Nevermind the house...how do you keep your car clean! - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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#31 of 54 Old 03-13-2010, 11:55 PM
 
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I used to have the World's Messiest Car

Seriously, I once found a LAMP in it. A LAMP! How do you lose a lamp in a car? And it wasn't even a small lamp, either.

I use two car organizers. One is on the back of one seat and one is sitting in the passenger's seat. I keep cleaning wipes, wet ones, an umbrella, bottle of water, maybe some snacks, etc, in these. I also keep a grocery bag at all times for trash. I try to make sure that whatever goes in to the car comes out of the car. If I get behind on this for even one day, the car goes back to disaster mode.

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#32 of 54 Old 03-16-2010, 04:27 PM
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That's why I un-car. HTH!










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#33 of 54 Old 03-16-2010, 07:11 PM
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we are happy to be carless too. less expense to carry, no mess to worry about, etc. it's decent. we had to move to achieve it though. we couldn't go car free where we used to live.
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#34 of 54 Old 03-17-2010, 04:58 AM
 
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Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
we also both grew up this way. my parents had a no eating in the car rule--not even dried goods--and my ILs have it too. there are no snacks, no nothing, in the cars.
Ok.
Guess I'm doing it wrong.

But then, I'm the type of person who enjoys living a space that looks lived in. I love seeing my kids toys, their art on the walls, the bindings of my books, six pairs of muddy boots by my door, half-eaten loaf of fresh bread on the counter, and etc. So you and I come from very different POVs.

And whereas you get to not have a car, and live with your idea of perfection...

I on the other hand own a '93 conversion van (she's blue, the kids named her Saphira) and live three hours from town, have four children and a dog. We spend our summer traveling to shows to make our living - while living out of our van.
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#35 of 54 Old 03-17-2010, 09:33 PM
 
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That's why I un-car. HTH!






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LOL, you and your superior zen-like composure. Teach me, o wise one




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#36 of 54 Old 03-17-2010, 10:15 PM
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foremost, i never judged anyone for living differently.

i have repeatedly asserted that others can choose differently, and since you do, perhaps you could answer the OP as to how you keep your car clean (however you define that) when your children do eat messy foods in the car. and perhaps that answer may be more helpful to the OP than mine.

i simply answered the OP as to what we chose to do for our car and for our family. it isn't "right" or "wrong" it's just what we do.

and it is true, i do not live like you. but i also do not think that the way i choose to live is the only "right" or "perfect" way to live. this is a judgement that you have placed on me, after attacking me for saying what i chose to do is "unrealistic" if i have more than one child or what have you. i simply refuted how it hasn't been unrealistic for us.

to me, how others live is their business. but when asked "how do yu keep your car clean"--i talk about how i did that. someone asked, i answered.

no one has to live by it. it's just how we do it.
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#37 of 54 Old 03-17-2010, 10:27 PM
 
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That's why I un-car. HTH!










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#38 of 54 Old 03-18-2010, 01:34 AM
 
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We don't live in our car. I walk more than I drive. It is easy to keep "stuff" to a minimum and get used to doing so all the time when you walk more often than you drive.

When we do drive, we each have a water bottle (reusable) and maybe a book or some other form of entertainment. We generally do not eat in the car. This is probably the biggest thing in keeping a car clean, FWIW. If we do eat in the car, which is rare, the trash goes immediately out of the car at the first stop. Nearly every place has a trash can somewhere. Even when it isn't food trash, trash is removed from the car at the first stop. Like I said, trash cans are everywhere around here. When we arrive home, everything that came out to the car, goes back into the house.

We go to the beach and hiking a LOT. Same rules apply.

We generally get our main car washed and vacuumed once a month. The other car is more like every other month. We live in an HOA and cannot wash them here. Vacuuming could be done, but the place that is convenient and relatively inexpensive does it automatically for the same price. If the amount of sand or dirt is extreme, I will vacuum the car myself. I shake out the car mats whenever I think about it. I keep a microfiber cloth in each car and wipe the dash, etc down at random times. The car wash place doesn't do this, so I do it at lights or while waiting or before going inside somewhere.

