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Keeping the Car Clean on Road Trips


We're going on a very long road trip in the near future.  As part of my preparations, I wanted to make a checklist for the kids to follow every time we stop.  By posting it where everyone can see it, the kids will know what's expected of them and the parents can help hold them accountable.  When all the items on the list are done, it's time for lunch, a snack, or a surprise toy!

Keeping the car clean on road trips is important.  Put the kids to work with this free printable checklist, which has pictures for pre-readers.  #partythroughtheusa



PUT ON SHOES- Anyone else's kids ditch the shoes as soon as they get in the car?  We have piles of shoes in our car because the shoes go off and never get put back on.  Bare feet are fine in the yard, but not so great in a public bathroom (ewww).  Everyone needs to get their shoes back on first thing.

GO TO THE BATHROOM- Since we're probably stopping the car for a bathroom break, we're going to get that done first thing.  I'm hoping that having it on the list will persuade my reluctant kids that they really do need to go to the bathroom now and not wait.

GIVE MOM YOUR WATER BOTTLE- We're traveling in the hottest part of the summer, so I want to make sure everyone stays hydrated.  I usually just put ice in the cups, which they can suck on or allow to melt for water.  Filling with ice instead of water helps to delay the next bathroom stop.

PICK UP YOUR TOYS- While Mom is filling water bottles and digging around in the car for food or surprises, everyone else should be cleaning up their areas.  Toys can go back in their backpacks and garbage needs to be put in the trash bag.

PUT ON YOUR SEAT BELT- After everything else is done, everyone needs to get buckled up again so we can hit the road!


I'm confident that having a list with easy to understand pictures will help the kids know exactly what to do when we get to a stop.  Having mandatory cleaning times every few hours should keep the car a lot cleaner too.  Be sure to grab the free printable for your own road trip, and check out the items below for more ways to keep your car clean.

Using a checklist to help keep the car cleaner on a road trip.  Put the kids to work by making them earn their special treats and surprise toys.  Free printable list with pictures for pre-readers.

Collapsible Backseat Car Organizer- This organizer can go between two kids in the car to make a natural barrier and provide a colorful place for them to put their toys, books, snacks, and lovies.  I especially love the duel cup holders for sippy cups, water bottles, or fast food drinks.

Seat Back Preschool-Friendly Organizer- For preschoolers who love to watch movies on the road and have a place to stash their snacks, this over-the-seat organizer is great for forward facing tots.  It would also be a good place to hold baby supplies in the car.

Collapsible Trunk Organizer- As parents know, organizing the kids is only half the battle.  This trunk bin has lots of pockets for picnic supplies, emergency supplies, snacks, or whatever you need to carry.  This bin can also be used on car seats for keeping your supplies closer to the passengers, who may need to access it on the road.

Kids' Travel Tray- For maximum organization and fun on the road, grab one of these travel trays for each kid.  The long belt keeps the tray from falling off your child and the multiple pockets have space for drinks, snacks, markers, and toys.  The tray even includes an i-pad stand for movie-watching fun, while your child plays, colors, or eats.

Backseat Organizer with Drop Down Tray- Growing up, I always wanted my parents' car to have a tray table like an airplane.  I thought it would be so awesome for coloring, playing, and snacking.  This backseat organizer has all that and more!

Portable Hand Vac- Nothing says vacation like vacuuming!  If tackling the crumbs on the road will help you relax, be sure to pack this 12-volt vacuum with lots of attachments for all your detailing needs.  Kids can help during rest stops, too!

Car Power Inverter- If you're like our family, your road trip car only has one 12-volt plug, then you'll need to pack one of these inverters for your trip.  There are two regular outlets and four USB plugs for charging all the phones, tablets, and other electronics on the road.

Small Cooler with Device Holder- Level up your snack game with this backseat hanging cooler to keep all the cheese sticks and juice boxes nearby.  The organizer also comes with duel cupholders and a device holder for your kids' movies.

Glove Box Organizer- Adults need to be organized too!  This glove box organizer will keep all your important paperwork undamaged and together, so they'll be ready for you when you need them.  It comes with a tire pressure guage, too.

Car Trash Can- No matter how green you road trip, you'll still have a bit of garbage.  Make a plan to contain the trash with these car-friendly garbage cans.  Get one for every passenger!

Armor All Cleaning Wipes- For many years, the Armor All brand has been a go-to product for cleaning and maintaining your car.  Grab a few packs of these glove compartment wipes to take car of any dust and keep your car window clean.

Hand Sanitizer Bottles- We always have at least one bottle of hand sanitizer in our car at all times.  As soon as we get back into the car after a rest stop, a shopping trip, or visiting an attraction, we use the sanitizer.  I've found it helps us not pick up quite as many germs.

Baby Wipes- We also use lots of of baby wipes in the car, too!  Whenever our fingers are sticky or faces need to be cleaned, the baby wipes get passed around.  I've found that they help keep our car cleaner, too, because the kids aren't wiping their hands on the car seats as much.


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Keeping the car clean on road trips is important.  Put the kids to work with this free printable checklist, which has pictures for pre-readers.  #partythroughtheusa









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