All right, moms: do you spend more time at home or in the car? Some days it feels like you’re stuck behind the steering wheel, trying to keep on top of your kids’ schedules and get them to where they need to be in your Mom Taxi. The challenge is keeping them happy while you do it … and keeping your car from looking like a tornado just tore through.
Kids don’t like cleaning. (I mean … does anybody?) But there are some steps you can take to make cleaning easier and faster for both you and your kiddos.
Keep a trash can in your car
A plastic cereal container with a plastic grocery store bag inside will do just fine. Kids can flip up the lid, put their garbage inside, and snap it shut again. If it gets kicked over, the lid will keep everything together. Store some extra plastic bags in the bottom so you can easily place a new one once it gets full.
Upgrade your cup holders
Clean them out first – put an athletic sock around a to-go cup and rub it around to get the crud around all the edges. Then put a silicone cupcake liner in the empty holder. The next time you need to clean it, swap out the cupcake liner and put the dirty ones in the dishwasher.
Keep your usual supplies on hand
You probably already have wet wipes, but how about a Swiffer duster in the glove box? It’s small enough to fit, but powerful enough to pick up dust and allergens – a must if any of your passengers have allergies. Your trash can will come in handy for disposing of used dusters.
Take something inside with you
Every time you leave the car, take something out. It could be the garbage, an empty container of wipes, or something that’s been rattling around your car for weeks now. Enlist your kids. More hands means more decluttering.
Invest in a Headrest Hook
You might appreciate a headrest hook for your purse so you always know where it is and that it won’t get knocked over. For organizing more baggage, consider a collapsible trunk organizer to keep things from rolling around in the back of your Mom Taxi. As a bonus, if you need to shlep everything along to practice or day camp, it’s as easy as carrying the organizer from one place to the next.
Remember to knock your shoes clean
Every time you get in the car knock your feet together outside, and encourage your kids to do it, too. Build up the habit in all of your regular passengers.
Clean your floormats regularly
Until that takes hold, though, you can make your mats look brands new at home. Grab your favorite laundry stain remover – we’re fond of Shout – and spray them down. Throw the mats in the washer and then hang them to dry. Bingo: perfect, beautiful mats for your Mom Taxi.
The back seat:
This is where the action happens, so the back seat gets the most attention. Ideally, we’d be able to prevent spills, but we know how that works. It’s good to make cleanup as easy as possible, but we also need to be prepared to clean both on the go and between Mom taxi calls.
Help your kid’s snacks stay contained
Either pack snacks in containers that can double as crumb-catchers, or have some caddies on hand to help them corral pick-up meals.
Tackling the SpillsIf spills happen, clean them up as quickly as possible. Use your stash of wet wipes as soon as you can. If deeper cleaning is needed:
- For leather seats – and any other leather in your car – mix Woolite and water in a 1:10 ratio. Keep it in a spray bottle and spray it after you’ve cleared away any crumbs. Use a soft-bristled brush, like an old toothbrush, and wipe dry with a microfiber towel. Organize all of this in an extra caddy for easy grab-and-go.
- For cloth seats, use carpet cleaner according to the usual directions. If you have fur babies traveling with the rest of your crew, spritz your cloth seat with plain water and use a squeegee to pick up pet hair from upholstery. In the summer, protect your seats from post-beach wet dogs with a waterproof seat cover.
If you have a front-facing car seat in the backseat, cover the back of your front seats with a set of kick mats. They’ll keep your wiggle worm from getting muddy footprints all over.
We can’t prevent messes completely, but we can start habits that will help us keep your Mom taxi clean and organized no matter how many kids we have to take to practice, games, camp, friends’ houses, and more. Once your taxi contains the proper cleaning supplies – and the trash can for afterward – you’ll find it’s much easier to keep up with the mess between deep cleans.