Organizing the van…..

Remember the baskets I purchased just the other day? Well I finally came up with a great use for the second basket. I decided to use it for the baby toys in the van and it is just the perfect size. I am so happy because I was using a different basket before but it was just way too small. Don’t these toys look so nicely organized and tidy sitting in their beautiful container like that…..yah right….don’t let me fool you….by the time we get to wherever it is we are going you can find these toys literally thrown all over the vehicle…sigh….but at least clean up is a snap.

Since I was taking a picture in the van anyway I thought why not show you how I organize the area between the driver and passenger seats. We have a mesh netting type thing that came with the van that hooks to the sides of the seats….inside this I have three baskets….two are for CD’s (one for grown up CD’s and one for the kid’s music) and one bigger basket for all the miscellaneous crap essentials that you need while driving.

Here is a close up shot of the CD baskets. They are awesome…I purchased four of them at Zellers many years ago and have never been able to find them since.

Okay so now let me go through the red basket with you because I know you are just dying to know what I keep in there…lol.

  1. First in a separate container (inside the red basket) I have a mini hairspray (for last minute emergencies!), hand lotion, bandaids, Nutrigrain bars and a pen.
  2. In another separate container I have our sunglass cases, gum and a package of tissue.
  3. Then I have a big ol tub of wet wipes because as all moms know you can never have too many of these.
  4. Next to the wipes is my coupon case. I like to keep the case in the van so it is one less thing to remember to grab as I’m going out the door. I don’t like to keep it in my purse because I keep my purse to a bare minimum….in fact my purse is just one of those wallets on a string.
  5. Finally I have my emergency baby feeding kit which contains a bib, facecloth and spoon and no I haven’t used it yet but I like to be prepared…lol.

The bigger kids have another container for their electronic games and gizmos that slides under the seat in the back. Sorry I forgot to take a picture of that one.

There you have it and as you can see even our van can’t escape my freak like obsession love of baskets!

Filed under: Organizing Solutions


44 Responses to Organizing the van…..

  1. 1
    Fiddledeedee (It Coulda' Been Worse) says

    I want to be you when I grow up. I’m not kidding.

  2. 2
    Lindsey @ enjoythejourney says

    I second fidledeedee. I’m organized. But you take it to a whole nother level friend! :)

    I’m feeling inspired to go declutter the van. I keep my “essentials” in the center console upfront but even that is a bit unruly.

  3. 3
    Anonymous says

    Okay…I’m doing this this weekend…toy crate and all things you have in the center. I dont have a place to put mine I drive a Jeep cherokee….I’ll have to figure this one out…thanks for sharing…great idea!

  4. 4
    Anonymous says

    Ya know,I was just checking out some little cubes like that last night at our local dollar store,wondering what can i do with those….question answered!!Maybe I should take a cue from you and go organize my van…….

  5. 5
    Anonymous says

    Your van is way more organized than ours!!! Isn’t it funny that I’m so excited to be reading what’s inside your red crate!!
    You’re creating freaks out of all of us!LOL!

  6. 6
    Sue says

    Hi L. ok now I have to agree with Annie, you are a FREAK. Holy cow, I start out with a tidy car when we drive it new off the lot then my better half, gets upset with me as I don’t keep it up. But hey I enjoyed reading what you keep in the red basket anyway. Why the hairspray, you always look like a million bucks anyways, is that why the hairspray. I should come and get you and we could drive around and you could organize my glove compartment and my between the seats thing. Take care sue

  7. 7
    org junkie says

    You guys crack me up!!!

    Sue you’re on…sounds like fun to me!!


  8. 8
    Kristen says

    I appreciate the inspiration… my van is a nightmare right now! I think I’ll tackle it next week.

  9. 9
    Anonymous says

    I did a tackle like this. But my friend pointed out that the objects in the container (Or the container – mine had a lid) could hurt my child in an accident. She knew a child that had been brain damage by a flying object in an accident So now I try to keep the container in the back of the van. or use ones that can slide under the seat. Or – I have one that is soft and zips shut like the one you have for the bigger kids. Just a thought though – it does look fabulous!

    AND THANK YOU for your wonderful comment today! I really appreciate you! :)

  10. 10
    Anonymous says

    I found those CD cases at Target for a dollar each a couple of years ago.

