back and that's just me and the hubby!... thanks for posting!!!

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  62. I too found you through Pinterest and like the other ladies, we are all here because you ARE organized and it's awesome! We have a big Excursion and it's a rolling karate dojo with all of our equipment and you've inspired me! Thanks!

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  63. Great ideas-I would also add a container of baby powder which I would apply to any sand covered body parts to make the sand fall off easily before getting into the car after a day at the beach.

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  64. Great ideas-I would also add baby powder which we used on our sandy bodies after a day at the beach as it made the sand rub off easily before entering the vehicle.

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  65. This is awesome! But ....do you still have room for groceries? Lol

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  66. This is awesome! But...do you still have room for groceries? Lol

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  67. This is awesome! But ....do you still have room for groceries? Lol

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    1. Oh yes! That's why I hung them on the seats instead of a tote in back. I can still fit our bikes back there for a trip to the lake!

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  68. I too, found you on Pinterest.This is amazing this will help me be more organized. I am having first child so i know this will help for years to come, do you have any ideas on what to add or subtract for single child new born.

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    1. Hi Leslie! Congrats on joining the mom world! I would just duplicate what you've got in your diaper bag, maybe add some formula singles or breast pads, depending on how you're feeding, and definitely add some extra clothes for YOU! :)

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  69. Hi,
    I am SOOOO OCD so you can imagine how OOberly excited i was when i saw this!!! It was like Christmas. I have a Mom van as well and looks very similar to yours. I have a small 3 drawer rubbermaid in the back right now but it takes up so much room and the drawers are always sliding open. YOu may have already answered this but what are the small hooks on the bottom of the seat? Don't tell me your van came with those otherwise i am going to be super jealous!!!

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  70. They did!! But I was thinking, if yours didn't have them already, perhaps some of those command brand adhesive hooks for the sides of the trunk, or Velcro ones for your seat backs?

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  71. LOVE IT!!! Def should learn. I don't have kids yet, but some of the things i used to have because they're good for anyone!!!

    Curious on what you have on your first and second row?

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  72. This is AWESOME!!! I also found you via pinterest and I think your organisational hub on the go is sensational!!! Full of so many ideas now, thank you! I would so love to see how you have organised some of the other areas in your home. Thanks again for sharing! :-)

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  73. I saw this on Pinterest and loved. We have lots of things stored in our van but loved the simplicity of this. But wow I am having a hard time finding the shower caddy things. Went to Dollar Tree and Dollar General as well as Wal-Mart and no luck so far. Any ideas where I might find some??

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    1. Hmmm...sometimes Ross has things like this! I'll keep an eye out!

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    2. I'm thinking that every mom in America has now seen this blog and has run out to get the caddies. You might also try Family Dollar.

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    3. This was my question :) I looked yesterday at a few places, but I will hunt tomorrow! I found them online but 10 bucks a piece OUCH! I want 6 of them....

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    4. I also looked everywhere: 99cent store, dollar tree, walmart, target, and no luck. amazon's were too expensive. Finally found something mesh similar at Bed Bath and Beyond for $3.99. Still wish I could have found them at dollar tree instead, but better than what was on amazon!

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    5. I also looked everywhere: 99cent store, dollar tree, walmart, target, and no luck. amazon's were too expensive. Finally found something mesh similar at Bed Bath and Beyond for $3.99. Still wish I could have found them at dollar tree instead, but better than what was on amazon!

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    6. I too looked everywhere! Found something in the kids section of Ikea. I think they were also $3.99 (red and orange which I don't love but was caring a little less by the time I found them) :-0

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  74. I love this idea. I can't find the shower caddy things though. I tried Dollar Tree and Dollar General and Wal-Mart. Any other ideas where to find them???

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  75. This looks like Stow and Go Seating. Does the seat still Stow with all that wonderful stuff hanging on the seat?

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  76. Holy compartments, Batman! I knew what this blog post was about but never did I think it would be THIS detailed. As I read on and on about the compartments and their contents, I kept thinking to myself 'How does all of that stuff fit in there???' lol

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  77. Holy compartments, Batman! I knew what this blog post was about but never did I think it would be THIS detailed. As I read on and on about the compartments and their contents, I kept thinking to myself 'How does all of that stuff fit in there???' lol

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  78. Luv all of your organization! Amazing!

