Tackling My Minivan Mess — Tackle it Tuesday

by Jennifer Donovan

Tackle it Tuesday

Jennifer here, joining in for a Tackle…

I know that for most moms — even super-tidy ones — the car seems to be a clutter-magnet. With all we moms have to do, sometimes the car feels like our home away from home and tends to accumulate trash, activities, food, and gear.

Please tell me that I’m not alone in this! For me the car is a battle, and let me admit right now that in my life, the clutter usually wins.

We ended December by driving from Connecticut to Virginia to visit family for Christmas. But this wasn’t any normal Christmas trip, because after we left there, we were driving to Texas to move there for good! So in addition to a big box full of gifts, we had supplies for our roadtrip, which means plenty of activities and books to keep everyone busy and happy, snacks, a 40-pound dog, a couple of weeks worth of clothes, and more.

We arrived in Texas without a hitch and our moving van with all of our stuff made it too. The focus quickly became unpacking all of those boxes. The car was used as a shuttle to those endless trips to the grocery store to get essentials, to the discount store to get everything else, to home stores to get the essential odds and ends like rugs and lamps.

Weeks later, the car had still not been fully unpacked or cleaned out. The activity books that Kyle had taken along, the art projects that Amanda had brought home from school in the last days and couldn’t be packed away were all among the items stashed in the car.

I have a pretty high mess threshhold, but this month it even started to bother me.

On a sunny Friday, I tackled the inside of the car. I had to start by clearing out the new throw pillows and rug that I had bought (days before!) from the cargo area.

Then I tackled the general clutter of the backseat.

The hard work paid off, because my husband took it to the car wash on Saturday and since the floors were clean, the inside got detailed too.

Much better!

Kyle’s car activities (which we always have with us) are contained back in his blue canvas bag as they should be. He always is thirsty, so I put a fresh bottle of water in his booster cup holder.

What about you? What hot spot of clutter or mess did you tackle this week?

What are you tackling this week? Link up your Tackle it Tuesday post…

Tell us what you’re up to with all your other tackles… housework and otherwise… add your link to your tackle in the MckLinky below!

Each week on Tuesday, we are posting before and after pictures of a project or trouble area that we tackled this week.

Find out more about Tackle It Tuesday here.
The project can be little or big – whatever you want.

Basically, Tackle It Tuesday is about giving ourselves incentive, deadlines and satisfaction in getting our household tasks done.

(It doesn’t even have to be housework… just whatever is on your To Do list.)

If you tackled a project this week, just add a comment and add your link below.

Here is a fun thumbnail style linky…

If the thumbnail Linky doesn’t work for you — or you prefer the old style, you can enter in the linky below.



Email Author    |    Website About Jennifer Donovan

Jennifer Donovan has been a part of the 5 Minutes for Mom team since 2007. She writes product reviews, covers events, and manages the 5 Minutes for Books weekly column and website. She lives in Houston and blogs at Snapshot about life with her family.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anne February 8, 2011 at 1:22 am

I’m so envious of your clean and tidy car! The back of my car is so messy I can’t even look! Papers seem to grow from the floor. But I’ll leave the car for another week because this week I’m tackling relaxation!

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2 Jennifer February 8, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Anne–relaxing is ALWAYS good for me. It’s not something I have to force myself to tackle.

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3 Hannah March 10, 2011 at 1:52 pm

It’s like we LIVE out of our vehicles these days. And between all the trips with the kids, of course the van is full of books and toys and no doubt some old french fries under the seat. By the way, there were some free activity books on http://bit.ly/freebiesdaily They’re prefect for keeping in the backseat with some colored pencils for the kids. Anything that buys us a moment or two of peace and quiet is appreciated in my world.

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4 Heidi February 8, 2011 at 3:16 am

Jennifer, You are soooooo not alone!! The car is so hard to keep clean and tidy…and my kids aren’t even at the age for sports activities yet. Ack!! Love the “after”…now I suppose I should go tackle my mini van. ;)

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5 Jennifer February 8, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Thanks for the reassurance Heidi! I think that it only gets worse as they get older, even though babies/preschoolers have a lot of mess.

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6 Larri February 8, 2011 at 8:33 am

Keeping the car picked up gets easier as the kids get older. :) I have my boys do a weekly pick–up of the cars. Now if only I could get them properly trained to wash the outside without leaving water spots. ;)

PS…No tackling post for me today. Alas, LittleGirl is home with a virus. My Doll PJ Pants Tackle will have to wait until next week. Happy Tuesday! :)

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7 Jennifer February 8, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Larri–

I really do need to train them to pick up their own messes!! They are definitely old enough to do so.

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8 Susie's Homemade February 8, 2011 at 8:49 am

That’s a great tackle!!!

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9 Jennifer February 8, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Thanks Susie!

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10 ICStarzz February 8, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Yea I’m guilty with having a messy car. I clean houses for myself so it’s full of paper towels and cleaners. And I hate the cold, so my car just accumulates more trash as the winter lingers. That’s usually one of the first tasks I have at the beginning signs of Spring is cleaning out my car LOL
Let’s just say it used to fit 5 people :D

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11 Jennifer February 8, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Exactly — when it’s cold or rainy or whatever, I don’t want to be making extra trips to the car, so it just accumulates!!

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12 Martha C February 8, 2011 at 6:18 pm

I have a strict rule, if you bring something in you take it out, including trash. I always remind them especially if we have been to the store and they can not wait to open that new something they bought. I am so in need of the detail but I am going to wait until they promise no more snow. :)

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13 Kitty February 11, 2011 at 10:51 am

Ok, so I felt so much better after seeing your van because my SUV looks the same way. However, yours is now clean and mine is still dirty – LOL!!! I am steam cleaning area rugs, which has spilled over into Friday because they are taking forever to dry. As long as they smell nice, I am happy :)

Kitty

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14 Stephanie March 1, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Great job, Jennifer!

Our truck gets so MESSY so quickly. I try to clean it out at least once a week. I also have a car organizer from Sunshine Kids that helps to keep all of the snacks, toys, and cups in one place.

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