Mini Van Essentials

I own a second home.  I spend the majority of my day in this second home.  Let me take you on a tour.

Lets start the tour in the kitchen.  We have plenty of napkins straws, plastic utensils, tooth picks, ketchup, sugar, sanitizing hand wipes and of course a “swiss army knife” (mine is a knock off).  You just never know when you will need to gut a fish, open a wine bottle on a romantic picnic with your spouse (clearly I would be using the knife to open a bottle of beer instead) or use the tweezers to remove a splinter from your finger.Kitchen

Below the kitchen we have a transitional space (some refer to this space as a glove box), I refer to this space as the kitchen and file cabinet.  Here you will find  grocery bags, scissors, car files (one day I will organize the files just as I will organize the ones in my other house) and another swiss army knife. You never can have too many right?  MV Cabinet

To the left of this cabinet is the home office.  Here we have pens, pencils, a black permanent marker, paper, tape, rubber bands, safety pins and paper clips.  Trust me, at one point or another I have needed all these items.  Once I made a diaper out of a burp cloth, a rubber band, and a plastic grocery bag.  Now I carry safety pins.  I cannot seem to keep extra diapers in the car, because when I run out at home I just go to the car instead of the grocery store.  I have yet to break this cycle. Weird.  My cellphone is placed in the sleek, black, one dollar phone case, clipped on to the office door.  I can actually find it when it rings.  However, I still do not answer the phone, because I cannot hear it ring over the loudness from certain boys. MV The Office

Across from the office is the half bath powder room, minus a toilet and a sink of course. Who needs a toilet when you have boys?  All you need is a tree 🙂  In the powder room you can find all your beauty needs in the ever popular, red solo cups.  What is a home without red solo cups? Boring! The left cup contains floss, tissues, baby wipes, and a finger nail file. The right cup contains mints, hand lotion, and a hair brush.  Toss in my makeup bag and this is where I “get ready” most mornings.  If you need to wash your hands just look to the right of the red solo cup where you will find a container of hand sanitizer.  Hand sanitizer is kept in the pocket of the Mom Bag. Powder Room

My Mom Bag (it deserves to be capitalized) hangs on a bungee cord, so I can still use the seat for storage (throw lunch boxes and art work) without crushing the contents in the Mom Bag.  I can also hang the Mom Bag on the back of the seat when company visits.  In this Mom Bag you will find a plethora of materials.  A Mom Bag serves as my third home. In the Mom Bag a child size toiletry bag serves as  a medicine cabinet.  The picture does not give this toiletry bag justice, over 95% of the contents are not visible. I will give you a list of what is in the medicine cabinet aka the toiletry bag.

  • Adult pain reliever
  • Child pain reliever
  • Cough Drops
  • Tissues
  • Lotion
  • Band Aids
  • Anesthetic spray
  • Neosporin
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Disposable gloves
  • Sunscreen stick
  • Hair ties
  • Pocket hair brush
  • Lip balm
  • Mints
  • FlossMom BagContents of the Mom Bag

Oh and how could I forget the grabber?!  The grabber is great for passing back things from the front seat to the third row and grabbing your child’s leg when he is screaming at the top of his lungs for no apparent reason other than to make your drive hell.Grabber

Located on the floorboard of the guest seat (not pictured above so I could show off my grabber) is my library.  My phone is a Wifi phone, thus I only get data via Wifi.  Out in the country fields, where my boys practice soccer, I do not have a public Wifi hotspot.  No Wifi means I have to throw back and kick it old school style, read books and magazines. Guess I could buy ebooks…maybe after I catch up on the numerous outdated magazines I have yet to skim.Library

Before we leave the first floor, come check out the front closet. Front Closet

The second floor has a great storage closet where I keep emergency snacks, blankets, rain ponchos, clothes, and instant ice packs.  Guess where I got the instant ice packs from?  The hospital, after I gave birth.  Nothing like an instant ice pack pad on a boys head after a fall. MV Storage

Located on the third floor we have the playroom.  The older boys each have a bag of activities located in the seat pocket in front of them.  MV Playroom

Each boy has tissues and baby wipes located in their nightstand, next to their seat.  Nightstand

The boys can place their snot rags in the trash bag, which is located, where it cannot be spilled, high above the ground, on the side window.  Trashcan

Now we enter my favorite room of my second home, the mudroom.  This mudroom has been tailored to meet the needs of our life, which is dominated by sports.  Muddy cleats are taken off and switched out with clean flip-flops.  Extra socks, sunglasses, and light jackets are readily available when needed.  In-season sports equipment is placed in the crate for practices and games. If your water bottle runs low or you are thirsty after your morning coffee, we always have bottled water.  Yes, I am aware of the hype of plastic water bottles getting warm in cars and leaching chemicals.  Staying hydrated is crucial, worrying about a warm water bottle is not.  Need a seat?  We have two butterfly chairs for the adults and a picnic blanket for the kids.  Is it raining?  Have no fear, we have a large umbrella.

MV Mudroom 1

What about groceries?  I have a system for groceries as well.  The reusable grocery bags are located next to the sports crate.  I hang the light bags on a tension rod, which I keep stored behind the umbrella.  I placed a large box with sides on the floor board of the trunk to contain the heavy items such as milk jugs, cat litter, dog food, water jugs etc. You can also use the tension rod to hang clothes when needed. MV Trunk

The seating arrangement in every mom mini van is systematic.  Do you separate the siblings who fight?  Do you throw the loud kid in the back? Do you take out your third row?  I am always changing it up. This is how we roll as of late.

How we roll


Before I conclude this extremely imperative post, I must share the genius way I cleaned my floor mats.  Ready? In my washing machine.  I hate laundry, but I love my washer and dryer.  The pair never fail me.  I individually washed each mat and then hang each up to air dry.  The pictures do not show the dramatic difference, however I thought I would share.  The first photo was after I scrubbed with car shampoo and was annoyed the stains were still visible.      Stain Mats

Clean floor mats

I do have jumper cables, matches, a screwdriver, pliers, and an extension cord stashed in the side pocket of my trunk, however I know my mini van is lacking the essentials for an automobile emergency.  My emergencies usually involve bodily fluids or meeting an individuals basic needs, and the mini van is prepared for such an emergency 🙂  What is in your mini van?





6 Responses to “Mini Van Essentials”
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