Car organisation and how I keep it clean and organised with two young kids.

Today I wanted to share with you how I have recently organised my car and how I keep it clean and tidy with two young kids.

If you were to ask anyone who knows me and who has seen our car – especially my Dad – they will tell you that our car is a total mess 100% of the time. As embarrassing as it is to admit it, they would be absolutely right. Ever since I started driving I have never been able to keep my car tidy and in order. When I was younger the boot and back seat would slowly fill up with clothes and bags as I hopped from one friends house to another each weekend. It would get to the point when my passengers couldn’t put their feet on the floor and only then would clean it out, vacuum and wash it. Each time I vowed it would stay this way……it never lasted long.

This cycle continued when I had my children. I’m sure all the Mum’s out there can relate. When you have a newborn screaming to be fed or a toddler screaming about……well everything a toddler screams about, cleaning out the car after every trip it the last thing on your mind when you finally arrive home. Each trip it gets a little worse – until its the kids who can’t put their feet on the floor.

Almost 2 months ago I finally hit breaking point. My daughter had lost not one but two pairs of shoes in the black hole that was our family car. It was time to stop this cycle, take off my slob vision glasses and dive in.

I was on such a mission that I forgot to take a before photo. Although I will be totally upfront and say that even if I had taken a before photo, it was so utterly shocking, embarresing and disgusting – I probably wouldn’t have put it in this post anyway. #truth

I will tell you that this was a 2 day process. Seriously, it took me two days to finish cleaning our car. I filled three laundry baskets with jackets, kids clothes, toys and books. I filled (to the brim) a grocery bag with rubbish, old notes and receipts that had been thrown on the floor.

With a bucket of water and eucalyptus and microfiber cloth, I dusted and cleaned the interior including the vents, doors, steering wheel, dash, console, glove box and the windows from the inside. When I had finished I then went back over the dash with the ArmorAll Protect and Shine.


I then removed the kids car seats. #OMG #IHAVENOWORDS

Only a parent of toddlers can truly understand the horror that lies beneath a car seat…..and on the car seat…..and in the nooks and crannies of the car seat. The covers came off and got a soak in hot water and the seats were hosed off and left to dry.

I pulled out our old vacuum and got to work. It took 2 hours and 10 minutes to vacuum every inch of the carpet from one end of the car to the other. The dirt, crumbs, leaves and sand was unbelievable. I had that old vacuum working so hard that it overheated and cut out twice.

And now for a little side by side…..


So much better!

After stopping for a late lunch with the kids and a quick rest (it was hot that day) I dug the leather cleaner out of our laundry cupboard and got to work cleaning the seats.

We actually purchased this leather care kit when we bought our couch 3 years ago. It is a two step process where I used the sponge and cleaning solution to really give those seats a good scrubbing. I then rubbed the leather conditioning cream all over. If like me you have never cleaned your leather car seats properly before, I highly recommend doing it at least once a year. They looked like they were brand new. This whole process took another took another hour but it was absolutely worth it.

At 5.20 PM we called it a day.

That night when the kids were asleep I left hubby at home and snuck down to out local 24 hour Kmart to pick up a few things that I needed to organise the car the following day.


Many years ago when I was thinking about starting my blog I actually organised our old car. At the time my Son was about 8 months old and as any new Mum would do I set up the biggest most obnoxious car kit that had enough stuff in their to prepare us for any emergency that may arise. I’m sure the 1st aid kit everything except the defibrillator. I had enough spare clothes, nappies, wipes, water and snacks to last us a week if we were to break down on a back road in the middle of nowhere. There was even an inflatable “high chair” seat that strapped and secured baby safely to a regular chair. Needless to say it took up so much room.

Did I mention that it takes 10 minutes to get from one side of town to the other and my entire family lives in the same town. I had prepared us for survival of a week stuck on the side of the road – and I had 30+ family members a 5 minutes drive away. #FirstTimeMum

It was ridiculous. Too big, completely over the top and my son outgrew every spare outfit and nappy before using any of them.

This time around I took a very minimalistic approach. I made a list of what we get stuck without regularly and was very realistic about what we would actually use. So I using the pencil cases and made two very small kits for the car.

The following day I grabbed the bucket and sponge and scrubbed our car from top to bottom with my little helpers of course. I then gathered up all the bits and pieces and went and organised the car.

So let me take you on a little tour.

In the glove box

In our glove box I have the car manual, our two kits and of course baby wipes. I do not know a mother that does not have a packet of wet wipes on hand. I popped in a bottle of insect repellent because our son will get eaten alive by mosquitos without fail, every time we leave the house. The black pencil case was what I had originally used for our first aid kit. I later found another little case I already had that fit everything a lot better. So let me show you what are in my two little kits that I put together.

