Organizing your car for a road trip

Recently, my family embarked on a 15+ hour car trip to upstate New York for a family reunion and wedding. With that many hours enclosed in a rented Kia (no, I'm not joking), I learned how making good organizational choices can impact the quality of a long-distance car ride. Today, I'm sharing those tips.

My husband and I split up duties on this trip. He was in charge of driving and getting us there safely. I was in charge of maintenance and support. My duties consisted of, but were not limited to: diaper changes, passing out snacks, swapping out DVDs, distributing toys, handling and disposing of garbage, and giving baby bottles. Once we got into the thick of the car trip, I quickly realized that I needed a system to keep the car from being overtaken by trash and sippy cups, and to keep me from losing my sanity for what seemed like an eternity with some very small people who weren't ecstatic about being cooped up for that long.

Here is how I organized my workspace (I took my job seriously) in the car:
1. I emptied the glove compartment and stored DVDs in it so that I could easily access a different movie when the kids got bored with the current showing.

2. I put baby wipes, diapers and diaper rash creme in the console of the car. I changed diapers in the front seat while the driver was filling the gas tank to save time. Having those items at my fingertips made the gas station stops quick and easy without fumbling around to find much-needed items. (Even if you don't have children, baby wipes are still great for cleaning up spills and hands if you have to eat while driving)

3. I stored my purse in the backseat and kept my phone in the snack holder. I didn't need to access my purse anyway, and it gave me extra leg room which was needed for tip #4.

4. I put a small backpack of crayons, coloring books, some small toys, and snacks to the left of my feet. When someone started to get antsy in the backseat, I just tossed food back there or stickers to keep them going.

5. Finally, I put a plastic grocery bag between my seat and the passenger door to catch the trash. Each time we stopped for gas, I emptied it.

No road trip is easy, especially when traveling with children. But hopefully these tips will help make the journey more palatable and easy for you in the future.

What's your advice on staying organized while traveling?