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#39 of 54 Old 03-18-2010, 06:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
we are happy to be carless too. less expense to carry, no mess to worry about, etc. it's decent. we had to move to achieve it though. we couldn't go car free where we used to live.
OUt of curiosity, where did you live? I was carfree in Las Vegas for a few years, and it worked fine. So-Cal: fine.

If being carfree is a priority (which it is for me), I could not imagine moving somewhere so far away from everything that I would really need a car. It's like cleaning my whole house including the inside of the washer on a weekly basis: just a few small adaptations can make a world of difference!
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#40 of 54 Old 03-18-2010, 06:44 PM
 
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I cannot imagine being carfree. It's soooo hilly and rainy here. And I'm a midwife so I need personal transportation at all hours. And there's always a lake between where I am and where I'm going to, so I have to detour to a bridge or drive around the lake. I live 1/10 of a mile from a bus stop, and I have used the bus system on occasion. For most of my trips, though, bus times would be approaching 2 hours, one-way for a 25 minute/12 mile trip. I am not willing to bike 25 miles round trip, either.

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#41 of 54 Old 03-18-2010, 09:18 PM
 
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We have a big happy homeschooling van full of kids and snacks and books and mess and mud and crayons and sports gear and more mess and more mud!

Just today, I pulled everything out and vacuumed to my heart's content. The kids ran around in the front yard while I worked. They helped truck stuff inside and sort all the library books and we got it all cleaned up in an hour or so.

I love a clean car. Love it. I think I could keep my car very clean if I simply gave it more time and energy, but eee gads, I have little energy left for car cleaning.

As it is, it gets to be a mess and then we dive in and do a big clean. Works for us.

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#42 of 54 Old 03-19-2010, 06:00 PM
 
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Nevermind the house...how do you keep your car clean!
Just have one child

My vehicle was clean when I only had 1 kiddo. Now, with 4, I just try to keep up as best I can. Like the PPs who have suggested trash bags, keeping regular tote/diaper bags to keep stuff that stays in the car organized, and making everyone bring all of their stuff in when we return home. (Of course, when both big girls have several art projects to carry, plus backpacks and lunch boxes, and DS has thrown a fit and has to be carried inside, and I have the baby and diaper bag plus groceries to bring in, not to mention that my oldest is a competitive athlete and we're driving across town and back three times per week for practice, on top of drop off/pick up from both the elementary school and preschool- well, you get the picture

It's definately a work in progress.

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#43 of 54 Old 03-20-2010, 06:46 PM
 
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well, we live in the mountains, and when we "go to town" we are gone all day, so eating and drinking in the car is a must for us. i drive a subaru outback, which we also use to haul our trash weekly to the dump, so i can't/don't store anything in the back of my car. not only is it unsightly, but i just have to move it once a week, which is a pita, tbh.

my car used to be my zone of shame, but i have now perfected the art of keeping it presentable. behind my drivers seat is my rf toddler, so there isn't a whole lot of room/access behind this seat. so i keep here what i would keep in the trunk: jumper cables, flashlight, oil etc

ff dd is in the middle seat, and for now, until i have this baby, i use the seat next to dd for my african market basket, which has everything i might need for the trip: water kanteens, snacks, cloth shopping bags, things to return, library books, mail, a knitting project, and so on and so forth. when we get home, everything that is trash gets thrown away, market basket comes in the house, and i unload groceries/purchases.

really, now that i just make myself do it, it feels good and it is oh-so-nice to load up into a clean car the next time we need to go somewhere.

i also keep a cloth grocery bag full of cloths/napkins for cleaning and wiping up spills. so if i'm waiting for something in the car, i can just grab a cloth and wipe down the dash or whatever.
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#44 of 54 Old 03-20-2010, 06:56 PM
 
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Just pure curiosity: those of you who have to provide snacks, drinks, toys for your kids in your cars, how much time do you spend there? One poster said her son has breakfast in the car, which makes sense, and I'm just wondering since it seems so widespread how much of your lives are spent on the go to need to do all that stuff in the car on (as it appears) a regular basis.

ETA: scarletbegonia - we must have crossposted - thats one example for me :-)

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#45 of 54 Old 03-20-2010, 08:51 PM
 
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We spend a minimum of 1 hour per day in the vehicle, and most days it's between 2-3 hours. Some days it's more. I try to only go to Grandma's house on Sunday, which is 10 minutes, to give all of us a break from riding.

I and one of my kids are hypoglycemic and we do have to eat in our car- more than dried fruit and water. I wish it was that simple for us, but unfortunately, not the hand we were dealt.

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#46 of 54 Old 03-21-2010, 12:01 PM
 
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When we go out, it's at least 20 minutes each way. If we're at our destination for an hour that's almost two hours and often hits on a snack time. But their gym class is right at snack time and I stay out and go shopping for a total of three or four hours out of the house, so that day they often have breakfast, snack and lunch in the car.

My philosophy is that a hungry child is a grumpy child, so I feed them to get them calm and compliant before we enter a store. or, I feed them as I put them in the car to get over the two year old's protests.
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#47 of 54 Old 03-21-2010, 12:40 PM
 
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We live about 20 min. from anything too, but I just feed right before we leave home and/or at stores or such things.

I think that if you want to eat in the car that's fine, but it does mean a lot of extra clean up work. So if you want an easier time cleaning up, then find a way to eat somewhere else. And if you don't mind, then sure, go for it.

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#48 of 54 Old 03-21-2010, 06:10 PM
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when we had a car, our average was 20 minutes, but we would typically be out for many hours.

so, the situation is such that we would keep trail mix in the car, bring water bottles with us everywhere, and also pack a lunch and "wet" snacks (fruit).

but, the reality is that we would drive 20 minutes from home to store, then do the store, and then perhaps--if the timing was right--sit at the little park near the store and have a wet snack (cheese, apple--for example). or if it was lunch time, we would have a picnic lunch.

i had places where we would stop regularly--near play grounds, green spaces--that had tables in the open and under pavilions so that we could eat "out" whether it was raining or not.

A typical day for me in the past was this:

7:00 am--after breakfast--all of us would get in the car and i would drive DH to work. that was usually 30 minutes.

7:30 am-- we would go to the park (usually Valley Forge about 5 minutes from DH's work) and I would potty my son, wrap him, and go for our hike.

9:30 am-- during the hike, i would potty my son, and then we would arrive back at the car around 9:30. i would potty him again, and then we would have a snack. I would set us up on a picnic table either in the open or under a pavilion. we would snack for about 30 minutes. sometimes DS would nurse.

10:30 am-- potty my son again (or he would have signalled already or what have you), and then he has free roaming time or we are at an activity. typically, it was free roaming time in the park. so, he would play.

11:00 am-- this is about the time my son would get sleepy. i would potty him and then put him in the car seat. drive home 20 minutes and he's asleep. bring him out of the car, with our lunch/snack box.

12:00--make lunch for myself at home, son still napping, so i do my daily chore, straighten up, go online, enjoy myself, read a book, cook, whatever.

1:00-1:30--DS wakes and i potty him. then i feed him his lunch, and he has naked time and play time in the house, reading, and if he wanted to, we would dress and he could play outside. snack time in there too.

4:00-- get back into the car to pick up DH, drive to his work and arrive around 4:30.

4:30-- potty my son at DH's office, DH gets into the car with his stuff from the day, drive home.

6:00 dinner time

7:00 bath time

7:30-8:30 evening routine to DS's bed time

8:30-10:00 adult time.

Once a week, morning activity included cleaning the car, rather than hiking.
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#49 of 54 Old 03-21-2010, 06:42 PM
 
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We live about 20 min. from anything too, but I just feed right before we leave home and/or at stores or such things.
I'm usually in stores, and they frown on people eating in them. And even if it's somewhere that has a cafe I prefer to feed them stuff I brought from home.

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i had places where we would stop regularly--near play grounds, green spaces--that had tables in the open and under pavilions so that we could eat "out" whether it was raining or not.
Oh my goodness, an extra stop on the journey might just kill me! You must have really compliant easygoing children, Zoe. To put mine in the car hungry and then add in another hour or two at the park on the way home would guarantee multiple meltdowns per week for me (and the kids). But I do see why you'd want to do this. I'd never allow them to eat trail mix in the car because of the choking hazard.
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#50 of 54 Old 03-22-2010, 02:33 AM
 
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lol Apricot, I only got a car (and cell phone) when I started midwifery school!

My car is usually not too bad because we don't use it much - or specifically, the kids aren't in it much. I make a habit of taking out what I bring in, and our garbage bin is right in the driveway (under the car port) so I pull right up to it - easy.

As for kids and snacks. . . .dd can make a huge mess with almost anything. Dried fruit she would probably chew up and spit out. Nuts (handed out a few at a time) and water are my best bets.

Also I keep a few toys in the car that are just 'car toys' so we don't ever take more in.

I'm sure as the kids get older this will need re-evaluating!!

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#51 of 54 Old 03-23-2010, 06:35 PM
 
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oh, it helps that both my kids are not too messy of eaters. also, i am a little freaky about washing their car seat covers *often* so it's never stanky or sticky in the car.

the worst offender is actually me! i've spilled whole bottles of kombucha (phew!), knocked a few salads all over my car and spilled several bottles of essential oil, just to name a few. i am a disaster! i am really just *super* uncoordinated. i am the woman who kicks herself when she walks.
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#52 of 54 Old 03-23-2010, 07:52 PM
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delicate:

where did you get the idea that my son would be in the car or at the park hungry? the point is that i planned those places to accommodate his food and potty needs--not to mention his need to be outdoors, etc.

i created this rhythm based on his needs. it was recommended to me that we start the foundation for the rhythm around DS's food and sleep needs. I also added in his potty needs since we EC. the next need that we noted is that he needs to e outside at least 2 hrs per day or he gets really rambunctious in the house (stir crazy).

thus, i observed when he was commonly hungry, when he needed to potty usually, needed to sleep, and then would incorporate play time.

i had to create a way that worked for him, that also allowed me to do my errands and get DH to work.

these weren't "added stops" but planned activities to provide opportunities for my son to potty, eat, and play outside. they helped me avoid long trips in the car on a daily basis.

being home wasn't really my value. we did have days at home--without a car, but i would follow the same food/potty/sleep/outside rhythms with him. it's just what works for him.
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#53 of 54 Old 03-23-2010, 07:59 PM
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oh, and trail mix is my DH's security blanket. he has food issues.

we would occasionally give DS dried papaya (since you can hold it and chew chew chew) on a long trip, but for me, any food is a choking hazard on the road, so i prefer(ed) to stop to feed him.
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#54 of 54 Old 04-25-2010, 03:17 PM
 
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I skimmed so I don't think anyone mentioned this, but...

- I bought two bath mats the color of my car carpet. Put one in the floorboard of my son's area and one underneath his car seat. Those two areas tended to get the messiest. It's easy to just pull the one from the floorboard and shake it out, plus (obviously) keeps liquid from soaking into the carpet when I can't get to it immediatley.
It helps that we have leather (I will never buy cloth again if I can help it!!!), but the seat mat just makes de-crumbing that much easier...also keeps crumbs from falling between the seat crack.

- I also invested in the tough mud car floor mats because I have an awful habit of spilling things as well.
The carpets still look pretty new.

-I put a medium size rubbermate tub in the very back that all the toys are collected in when we do a mid-week de-cluttering. I don't mind what goes out to the car, but he has to tidy it up if too many things come out.

- If I'm not in a rush I force myself to carry two random things into the house with me.

-All trash goes into the door panel cubby. From early on I made the kid hand me whatever wrapper came off of what he was eating/opening. Whenever I stop at a gas station I empty the door cubby.

Sand from school is my only headache. Alot of it is caught by the bathmat and I just shake it out, but it gets everywhere somehow.

Center
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