    Nice organization!

  11. 11
    gail knits in md says

    I LOVE IT!!!I have the mesh thingy too and never thought about baskets. Thank you so much!!! You are truly a blessing!

  12. 12
    Anonymous says

    So so clever! I am also a big fan of baskets and containers. I recently purchased a handful to organize my pantry and a new closet we built. And they are generally all over my house!

  13. 13
    Blessed Beyond Measure says

    I love coming here to pick up all your great ideas. I have a big basket on the backseat, but it aggravates my husband. Maybe I need something more like what you have. Thanks for the great idea.

  14. 14
    Anonymous says

    have you ever thought of making it a business? seriuosly.. you could do this- I have a friend in CA that does this- goes to friends and then it spreads word of mouth that she can organize anything and she gets calls to come be the honest person to others…
    lovely idea!!!
    thanks for sharing! I get your blog in my email and come to see what’s happening and what I *should* be doing! lol!

  15. 15
    Angela says

    You’ve encouraged me to tackle the space between the seats in our Suburban. We have a section with a lift-up lid, but no real organization…that’s a nice way of saying it’s a mess! The problem is that it’s not very deep. Guess I’ll have to get creative.

    Thanks for sharing the pictures and motivation!

  16. 16
    Anonymous says

    Great post :)

    ~ Candy (from Alberta)

  17. 17
    Anonymous says

    I’m getting a basket with handles like yours…they are at Superstore here for the toys…what I have isn’t big enough. I’m going to do the baskets in the basket things…the stuff is always spilling out.

    Oh and am I the only friend that you haven’t organized for…gee I think I’m ready for a visit when I get home!!

    Have fun at dinner…say hi to S. and J. for me. I had an email from J. a couple of weeks ago…not too much!

    Love ya!

  18. 18
    Angelina says

    So did you make that cut emergency feeding kit? I think that might need to be my next project. Nice gifts to give a new mom! Or maybe I will just have to have another one so that I could use it…he hee.

  19. 19
    Anonymous says

    We have a basket between the back seats, but it’s too big. Yours is perfect. I may have to do some shopping. We have the same kind of mesh in the front, but our cup holders fold down into it.

  20. 20
    Anonymous says

    You can find your kool krates @ ebay right now!

  21. 21
    Kristine says

    I just saw those cd holders at wal mart today!!

  22. 22
    Birdie says

    I use a clothes basket in our van for all of my children’s books. Your basket actually looks much nicer.

  23. 23
    Mamacita Tina says

    Hello. First time to your site, thank goodness I ran across it. The inside of my van is taking on a life of its own. It’s scary in there and I’m afraid to open the door. You have given me hope, you have inspired me. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  24. 24
    rcsnickers says

    What great ideas! If you can help, I would appreciate it. We have a 15 passenger van. I love this idea with baskets and to fit under the seats. But how would I keep them from sliding forward? It seems everything else on the floor does!

    I learned that the hard way when a pumpking made its way to the front and smashed a delicious Chik-Fil-A handspun milkshake all over the floor! Sorry to babble.


  25. 25
    Kassie says

    Laura, I was just in Staples last night and saw a big display of those very crates that you have for your cd’s. Thought you might like to know.

  26. 26
    Mama's Moon says

    Just wanted you to know that I’ve so inspired by these ideas that I’ve linked you on my weekly Monday Morning Munchies post so that my mommy-pals get to see as well! Thanks for sharing! Have a great Monday!

  27. 27
    Chappyswife says

    Good suggestions you have there. Toys can absolutely get thrown everywhere in a matter of seconds. I’m sure it is a no-brainer for you, and you’ve probably mentioned it before, but I also love to carry a bunch of plastic grocery bags to use as trash sacks. It’s so handy to clean out the trash as soon as we get home (and a little on the way!) If only vacuuming the vehicle were so easy!

  28. 28
    Erica Douglas says

    Congratulations, this post has been nominated for a Hot Stuff Award over at GNMParents.

    Voting closes on Thursday, Good Luck.