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  79. I think I love You! LOL I always find the best pins right when I need them. I am taking my brother and three year old son cross country at the end of August and Boy do I have some shopping and organizing to do. You are an inspiration and I can't wait to look through the rest of your blog. THANK YOU!!!! ~ Heidi (I partly love you just cause your name is Heidi too!)

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  80. I think I love you!! LOL I always find the most helpful pins right when I need them. I am taking my brother and three year old son cross country at the end of August and boy do I have some work to do. You are amazing and I can't wait to look into the rest of your Blog and will be subscribing. THANK YOU!!! ~ Heidi (I also Love you just because your name is Heidi)

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  81. I also would love to see the rest of your van!!

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  82. I would love to see a follow up to the rest of your van, row by row! ;) I scoured DT yesterday and couldn't find any organizers even similar to this. :( I'm on hunt now for them! I'm thinking of using my sewing skills to sew flaps over them to keep them closed... we'll see! :)

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  83. I saw the link for this on Pinterest, I love it! I have a few things I keep in the car, but my husband can't stand it and keeps taking it all back in the house. I'm going to show this to him, maybe he'll let it stay next time. I pack like this for any road trip though. I have everything. My friends would always say, ask Cassi, she probably has it in her purse. We visited Magic Kingdom the first year after 9/11 and the security guard made me open each pouch that I had tucked in my large tote bag. I was prepared with snacks, first aid (including mini rolls of toilet paper), wet wipes, sun screen and changes of clothing. He asked me if I had the theme park confused with my hotel. I'm so glad I'm not alone in wanting to be prepared. My dad was a scoutmaster for 30+ years and he's equally prepared and even more OCD about it.

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  84. I have scoured my local dollar tree and cannot find the plastic organizers. Where are they in the store? I love this idea, and if I cannot find them, I will just make some :)

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    1. They were in the aisle that had the laundry bags, shower soap dishes, etc. in our store, they are the isle close to the soaps.
      I would also try dollar general or Ross dress for less. They tend to carry things like this - and if you don't need them right away - ALL the stores will be getting things like this soon for back to school dorm kids!

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  85. So, as a busy mom with 4 kiddos and a mini van myself. What kind of van do you have? I do not have that much room in mine. We have been considering on getting a newer one and want to shop around.

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  86. We drive a Toyota sienna. Bought it new in 2005, so it's not so new anymore, but I wouldn't trade it! :)

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  87. Thank you so much for posting this! I found you on pinterest and was instantly intreged by your fabulous organization! I scowled my local Dollar Tree, dollar general, family dollar, wal-mart, target, and so on but had no luck finding them so I started searching the internet. It turns out that you can order them directly from Dollar Tree but you must order a case of 48 so I purchased one case that I will be sharing with all of my fellow mom friends that enjoy organization as much as I do!~ Thanks again for the great posts!

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    1. Hi, Lori! I have been looking for the caddies to do this tip also and had not had any luck. I would be interested in buying three from your case if you would be willing to work with me. I live in NC. Where are you located?

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    3. Hey! I am trying to find these, too! Would you be willing to sell me some? Thanks!

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  88. Great post! I am NOT OCD at all and forever getting barked at by hubby for not being prepared. I admit it, I'm just flighty and well-intentioned, but flighty nonetheless... You are my salvation! :) Heading to a baseball world series in 2 days, gonna try to get the Tahoe decked out before we leave. THANK YOU!

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  89. WOW !!! THANKS !!! LOVE THIS DOING THIS!

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  90. This is GREAT! We have a Sienna too. My OSU alumni husband would be thrilled if I could get our van looking like this in time for constant 4-hour drives to Stillwater for our season ticket games and tailgating. I wasn't going to leave a comment until my 6 y/o walked by, saw the picture, and asked if that's the back of an ambulance. That was too cute to not share with you. You're organized enough to save lives!! Go Pokes!

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    1. That's HILARIOUS!!
      Maybe I'll see you this fall in our matching ambulances!!! ;)

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  91. Sorry if this has already been mentioned but I've searched the comments and can't seem to find out. How are the bags attached to the top of the seat?

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    1. Since they are shower caddies, they have a hanging loop on the top. I just took the headrests off and slipped them over the posts before putting them back on. Our headrests push all the way down flush with the seats. Hope this helps!

