Tuesday, May 3, 2016

When messy minivans attack: vehicle hacks for parents

I cleaned my van on Saturday morning and, I'm not going to lie, it was totally magical. I have a new-found love for that hunk of metal on wheels.

I was inspired by this column I wrote a couple of days earlier, which is in newspapers across the 9-0-2 (cool-people speak for Nova Scotia, maybe?) today.

If you're going to write about cleaning your hell-hole of a minivan, you really feel compelled to practice what you preach.

Here's a sneak peek of the "essentials kit" (yes, business cards are essential) I keep in the driver's side door of my mini ...

Of course, it's not the only kit in there. Oh, no. There are many. I'll show some more "after" pics tomorrow.

(Updated to add: There's a new post on EVERYTHING I keep in my vehicle, and how I organize it.)

Today is all about sharing the HUGE list of ideas I compiled, so here we go ...


There’s less than two months of school left and the weather’s already perfect for lots of playground-hopping and mini roadtrips. It’s time to give your babe-mobile a much-needed wash and vacuum — SO. MUCH. ROAD. SALT. — and get it nice and organized for spring.

My own minivan? Definitely looks worse for wear right now. There’s at least one melted sucker in a rear cupholder and the remains of several broken Happy Meal toys. So I’m going to take my own advice and try a few of these vehicle hacks for parents …
  • Keep a basket of snacks in the trunk — either individual packages or large containers with bowls for portioning out servings. It’ll save you from running through the drive-through if someone is suddenly starving, and it’s great for impromptu park picnics.
  • Ditto for water and juice boxes. We always have a large jug of water in the back for emergencies and usually keep smaller water bottles on hand, too.
  • Keep parental pick-me-ups — like aspirin, breath mints and gum you don’t feel like sharing — in the driver’s side door. The kids are less likely to rummage through it, compared to the easily-raided centre console.

Continue reading in my weekly parenting column, The Mom Scene ... 

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The complete list of what's in my van (and why)

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