  29. 29
    Kerri says

    I am envious of your organizing passion! I have none. Great ideas, my hubby would love it if our van looked a bit more like yours!! :Dw

  30. 30
    wsh1266 says

    This is great- I think you can get more of the CD crates at Five Below… I am always looking for stuff to keep the car from becoming a disaster. With 3 ADHD people in our family, it is a chore. I’ve taken to carrying a folder with necessities like stamps, lists, papers, mail I need to take care of, etc. in between the console and the seats in my Sienna, but the real challenge is getting the kids to throw out the “mobile catering supplies” (read goldfish, juice boxes, snack wrappers, mcdonald toys, etc.) at the end of a day. Ugh. Even my “handisacks” portable small garbage bags don’t always work to try to keep the mess under control. Thanks for the tips!
    Whitney Hoffman
    The LD Podcast
    Part of GNM Parents
    Hot stuff indeed!

  31. 31
    knowhimwell says

    We have similar organization in our van. We have one of those nets between the seats, but my husband bought a console to put there instead. I think he got it at Advance Auto or Wal-Mart for about $26. I really like it because it has 4 cup holders. I have to have cup holders!!! In the backseat I have a box for the kid’s stuff. Inside it I have books, wipes, extra diapers, extra changes of clothes, toys, etc. Mine is cardboard though. I am looking for a clear storage tote to use instead. I can’t use a thin one like you have because my 3 year old uses the box to climb on when she gets in and out of her carseat. I guess I need to take some measurements.

    Glad I came across your site!


  32. 32
    Gabe says

    Its been a long time since the person with the 15 passenger van posted, but I though I’d post our solution. DH just tied some elastic cording across the front and the back of the openings under the seats. It holds the bins we have under there in place but they are still easy to get into!
    BTW Laura, I’m LOVING your blog. I like to organize and declutter anyways, but right now I’m in my third trimester with my fifth child (my oldest is seven), and with DH military we’ve got a move coming up in about six months. Your blog is great for a “nesting” momy like me, I just love your ideas! Thanks!

  33. 34
    Connie Case says

    As a Real Estate Professional I live out of my car!

    Papers! Files!, and Signs, any tips for those of us who need to have things with us to work with. (My children are grown) but I still need organizing…:)

  34. 35
    Marlene says

    I love your site,thank you. I have a 13yo boy and 8yo identical triplets and am getting ready to move to a new home. I will be doing most of the move myself and am so happy with so many of your suggestions that I just cannot pick a favorite. As a single mom running a “growing” berry business, thus the reason for the move, more land, my time is limited. In the past year many things have gone hog wild, I was caring for my dad and kids, got hurt at work and started my business from what was a hobby. I may just send you some jams just to say thank you. Devoted reader Marlene

  35. 36
    Gail says

    Just found your website, LOVE IT! I definitely need the between the seats organizing on my van. One thing I have done was purchase some clear totes w/ clear lids for my van. They live in the stow and go compartments under the middle seats. I keep blankets, diapers, wipes, juice and water in them. I came up with the idea not because I’m organized (I truly wish I was!) but because the grime from everyone’s shoes was filling the storage area and getting the stuff all dirty and messy. I’m not organized, but I hate dirty! I have a couple of small zip boxes from IKEA and recently saw some car organizers at Sears that I think I’ll be off to check out….

    Great ideas!!

  36. 37
    MIchelle says

    I am so glad I found your site…..I am a mother of two sets of twins and I have the same freak like obsession, oops I mean love of baskets (ha ha) as you do… only problem is I do not put them to use as you do, they seem to collect along with my great ideas that I never follow through on. My goal is to actually follow through and use these baskets as you do! Thanks for inspiring me!

  37. 38
    Dal says

    What about a small bulletin board for reminders, mail and other paper items? I was thinking of putting it on the seat. This wouldn’t work if you have a passenger.

  38. 39
    Sandra says

    Just found these for my car. – “Dots Anywhere” TT-23103$7.50 for 4 (2.95 sh) 1 3/4″ round dots that have adhesive backs + a magnet. Great for all my little hunks of paper in car!

  39. 40
    Laura H. says

    Laura, do you have any ideas for a Toyota, Matrix? I have a ten yr. old son and 6 yr. old daughter. I love your ideas, but we no longer have a van. Thanks!

  40. 41
    Laticia says

    Your’s is a point of view where real itnelilegcne shines through.


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