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  92. I am interested in purchasing these shower caddies if anyone has extras. I can not find them in my area. Thanks!

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  93. I'm getting ready to pack for our road trip and am so glad I found this on Pinterest! Thank you so much for sharing your ideas :) It will make my life a lot easier (as long as I can find some of those bags!)

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  94. OMG! I love you! You're my hero! I can't believe how prepared for EVERYTHING you are! haha, even thank you cards? I am so impressed! Keep up the good work, and thanks so much for sharing your secrets. Organizing my car will be my next project for sure!

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  95. I tried to reply a min ago and it redirected me so if this is a duplicate reply, I apologize in advance. I love you!! You are my hero, literally thought of everything! Even thank you cards, I am so impressed! Thanks so much for sharing your secrets. M.y next project will be organizing my car for sure

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  96. I am going to head to the dollar tree right now!! we went on a family outting yesterday and took a scenic route that ended up being way longer than anticipates, a long twisty dirt road through the dessert and mountains, took over an hour, meanwhile I had cut my finger on a hush when we stopped for pics and my husband did not have any first aid anything in his truck. he also had less than a quarter tank of gas, half a water bottle of water, super hot outside and you guessed it....NO CELL PHONE SERVICE. thankfully we finally got to a highway but it easily could have been a disaster. I am going to get his truck as well as my car more prepared and organized. thank you for these ideas!!!

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  97. as far as the capri suns are concerned, the only concern you may need to consider is that because this particular drink is made with NO preservatives, if there is ANY tiny puncture in the packaging, or ANY bit of air is able to get to the drink itself, the drink will have a "fermented" taste to it. it tastes really bad. this has happened to a brand new pack my husband and i were drinking (i know, we are big kids!) and when i emailed the manufacturer and he called me, he explained this. its rare, but it happens. and so we were sent coupons for a few packages of capri suns. other than that, you wont have to worry about the sun spoiling them or them getting too old to drink. but keep in mind, they have no preservatives...which is a good thing, until the actual liquid hits the air.

    anyway, this is amazing, and i dont have kids, but every car ive had since i got my license was way too organized! i was always made fun of because my car was always clean, neat, and i always had everything on hand! :) even in my tiny little dodge shadow i had when i was 18! so i can only imagine what i will be like when i have kids and a minivan :) i hope i can do it as well as you have!

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  98. I found you on Pinterest. I think you are awesome! I will have to copy and paste this on my Cherokee along with my mini office ;)

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  99. I found you on Pinterest. I think you are awesome! I will have to copy and paste this on to my Cherokee along with my mini office ;). Thanks for sharing!

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  100. What kind of minivan do you drive?

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  101. ok....now I'm even MORE excited to get my minivan!! This is fantastic!! Thank you!!

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  102. Now I'm even more excited for my MiniVan!!! LOVE this!!
    http://www.iheartbudgets.net/2012/07/5-ways-to-stop-wasting-money-today/

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  103. That is a great tip! Its so useful and dosen't break the bank. Do you have any more tips on organisation for the home? thanks!

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  104. Impressive and inspirational...now to make the time.

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  105. I love that you have a plug in air freshener in the back!!! What a great way to use that outlet (when not being used to charge a cell phone, camera battery, kid's DS, iPod, etc! LOL) Come to think of it... that outlet is always in use in my car. HAHA Still a fabulous idea!!!

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  106. GIRL! You totally need to call Toyota and sell this idea...i all-of-a-sudden want a minivan. *sigh*. Your organization is mind-blowing. My ocd husband will be so flipping excited when I make over our suv. thanks so much!!!
    :Jenna

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  107. Just saw this on Pinterest and I have to say -- you are seriously amazing! No one should ever give you a hard time for being so darn organized. I say KUDOS to you, friend! Got to check out the rest of your blog now. =)

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  108. I worship at the altar of you !! Seriously, you are a stinkin' genius...Run, don' walk, to the nearest patent office and get a prototype of this into the stores, because if you don't someone else will. You stand to make millions--bravo !

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  109. Found this on Pinterest. I am so going to the dollar store and doing this this week! With a 2 year old and a 3 week old I'm already needing several of these items on car trips and I always manage to forget something important at home. Awesome ideas!