Mumma’s Essentials

In the pretty pink pencil case I gathered a few fairly obvious items that I though would be convenient for any woman to have on hand.

  • A few hair elastics and bobby pins
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Lip balm
Basic First Aid Kit

You can purchase very inexpensive first aid kits like this one at Kmart for just $10. I didn’t actually realise that they sold them until a few days ago. So I had already put together a little kit with all the basics to keep in the glove box. It included the following:

  • Bandaids
  • A few larger band aid style patches
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Scissors
  • Eye drops / wipes (for flushing sand out of eyes)
  • Pawpaw cream
  • Antiseptic ointment (not pictured)
  • Panadol and nurophene (adult)
  • Dissolvable children’s Panadol (not pictured)
  • travel sickness tablets (for me….not the kids)
  • Hand sanetiser
In the centre console

I tried to keep our centre console fairly empty but I did put the phone charger and aux cord in there as well as a pen.

Drivers side door pocket

In the door pocket I keep my cd wallet, a torch and a few plastic bags on hand for gathering any rubbish. I didn’t want to shove a huge bunch of grocery bags in the door all crumpled up but I remembered seeing this folding technique on pinterest which is actually pretty great for keeping the plastic bags small and tidy.

So I can hear you all asking, will I now go and fold every plastic bag in my kitchen into tiny triangles?? No way in hell!! But for the purpose of saving space in the car and keeping it tidy, I will make the effort.

In the back seat


I used the small blanket to cover the seat and protect the seats as well as  to catch any sand or dirt that may fall down the side. I have heard that putting a blanket on the leather will effect the look and cause it to go shiny. I’m not sure if this is true – I guess I will find out soon. I will say one thing though. If it came down to cleaning the horror that was under the car seats before and a few shiny spots – I will take the shiny spots on the leather any day of the week.

Now For The Rules

I then sat with the kids and explained the new car rules. The first one was that there would be no more eating in the car. We live in a small town and it doesn’t really take longer than 10-15 minutes to drive across town. So from now on the kids can wait until we arrive at our destination before cracking open the snacks.

Of course if we are taking a long trip, we will make an exception but this happens rarely so we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

With the food issue addressed I pulled out the little bags that I found at kmart. Rule number 2 was that if it doesn’t fit in the bag, it doesn’t get put in the car. These little bags attach so easily to the head rests with velcro. They are actually marketed as garbage bags and are lined with plastic so they dont leak. This is a fantastic idea to begin with but I didn’t buy them to contain the garbage, I bought them to contain the toy clutter. I painted their initial on the front of their bags so there is no fighting over them. I just LOVE this idea and it is definitely my favourite improvement that we made.

Let me tell you this has been such a game changer when it comes to “stuff” in our car. I’m kicking myself that I hadn’t thought about this sooner. And for only $3 each, it was an absolute bargain.

Let me give you a run down on what it cost to organise our car.


So how is it all working out?

It has now been 10 weeks since we organised our car. I’m so happy to report that it’s still as tidy as the day we cleaned it. I have vacuumed my car 4 times in those 10 weeks, 4 times!! It is the quickest job now because of our car mats. While I’m on the topic of car mats, they have been worth every cent. It is so easy to just pick up and tip the sand and dirt off and they will save our carpet when the rain sets in. The kids are much more aware of taking jackets and school bags inside each time we arrive home. Probably because I’m constantly one step behind them nagging reminding them to take care of their belongings. I also make it a priority to dispose of all the rubbish in the car as soon as we pull into the driveway.

The main thing has been forcing myself to check the car and empty it out after each trip. It has already become second nature in such a small amount of time.

It is always so much nicer to travel in a clean car, no one can deny that. Although I don’t want to jinx myself just yet…… I think I’ve finally conquered the car clutter once and for all. I hope this inspires you to to the same and get your car a little more organised.


8 simple tips to keep your home organised forever

I am always looking for ways to not only get organised, but strategies to help me stay organised. I have introduced many routines and schedules over the years that really help me stay on top of everything. Today I wanted to share these with you.

Here are my 8 simple tips for keeping your home organised forever.


Get rid of all the clutter. I find that the reason many people struggle to keep their house organised is because they have too much stuff. Before I started taking back control of my home I would hold on to things “just in case” or because I had spent money on it and didn’t want to just throw it away. The fact of the matter is you are not using it and that money has already been spent.

You have two options here. Firstly you can put the item up for sale.  If you’re trying to sell an item give yourself deadline. If that item hasn’t sold in 1 week it goes! Secondly you can just donate it. It is so easy to pop a bag in the boot of your car and swing past a donation bin. I also keep a box in my garage so that if I find something that I know I don’t use or want, I have somewhere (not inside my house) to put it. Once the box it full, it in the car it goes and off to the donation drop off. Once you start to see results from having less clutter, it really becomes addictive.

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Set up routines to help keep your home organised. I have shared my routines a little while back and you can check that out in more detail here. I have a morning routine and an evening routine that I stick to every day. Doing these few simple tasks helps keep the house in order and mess to a minimum. Things you may like to include in your routine may include:

Morning Routine

  • Empty dishwasher
  • Do one load of washing and hang out
  • Make the beds
  • Open the house
  • Cleaning task

Evening Routine

  • Load dishwasher
  • Clean the kitchen
  • Tidy bathroom hang towels and mats
  • Pick up all toys
  • Straighten up lounge room
  • Pack anything for the following day

It wont take long for these things to become second nature and you will be amazed at what a difference it makes.

Preparing for the next day

This is such a game changer for making your mornings smooth sailing and especially helpful if you have children. Make lunches and pack school bags the night before. Gather anything you will need for the next day so its ready to go. This includes laying out clothing, shoes and socks so there isn’t a mad rush in the morning. You will never be searching for missing shoes while running out the door again.


Cleaning Schedule

Make yourself a cleaning schedule. I have a weekly, monthly and yearly cleaning checklist. Every day of the week I choose a cleaning task (or two) to complete, then on the weekend I schedule time to do something off my monthly list. Doing one or two things each day makes it easier to stay on top everything. Alternatively you can choose one day a week to go full pelt and complete all of your weekly cleaning chores. Find what works for you and stick to it. Force yourself to do these tasks now and it will eventually become automatic. I use the fantastic printable from An Organised Home. You can download this printable for your cleaning schedule here and its absolutely free!



Lists – Weekly and Daily

I can’t function without my lists. Every Sunday I make a list of things I have to do or would like to accomplish that week. Each day I try and knock something off that list. I like to put these weekly goals in my notebook which is either left open on my kitchen bench or goes with me when I leave the house. You may like to write these on your fridge where you see them multiple times a day or find somewhere you can easily view it. This will help keep you on task.

Every night I write my to do list for the following day. This will include errands I need to run, meetings, doctors appointments, extra tasks I need to complete, my cleaning task and phone calls I need to make. I find that writing my to do list the night before not only helps clear my mind before bed but it saves time the next morning. Your list is ready to go as soon as you wake up and you can start getting things done much quicker.

Schedule time to organise

It is so important to schedule in time to organise your home. Having everything organised not only makes tidying up easier, it also makes cleaning a breeze. Make sure that all toys are sorted and have a “home”. Find a specific spot for everything you own and. If you do not have enough space for all of your dvd’s then purge some of them. If your cupboard is overflowing with coffee mugs put some in your donation box.  By setting out 15 – 20 minutes each day to clean and organise a drawer or a shelf, you would truly be amazed how much you can accomplish and what a difference it will make. That adds up to almost 2.5 hours a week. Click the link below to find this weekly printable.

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Set up organising systems

Find your clutter zones and set up systems to keep them under control. Grab a pen and paper and begin writing down the messiest areas of your home and why they are so disorganised. The next step is to think of ways you could better organise the space.

If your living room is constantly covered in toys then find a spot to put them. Every toy in our house has a home but like all children, my kiddos are constantly pulling toys out into the living areas. To solve this problem we bought a storage ottoman that we use to throw toys in at the end of each day. Once its full, the kids have to take all their own toys back to their rooms and put them away. This works so well, as they can bring toys out and play with them for a few days, but every night I can toss the way out of sight.



Do you have mountains of mail and paper everywhere? Set up a paper system to stop overwhelming paper clutter in it’s tracks. Mine is just a simple desk file with folders for each category listed below.

  • To Action
  • To Pay
  • File
  • Shred
  • Keepsakes



Get into the habbit of opening your mail at the desk file then sort and file it immediately. Add a bin close by to toss junk mail and garbage in as soon as you see it. Keep on top of this by going through ever week or so it doesn’t begin over flowing.

Too many shoes, clothes, dvd’s, books or craft supplies? Tackle each of these areas one at a time by purging, finding a space for what is left and then creating systems to maintain order.

Labels, labels, labels.

Once you have organised a space you need to label everything. Not only will you know where everything belongs, but it will make it easier for everyone else in your home to put things away or find something as well. Adding tags and labels with pictures to your children’s toy storage, closet and drawers will help them identify where things belong if they are unable to read.



I hope that you find these tips helpful. I have completely taken control of my home using these 8 steps and let me tell you its the greatest feeling ever. We spend so much times in our homes so why not take the time to organise it and enjoy the space you have.