Mama Life Hacks {Tip #6}: Cute Complete Car Caddy

Really quick, the winner of our Rockin’ Baby sling is:

Melody, who is looking for a good baby-wearing option to use on their upcoming move to Germany.

Shoot me an email at blogabbie{at}gmail{dot}com, and I’ll get you hooked up with your new sling!

Two notes on the title of this post: 1) Trying saying it five times fast and 2) It could alternately be titled, “Don’t you wish you had a sister-in-law like me?” (You’ll see why in a sec).

So, I’m not exactly the best at keeping my car neat and tidy (I think I just heard my Mama say, “Amen,” and she lives 30 miles away).

Since we live in the country, we do lots of driving into “town,” and with six kids filling up literally every single seat in the back of our Odyssey, and the requisite s-t-u-f-f that travels with said 6 kids, my car fills up with junk fast.

I’m okay at reminding the kids to get stuff out of the back on their way out, but I’m not awesome at making myself do the same in the front, usually because we’re getting home at 7 PM, and I’m rushing to get kids out of the car and get inside to finish the dinner I prepped earlier in the day. (Excuses, excuses). Hashtag hypocrite.

Which is how I end up with a front seat that looks a little something like this:

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Purdy, no?

But here’s the deal, I kid you not when I say that every time I do a really thorough cleaning of my van, theverynextday, I regret taking something out. Either I cleared all the kids’ extra clothes out, and then, of course, somebody peed themselves, or I took all of  my hair paraphernalia inside and ended up teaching BODYCOMBAT with my hair in my face for want of a hair-tie.

It’s hardly an excuse for a constantly jacked up car, but it definitely begs a solution that leaves less chaos without completely clearing out my traveling arsenal of Mama supplies.

Enter this ingenious idea:

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That would be the complete cute car caddy of this post’s title, and I can call it ingenious because it wasn’t my idea.

It was my sister-in-law’s (yes, the same awesome chick who inspired this freezer meal baby shower Mama life hack).

She gave me that whole adorable set-up as part of my Christmas present. And the thought and detail and sheer sweat equity she invested into it kind of blow my mind. Processed with VSCOcam with s2 preset

I added the lint roller and the diapers, but everything else, including the idea to cover the entire thing in cute fabric and sew a matching bag to hold all the Walmart bags, was all hers!

And did I mention the matching trashcan?

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I know, right??

Oh, and just in case you’re wondering what’s in that “bag of awesome”…

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Napkins, hair bands, gum, ibuprofen, band-aids, tampon, SEWING KIT! Seriously, all I can do is stand back and clap.

Now, if you scroll back up to that embarrassingly messy car pic from above, then you’ll see that, even with my car caddy, I don’t always keep things ship-shape.

But it helps. Oh, yes it does.

It has saved my bacon on multiple occasions, shielding me from downpours, soothing a sudden, nasty headache, and being the saving grace (for me and whoever I breathe on) after a particularly–ahem–fragrant meal.

Plus, you can NEVER have too many Walmart bags in your car. I use them to bag stinky diapers, gather trash, divide up the kids snacks to take inside the gym, stash my sweaty gym clothes when I change, etc., etc. etc.

Anyhoo, I’m working on doing better about my car situation, which is why the front of my car currently looks like this:

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(And, no, I didn’t just clean it out to show you guys; although, you were good motivation to follow through on what I needed to do anyway)

I didn’t do anything drastic like–oh, I don’t know–vacuum it out or anything, but it’s certainly better than it was, and the only reason my awesome car caddy is not perched on the passenger seat is because I took it out to take a picture. (Believe me, it’s back now).

Now, who wants to be my accountability partner for keeping it this way?

What about you guys? Do you struggle to keep your car cleared out too? I’m always kind of flabbergasted at how quickly the junk builds back up after only a day or two after I clean it out. I shouldn’t be, considering that I literally sweep my kitchen three times a day and am well-acquainted with the fact that, when kids are involved, things deteriorate at an alarming rate.

What would you put in YOUR car caddy? Once I added my diapers, mine was pretty much perfect for me.

If you’re an impeccable car type, feel free to share your secrets. I’m guessing one of your tips might be taking more stuff out than you put in? 😉

Sorry, girls, but my sister-in-law is not available for rent. I need her freed up to have enough time to make more awesome things aaaaaallll for me. 🙂

11 thoughts on “Mama Life Hacks {Tip #6}: Cute Complete Car Caddy

  1. As cute and helpful as this life hack is.. all I could think is “oh my gosh she calls them WALMART bags!!!” I’ve done this since I was little and my husband teases me because we hardly ever shop there anymore, but I can’t break the habit!

  2. Lovely! I thought the first pic actually had so much fun color going on that it was almost purdy! 🙂 What an amazing blessing your sis-in-law is! Precious.
    I have 6 kiddos 11 and under and one on the way due in 8 weeks. I pay my older kiddos (they sometimes argue about who gets to do it, or divvy it up even) to clean the car once a week. About $1-$3 depending on how bad it is and how much they do. $1 for cleaning out, $1 for vacuuming, 50 cents for wiping it down… more if they wash the outside. SOOO worth it. They always think it’s worth it, too. We also try to bring in whatever is in the car back inside with us as much as possible. I shop at a bagless grocery store occasionally so I have to keep recycle bags stuffed in my center console, so we grab and fill when getting out. Thanks for the life hacks! Love them!

  3. Love the car caddy idea — I have 3 kids (5, 3, and 3 months) and I have the two older ones carry a tote in and out of the car. They get their stuff in the car, and they fill it up with their stuff when they get out. It’s an easy way to make sure they get drinks, snacks, and toys IN when we need them, and a great way to make sure they pick up all the junk. I love those!

    Second, off topic. I was thinking this morning about your “chicken egg” sandwiches… and I totally thought of an awesome name for them! Cheggin’ Sandwiches…. I had a good laugh in the shower at the gym over that one… I obviously think I am funnier than most people think I am… oh well! Next time you make those, just yell “Come git yer Cheggin’ wiches!” LOL… I’m dying here!

    And third, I got the Whole30 recap on the ol’ blog. Your meals look scrumptious! (Instagram… yum yum!)

  4. wow. what more needs to be said !! How fortunate to have such a wonderfully talented sister in law.Thanks for shaaring

  5. I have a Toyota Rav and it has what we like to call a ‘basement’ in the back. You can lift up the floor and there is a hidden storage area. We fill it with water bottles, first aide kit, a towel or two, sandals, picnic blanket, sunscreen (we live in SoCal so you never know when a quick trip to the beach might be in order), a few tools, cooler bag, reusable grocery bags, and an umbrella, which btw, we never use, living in SoCal. It’s pretty awesome to be able to carry so much in the car out of sight. Also, I only have one kid and she’s 11.5, so that probably helps explain why it is so easy to keep my car clean 😉

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