I’m not sure how it happens, but it seems that 10 seconds after cleaning out the van it is once again full of junk. Depending on your family and personality there are several ways to tame (or not) the car clutter.
If you are a mom with several young children and are struggling simply to keep up with your home and feed your family, then perhaps you should put car clean up as the last priority.
This was my basic plan of action when all of our children were young. We had 4 children when our oldest was still 3 and anytime we came home from anywhere, I had several trips to and from the car carrying children, not to mention groceries or whatever else needed to be brought in.
My ignoring strategy was:
- bring in as much as possible with each child
- don’t put any non-essentials in the car (the children did not bring toys, books, etc. into the van)
- keep a trash container in the van and empty occasionally
- ignore the rest
Tackle it weekly
Pick one day of the week to spend a few minutes cleaning out the van. You could do it by yourself or enlist the children to help. We find that if we’re faithful to do it each week it goes very quickly and we add vacuuming, cleaning the windows and the dashboard as needed.
Instill good habits
Of course the best way to ensure that your vehicle never gets into a terrible state is to teach your children that they are responsible to bring anything out of the van that they took into the van (and to do the same yourself). It should work………………….. in theory.
Assign a child
This has been our BEST solution. When Matthew was 10 or 11 he diligently saved up his money to purchase a guinea pig, with a cage, and other paraphernalia. He then approached us and said, “I have enough money to buy everything I need for a guinea pig, but I’m afraid that I may run out of money to buy his food and hay.”
At that point, Mark offered a trade, Matthew would keep our van cleaned out, vacuuming and cleaning the outside as needed and we would be responsible for all other guinea pig expenses.
It worked well. Our vehicles had never been so clean and tidy and Matthew had the guinea pig that he’d been wanting for over a year.
You could also assign cleaning out the car as a regular chore for one of your children.
How do you keep your cars clean?
You may also be interested in:
- Car preparedness
- Chore list – Oldest child 12 (2009)
- Chore list – Oldest child 13 (2010)
- Daily Schedule (2010) – includes a schedule from when our oldest was 3
- Colby Tales – nothing to do with the post, just a collection of funny things about Colby and links to posts when I had time to post funny things about our large family life.
Visit the other moms of many to see what they have to say: