Keeping your minivan **sparkling** clean during a road trip
When you get home from a road trip or vacation, do you look at your minivan and just crumple?
Crumple no more My Friends.
Keeping your minivan clean on a road trip is easier than you think! A little planning goes a long way. These are my top five tips for keeping the car chaos blues away.
1. ACR – Always carry rags!
Gather up four or five rag towels to stash in the car. They are great as dirty feet barriers, spill wiper-uppers, and impromptu bibs.
2. Have a Biggish Bag – a.k.a. the big tote
Last Christmas (yep, I’m a heathen who enjoys the many pagan aspects of Christmas!) I received a nice big tote bag from my sweet mother-in-law. I have used it every day since! I have a firm policy of “if your shit goes in the car, your shit comes out of the car” and the tote helps with that tremendously! On a day to day basis it allows me to avoid the toy/water bottle/miscellaneous crappola build up. On a trip I use it to hold movies, books and other bits and pieces. It helps so much with containing the chaos!
3. Use a flat-bottomed bag for non-perishable snacks
I have a Trader Joe’s cold bag that is perfect for our non-perishable road snacks. It has a flat bottom and zips closed. In the olden days (before I had that TJ’s bag) I would pack our snacks in plastic grocery bags, and they would roll around on the floor, stuff spilling out. Argh! A largish flat-bottomed bag solves this problem, especially if it zips.
A tarp* is my constant companion in my minivan. When the seats are folded flat I spread the tarp out across the whole back of the van. We can put wet swimsuits, muddy snow boots, dirty suitcases and potentially leaky coolers on it without worrying about the carpet. When the seats are in their normal position I can fold it nice and flat and keep it in the back. This is key to keeping your minivan clean!
5. Plastic grocery bags
The plastic grocery bags are not great for storing snacks when you’re on the road, but a major factor in keeping your minivan clean is to have a way to contain the trash. Use my bag hack to make little bag balls that are super compact and easy to store in the little net basket thingy behind the driver and passenger seats. Hook one over the arm rest of one of the front seats and use it for the trash that accumulates while you’re driving. When you stop for gas, toss it and take out a new one. Do this every time you stop and you’ll never have a stinky, overflowing trash situation. You can’t have too many of these in your car.
Bonus Tip: Unload right away
My last tip is to get everything out of the van as soon as possible after getting home. Do I unpack everything immediately? No, but We bring all the suitcases, bags and so forth in right away. Dirty laundry goes into the laundry room and suitcases go into bedrooms for easier unpacking. We put our snack bag in the kitchen. The tote gets dumped in the dining room (I sort out those items after I’ve had a chance to breathe), and any remaining trash is thrown out. We shake out the tarp, fold it, and put it back in the van. Because the tarp helps keep the back of the van clean and we bring everything in, we are left with a super clean van, which makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Are you meticulous about keeping your minivan clean? Do you have any tips for keeping your minivan clean? Let me know in the comments or shoot me a tweet!