Whether on the road for a summer road trip, or just spending time in the car running errands and doing the tasks of daily life, having a car organizer can be very useful.
About 2 years ago I saw this great idea while browsing Pinterest to put a car organizer across the back of your seats to hold those essentials you seem to always need and never have when on the go. The blog that proposed the idea offered ideas for buying one, and then had a do-it-yourself option.
I thought, “I should do that…” Then never did.
Until now! And I can’t help but ask myself why I put this off for so long. It took less than 5 minutes to complete this project, and after only having it a couple days I already love it, and know it will be something I am excited about for years to come. I did not use the dollar store options she suggested because I wanted something that could withstand my kids, so instead I used a canvas shoe organizer and some elastic.
Seriously, it is so easy. You can achieve an adventure ready car in just 5 steps.
Step one: Buy organizer and elastic
Buy a canvas shoe organizer. Buy 1 inch width elastic. You want a thicker heavy duty organizer so it can hold up in your car. I got mine at Target for about $12, but you can buy them on Amazon, Wal-Mart etc. Any excuse to go to Target right?
Step two: Cut in half
Cut it in half. This gave me two organizers with 12 pockets each (3 rows of 4). I opted to put one behind each of the front seats for easy access for mom, and still out of the kid’s way. Of course this works because of how my minivan is set up, so you decide based on your vehicle. You may find the last row is best, or just one organizer is all you have room for.
Note: For a more finished look, go ahead and sew or serge the cut edges.
Step three: Cut elastic
Get elastic to hold the organizer in place on the back of your car’s seat.
Determine how much elastic you need, and cut elastic to help keep the organizer in place. I measured the distance that was not covered by the organizer itself to get around the car seat and cut out 3/4 of that distance in elastic. If I were to do it over, I would probably use about 1/2 instead because the organizer gets pretty heavy once it is filled, and it will stay in place better if there is a shorter elastic.
Step four: Attach elastic
Sew the elastic in place. I did two strips of elastic per organizer. One at the top, and one 2/3 of the way down, as this is where it would most comfortably cross the front of the seat and I could hide it.
Note: If you don’t want to sew, or don’t have access to a sewing machine, you can always safety pin it in place.
Step five: Fill pockets
This step is the most fun, and where the usefulness shines through. Fill it with whatever you need to make your car adventure ready.
We had 24 pockets to fill and this is what we put in them, but please fill them with whatever your family uses and needs while out:
- Diapers/Pull ups
- Swim diapers
- Wet wipes
- Sunscreen (Spray, lotion, face, zinc)
- Flip flops- My kids seem to leave the house without shoes way too often, so a spare pair is very useful.
- Bug spray
- Snacks (This took up 2 pockets, one for healthy stuff like nuts and dried fruit, and one for things like chips)
- Treats (I bought a few of the kid’s favorite treats)
- Sippy Cups
- Water bottles
- Art Supplies
- Hair brush, hair bands, and bobby pins- I can’t tell you how many times we need these before gymnastics or an outing. Sigh
- Corn Starch- Great for removing sand, for diaper rash and a host of other things
- Toothbrushes and flossers- For those last minute sleepovers, kids with bad breath, etc.
- Ziploc bags- For collecting treasures, as puke bags, for wet clothes, and so many other great uses.
- Card games, toys, and books- To keep us entertained while we wait for a sibling’s practice to end, or are stuck in traffic, etc.
- Chargers, headphones, batteries- For those electronic devices.
- A first aid kit and hand sanitizer
- Duck tape and safety pins- Always useful
- Trash can liners (The small kind used in the bathroom)
With all of these great things organized in a clean and orderly fashion I feel prepared for anything, which means spontaneous adventures are a lot easier. We always have the sunscreen and bug spray on hand!