Junk in the Trunk :: Getting Organized

Have you ever left home and get halfway to your destination, only for a kid to announce that they’ve forgotten something at home? Or have you turned down an invitation to a play date at the splash pad because you didn’t have a beach towel or change of clothes with you? Maybe you are already prepared, but the trunk of your car looks like an unkempt child’s bedroom! Does any of this sound familiar? If so, keep reading! I will be sharing a list of things to keep in your car at all times and a cheap way to keep it all organized.

First, I made a list of all the things we use in the car on a regular basis and all the things that could put us ahead of meltdown situations. I gathered these plastic pencil cases from Walmart to organize the items in. I chose these because if something spilled on them or in them, it’ll be easy to clean since it is plastic inside and out. Now depending on how many kids you are preparing for, that will affect how many pencil cases you’ll need. For me, I purchased 7:

  • Jaxon- change of clothes and underwear
  • Adelaide- change of clothes and underwear
  • Declan- change of clothes and pj’s
  • Snacks
  • Diapers and wipes
  • First aid
  • Toys

So, let’s back paddle a little….



I packed a towel for each kid. It can be used a blanket, beach towel, cleaning up spills, or something to sit on for a picnic. I put the towels at the bottom of the bin.


My kids are still young. Accidents happen whether it’s food or potty accidents or just getting muddy at the park. So, each kid got their own “pencil case” with a change of clothes, underwear, and their jump place socks. I added these because there have been several occasions where we finish running errands early and they’ll ask to go jump but socks are at home and I am not buying another pair every time they want to go. Mean mom? Maybe…. but now the socks will be with us at all times and I’ll be more inclined to say yes.


I don’t really need to say more about this one. Snacks. You already know you’ll need them. These gremlins are always hungry and having snacks packed with you will cut down on stopping for food. Also, snacks work great for creating a quiet car ride.


Like I mentioned earlier, I have younger children who are still in diapers so this one is a must for me. I no longer carry a diaper bag, I just keep my trunk bin stocked.


Stuff happens. Scraped knees, a bee sting, spills. Can’t prevent those things but you can be prepared for them! Here’s what’s in mine:


Carpool lines have been longer this year which means longer wait time which means siblings who are totted along get really impatient and fussy. So, I created a “pencil case” with little toys to pull out if things get out of control and they can play with in their car seats.

In addition, I added a separate bin in the front seat of my car filled with reading books and activity books, card games, Brain Quest cards, and a mini notebook with color pencils. This bin comes in handy for long car rides and waiting in the car during carpool.

So that’s the organized junk in our trunk. What do you pack for your family?


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