Friday, May 2, 2014

Organizing the 15 passenger van/large family vehicle

*I just became a Thirty-one Gifts independent consultant.  I've used many Thirty-one products to organize my van.  If you are interested in any of these products you can visit my site for more information or contact me directly using the "contact me" button on the side bar. 

Large families need large vehicles.  We have lots of people, and so we have lots of stuff.  It can be hard to get all we need in and/or keep it clean.  I'm sure there are as many ways to organize the van as there are families using them, I'll share what works for us.

I'll start in the back, and work my way forward.  Here in the back I have a pack n' pull caddy (on the right) with diapers, wipes, as well as scented baggies for those, well.....  I have a blanket here to do the diaper changes on.  I have some Large Utility totes and Deluxe Utility Totes as well as a "Market Fresh Thermal".  I use these to contain groceries and other items picked up while running errands.  These also come in handy when we are going out and about and need to contain/transport things. I keep a single stroller in the back in case we need it.  The double stroller is big and bulky so I only put it in for trips that I know I'll need it for.

Under the back seat (we've removed the last row in our 15 pax to give more cargo space) I have our emergency supplies.  These are things we shouldn't need, but make life so much easier to have if we do need them.  It contains a change of clothes for all of the little kids (I'll change these out for the seasons), snacks (beyond what I usually have in the front) in case we get stuck somewhere.  Towels and a bowl come in handy at times, but not something we need everyday access to.  I'm still working on what else needs to be in here.  I'll update later.

Now we move to the front....This cut down milk crate holds the family's water bottles when we are on the road.

On the floor in front of the baby's car seat we have a box containing favorite books that we like to give away.  These are books that have been blessings to our family and tend to come up in conversation (they are there, but out of the way should they be wanted).  On top of it is a bag that holds all sorts of handy things*.  The other box is for putting my purse, baby carrier and other smallish things I need for the day.  This keeps them out of the way, contained, and handy.

*band aids/neosporin/essential oils; hairbrush and rubber bands; sunscreen; lotion; "emergency snacks" as well and baby food (as well as heavier snacks for those with food intolerance's).

Attached to the baby's car seat (above) is a small bag that holds some toys and the pacie.  In the summer it gets too hot in the van to keep them in here for her, in the winter they are a bit cold.  It is best to have this bag come in and out with us (if I remember).

Under the front row are two dish pans.  The farthest one over I would describe as "my husband's" it has things like maps, flashlights, knife, tools, fire extinguisher, car paperwork etc.  The closest one doesn't have much right now; mostly crayons and a few small travel toys (and the extra ergo got thrown in there on our trip to the Grand Canyon).  These come in handy on a longer drive or when we get stuck somewhere longer than expected.

Around the front seat we have a second pack n' pull caddy.  This one holds tissues and garbage (I have extra plastic grocery bags in the bottom of this so I always have a new one available.  No need to go hunting in the house for one).  I have a diaper bag that is currently stored here at all times.  I hardly ever take it in with me when we go somewhere, but it is nice to take when I'll be somewhere more than an hour or so.* It is nice to know that this well stocked bag is here if I need it.  The coupon clutch in the dash holds the various coupons and passes (season) that had been making a mess up there.

*This diaper bag contains diapers, wipes, nursing cover, snacks (for mom and littles), baby toys, car (for the toddler boy).  Just what we may need for church, a visit with friends, a couple of hours out.

Under the front passenger side we have our first aid kit.  This is a beyond band aids emergency kit.  We added some essential oils that we would want for burns, nausea and injury.  I've also added children's and infants ibuprofen.

I'll be keeping some paper napkins and straws in the passenger side door pocket.

1 comment:

  1. I just found your blog and am impressed with your organization skills! How I would love to have some more 31 products (of course I have a few stacked in our room that are always in my husband's way). We are packed to the gills in our house and our suburban. Only six kids so we don't need a passenger van, but we dream of it! The oldest are teen boys...bigger than me and growing every day! I love this post as we are a family that has gone crazy with activities lately (sports for the boys, dance for the girls, music lessons and homeschool co-op for all) and it seems we spend as much time in the car as at home so I need to get more organized instead of feeling absolutely frazzled every single day.