Friday, March 21, 2008

Take 5 Friday - The Mom Taxi

My van had started to look like a caravan for wayward things instead of a mode of transportation for people. The front (my domain) wasn't too bad, but the dash looked like it hadn't seen a dustcloth in the the 3 years since I'd bought it. But, whoa! One look in the middle section where my two adorable kids sit and I knew it had to be done.

Until you actually SIT in the back from their vantage point, you don't really see all the stuff kids can cram into those side pockets! I actually even have to open the driver side back door every day when I help my littlest in and out of her carseat and I still didn't notice!
I figured the best line of defense in this case was to empty everything into a grocery sack and have the kids sit down and determine what was going to stay and what would go. I tossed the things that were clearly trash and wiped off the front dash. That took all of ten minutes and the van looked so much better for it. I would have still felt I'd accomplished something even if I'd have stopped there.
But, the great thing about these ten minute projects is that sometimes when you do have extra time, it inspires you to do more. I got out the shop vac and vacuumed the floors and the kids' seats where bits and pieces of snacks had accumulated...yuck!
What happened to that bag of stuff? I brought it inside, gave them their assignment. I heard everything from "that's not trash" to "but I need that for something to do". I'll fill you in...we live about 20 minutes from any location that we frequent and we haven't been on a "trip" that takes longer than an hour in over 3 years. They don't need anything to keep themselves that occupied. By the time we've reached our destination, they're still too busy squabbling with each other over the last thing they were arguing about when we left the house. All that stuff is NOT going back into the van!
The bag is still sitting in their room...waiting for one of them to cave and start putting their things away. I guess they didn't "need" that stuff after all. They're at their grandparents' this you think they'd miss it if it "disappeared"?
What about you, did you tackle the junk in your trunk this week? Or maybe another, small but meaningful organizing project? Share your story with us here! If you're new to Take 5 Friday, please read the guidelines before posting. Thanks for participating!

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Christine Rice, Professional Organizer and owner of Organize It Today helps people discover "organizational enlightenment" with the help of her newest book, A Life Less Cluttered: Expert Secrets to Your Own Organizing Epiphany. Visit her website at to find out more about her services and products.