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  110. While I desperately admire your organization, it occurs to me that, and yes I worked in the auto industry for 20 years, in the event of a car accident all the items in your hanging pouches and all the extra items you listed between your seats, the ones not within secured cubbies and stored in the covered floor spaces, become flying debris and can cause fatal injuries, yes, even kleenex boxes and little toys. I implore you to find a way to continue your organizational feats but by containing as much as possible within the built-in, crash-proof areas in your minivan.

    That said, having stuff like that in a trunk is completely different. And again, great job making sure you are ready for anything. When my kids were young I packed a similar amount of gear, but in a stow-away place built into our Suburban. Now that my kids are out of the house I travel with only a basic first aid kit in the trunk unless a longer trip is planned. Overall, good job!

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  111. I can't find those bathroom hanger things at my dollar store. Any other suggestions? Love the possibilities!

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  112. Could you post a link to the shower caddies at Dollar Tree (or any other store)? I can find lots of shower caddies that are made out of rigid coated metal - without the pockets or the rope handle. Thanks!

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  113. I have a child who is highly allergic to mosquito bites as well (unfortunately he got this from me!) we look like we have been attacked by golf balls when we get a bite. They like us a lot too. Better than any Benadryl spray or cream we have found taking a bar of soap and wetting lightly then rubbing it on the bite will literally take the pain an itch away in less than a minute and the swelling is gone in less than 5.

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  114. The toxins from the bottled water getting hot has been linked to cancer but loooove this doing it tomorrow!

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  115. OK I have to admit my heart ust went pitty pat!!! ;) We have 7 kids and a 15 passenger van. No mini to anything in our lives. I love this idea as I ALWAYS need something. I am also going to add quick so kit to one of the locals. Looking forward to hitting the Dollar Tree to see what I can find. :)

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  116. HAha! I have a smaller version of all of this in my mini too! My hubby thinks I am crazy because the under seat storage (to fold them away) is filled with bins and each bin holds a simple version of all your stuff.............Nice to know I am not alone
    (I might steal a few ideas though, that I hadn't thought of)
    Thanks and great job (I will be pinning OK?
    Any other secrets you can share?

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  117. Well, I suppose I'm not the only crazy woman who likes my van to be clean and organized! Great job - found you on Pinterest! I'll be pinning as well :)

    Becky B.
    www.organizingmadefun.com
    Organizing Made Fun

    P.S. Here's my organized van {also a Sienna}: http://organizingmadefun.blogspot.com/2012/01/organizing-van.html

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  118. I store extra water in my car in a half gallon ball jar. Eliminates the BPA risk of a plastic jug, and also is much less likely to leak!

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  119. I know you are busy -- did you ever do a followup post on the rest of your van? I drive a 2000 Sienna that stays full of stuff. There are many days when I wish it were like a purse so that I could turn it upside down and shake everything out of it.

    I've pinned this post and plan to tackle the back of my van once it gets cool enough here to work outside. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  120. I did this in my SUV. Thank you so much for the idea!

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  121. Hello,

    found this post via Pinterest and I love it. I don't have a van so my car doesn't look as beautiful as this but I too stash paper plates and cutlery in the car, glad I'm not the only one!

    I don't want to be a negative nancy but I thought I should add that sunscreen in the car is definately a no-no. Not only does it lose potency (completely- not just down to 30+), it can actually seperate.

    One year I went on a beach holiday with my friend's family and we used the sunscreen from their car. We weren't in the sun terribly long but we all developed really bad burns on our backs, shoulders and legs where we had put sunscreen (but not on our forearms/hands/feet). It seems the sunscreen had separated and not only did it offer no UV protection, but we had basically spent all day oiling up our skin for it to burn worse.

    it's really not worth the risk, better to use hats, long sleeve clothing and stay in the shade, than think you might be getting some benefit from compromised sunscreen.

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  122. I also can't find these at my local Dollar Tree. What are they located near in the store? Maybe some of us are looking in the wrong places!

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  123. I thought I was organized on trips til I saw this!! You're my hero!

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  124. Wow this is awesome....I love this idea (too bad I dont have a mini van), but it's interesting and I applaude you :) Maybe I could make my own for the trunk of my Chevy Malibu...Beautiful family btw....OH yes and Go Cowboys!!

