Take time now to organize your car for summer fun and enjoy the best weather of the year!
One of my favorite things about summer is the seemingly spontaneous things we get to do with our kids. Few things delight my son like the mornings I announce over breakfast that we’re going somewhere fun.
Now, I say “seemingly spontaneous” because my son has no idea when we leave the house that I’ve already planned our trip and have just been waiting for the right day. You know, the day when hearing “I’m bored” gets to be boring itself.
Prepare your car ready for some planned spontaneity, and you’ll be able to nip those whines of “I’m bored” in the bud, too.
How to Organize Your Car for Summer Fun
Start with a clean car: As soon as school’s out for the year, I like to clean my car like a pro to get rid of the sports or band gear and fast food wrappers that have piled up.
Plan for bad weather: Here in the Midwest, our weather changes in the blink of an eye, so it’s always smart to plan for rain even when the forecast calls for a drought. I know this from experience! Keep a change of clothes for each child, and yourself, in a plastic bag in the trunk. Be sure to include an umbrella and maybe a few extra plastic grocery store bags to hold wet clothes.
Plan for sunny weather: I have an old tote bag that I got as a freebie with a makeup purchase years ago. We call it “Mom’s Magic Bag” due to all the things I stash in there.
• Sunscreen (replaced annually)
• Wet wipes
• Mosquito repellent
• First aid kit including itch relief cream and aspirin (for me), granola bars
• Distractions like paper and colored pencils, stickers, and comic books
• A few gift cards to different restaurants and fast-food places, in small denominations, to use as bribes (don’t judge).
With my Magic Bag, I’m ready for just about anything from last-minute trips to the playground to Geocaching excursions.
Plan for pool time: We love playing in the water, so I keep beach towels and a spare swimsuit for each of us. Rather than stuff them in the trunk, which gets crowded even in a Jeep, I fold them together and slip them into a pillow case. It makes a great cushion to sit on while watching my son play with friends at the park and a great pillow for him when he nods off on the way home. Plus, I have our swimming gear when I need it.
Plan to discover your world: Whenever our travels take us near a state’s Welcome Center, we make a pit stop to check out the tourist brochures. Sure, we could look all of that information up on our phones, but part of the idea behind road tripping is to get away from screens! If you prefer using a phone to find your fun, skip Yelp and Google and check out Roadside America to find quirky attractions and oddities wherever you go.
Plan for emergencies: Don’t risk your car breaking down on a lonely highway in the brutal summer heat. Get it serviced at the start of the season, and make sure you’ve got a good spare tire. If you don’t know how to change a flat, now’s the time to learn.
YES, YOU HAVE SPACE FOR IT ALL
I know it sounds like an awful lot to keep in your car, but it really isn’t. Once you get the junk out of your trunk or backseat, you can put all of these things (besides the spare tire) in a laundry hamper and store that in the trunk.
As a bonus, you’ll have a basket to hold wet swimsuits and towels or dirty shoes, so they don’t mess up your car. Keeping a hamper in your trunk also makes carrying the groceries into the house a cinch!