While I don’t personally drive a minivan, I have several friends that do. And I must say, I have NEVER seen a clean one. What’s up with that? I mean…we have 4 kids, but for some reason the minivan seems to be treated like a couch in your den and can never stay tidy. Until NOW!
Here are (5) simple steps that every busy mom can factor into her schedule to keep a cleaner and more organized minivan.
5 Steps to a cleaner and more organized Minivan:
1) Start by cleaning your minivan from top to bottom. Roll up a trashcan and a large box to clear out all contents of your vehicle. Pitch what you don’t need and save what you want to keep.
Only keep items in your minivan that you actually use on a regular basis or use for long-distance trips such as maps, vehicle registration, insurance information and sunglasses.
Once the debris has been cleared, vacuum out the minivan, making sure to hit the large areas as well as the small crevices. Shop-vacs with an extension cord from the house work well for this, or consider driving your minivan down to a local car wash and use its vacuum machine.
Wipe down and treat all surfaces as needed. From dashboards to windows, use the appropriate cleaner or surface treatment for each.
Spot clean all surfaces. This would include any upholstery areas including seats, arm rest, and last but not least, the ceiling of your vehicle. It’s amazing what can end up on the ceiling of your minivan when you are not looking, and it is not an area that you typically see from your driver’s seat.
2 ) Determine a cleaning schedule. Now that you have taken the first step of cleaning out your vehicle, keep it that way by committing to cleaning it out completely every designated time period, such as every month or every two weeks. Go with whatever works well with your schedule.
Mark it on your calendar. Part of the issue with keeping a minivan clean is that you don’t prioritize it like your other tasks. Assigning it a place on your planner will remind you of the importance in getting the job done.
3) Instruct your children on how to help you keep the vehicle clean.
It is not your sole responsibility to be the cleaner of the vehicle. Children should be held accountable for their actions in your minivan as well as accountable for their messes.
Picking up after your kids doesn’t teach them to do it for themselves. Tell them once the vehicle is clean that you expect it to stay that way, and give them gentle reminders each time they exit the vehicle to take their personal items and trash out with them.
4) Organize the contents of your vehicle. Put CDs and DVDs in a portable case.
Hide a stash of plastic grocery bags to keep as a makeshift trash holder that you can simply tie off and take in with you when you return home.
Purchase a tote or plastic crate to keep in the back of the vehicle to hold work items, children’s sport gear or other items that you regularly transport.
5) Commit to yourself to keep the vehicle clean. When you let apathy or your schedule rule the cleanliness of your minivan, it is inevitable that it will start to become and remain dirty. Instead make a goal of minivan organization and cleanliness to put you in the mindset to keep it clean.
Remind yourself that your minivan is a reflection of you, so it should be clean and have its best foot forward just like you do.
I think the KEY is consistency. For example, keep a plastic bag (like from Walmart) handy and when you exit the minivan with your gang, get everyone to pitch in and collect the trash right away. That way it’s clean the next time you all pile in!