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  125. Don't forget a universal charger I have one that will charge any camera battery...cell phone...game bo...etc. best buy ever ;-)

    Lorri Bell

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  126. I found some on ebay here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hanging-5-6-Pocket-Organizer-Storage-for-Small-Items-Red-Black-Blue-NEW-/190714503496?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2c67786148#ht_500wt_1288

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  127. I keep a few $5 Starbucks or Jamba Juice gift cards in my car for those last minute/forgot a thank you for the tennis instructor type moments. I never have cash but you're right! Even a sum as little as $5 is appreciated! Great post!!

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  128. I have an organizing obsession as well. So, sally forth, Sister! I love this. I also have a fascination with 31 bags...that is what I have in my van. A large one holds e-clothes, first aid kit, blanket, TP, dog leash, & dog water bowl. there are two found-on-clearance-travel trash bag for the middle and back seats. and in the middle by me is a small bag with wipes, STRAWS & PLASTIC UTENSILS, and a "girl bag" cosmetic pouch. Plus some Kleenex hand towels that fit perfect btwn seats. Rock that mini-van!

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  129. Loved this post! Seems I cram so much stuff in my diaper bag...I need a system like this so we are always ready for whatever we might need (and I can stop packing it all in the diaper bag!) :)

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  130. another Pinterest lookie-loo! OMGosh! This is awesome! I don't have a Mini-Mama Van, but, I just recently acquired a full size conversion van. It has all the bins around the top that I will be getting organized asap. But I love the Road Trip bags you made. I have seen them at walmart in the office section (or at least something similar). We live in the country (backwoods TN) and everything is at least a half hour or more away from home. I can't count the times I've ran out of gas in 100* weather, or gotten a flat tire. I always keep blankets in my cars, and spare diapers and wipes. Napkins are a staple, as are extra straws in the glove box. Years ago, I got a two part trunk organizer from walmart. It pops up. It's great for holding the blankets and extra clothes and stuff in the trunk of a smaller car. Umbrella's are something I always forget though. This has inspired me to get busy and get the van organized. You are an inspiration! In many ways. Keep up the fun blog! I am now adding zucchini day to my calendar for next year!!and root beer float day! =)

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  131. I just wanted to say....i love this. Also about te hwater....i keep water stored in my home for emergencies and it does expire after its expiration date. I had bottled ozarka in the jugs and it was a few months past its date when we grabbed it for a camping trip and it had black floaties in it everywhere once it got shook up from getting moved off the shelf. It was never stored in hea and it happened to three different jugs. I am with you in that my kids go through it quickly so it gets rotated fast enough that I'm not real worried about it. Just wanted to share my experience.

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  132. What port a potty do you use?

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  133. I want to know what kind of van you have. . .I want it with all the outlets and hooks. Thanks.

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  134. Awesome!!! Found this on pintrest. Used to have a big huge first aid kit that I could use in an accident situation in the car. Took it out but I should have something like this in the car. How many million times do I need things like this? Oh a million. Have a little tiny thing in my purse with band aids but the wipes dont fit...thank you very much I think i will get right on this and give myself some sanity!!!

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  135. OMG!!! Can you be my neighbor??? Love this. I have 3 kids ranging from 5-16 and they are always needing something that we forgot. So glad I found this post on Pinterest. Keep your organizing tips coming. I'll be visiting here often!!!

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  136. Are you a VIRGO by chance? Just wondering :)

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  137. Alright, I've just gotta know what make/model mini do you have? I've got my 2nd daughter due in 5 weeks and I've been desperately searching models. You are a woman after my own heart of organizing!!!

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  138. You can always use glass water bottles with silicone sleeves instead of plastic water bottles , I've seen them available at Whole Foods, but they are also on amazon. That paired with flavor packets should cover the whole plastic leaching issue. Otherwise you have a wonderful setup and I will have to see if I can remember to do something similar when I have kids.

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  139. Wow! I am a diagnosed OCD-er and this post is fabulous!! Never hide those OCD tendencies. How do you think Martha Stewart got so famous and so rich. I would love to see more of your organization tips and tricks. Rooms in your house, cupboards, pantry, etc. Bet you've got a million great ideas! I'm so glad I found this on pinterest.

    You have a lovely family, by the way. Enjoy all those moments with your kids while they're young! And thanks SO much for posting this.

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