Monday, April 4, 2016

Spring Cleaning: the Minivan Edition

First, please allow me to say that I don't really "do" spring cleaning.

I'm quite organized in some ways, but cleaning is one of those things I prefer to keep irregular and unpremeditated. Like getting pulled over or called in for jury duty.

However, I took one look at our van and decided that like it or not, it was time to do some spring cleaning.
Spring Cleaning: the Minivan Edition -- Feeling bad about the trash that falls out of your car every time the door opens? Before you waste all day cleaning it, just read this and you might decide it's not so bad, after all. {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

Spring Cleaning: the Minivan Edition -- Feeling bad about the trash that falls out of your car every time the door opens? Before you waste all day cleaning it, just read this and you might decide it's not so bad, after all. {posted @ Unremarkable Files}


I wish I had some pictures of our van at its most sparkling clean to prove to you and the caseworkers at Child Protective Services that we don't always live this way, but I unfortunately didn't have my camera with me the one time that happened.

The problem, though, is that every time I clean out my car  just like every time I clean out my purse  I always regret it bitterly afterward. We're driving down the freeway and kids are freaking out because they need water or toys or a freaking one-man-band to entertain them, which of course I just removed.

My kids are actually happier when the car looks this way, because it has everything we need.

But anyway, we're cleaning it, for better or for worse.

There are actually two methods for doing this.

One way is to gradually move things out by asking each kid to take 5 things with them every time they get out of the car. In theory, we should be able to see the floor again in 3 or 4 weeks. The other way is to just put in earplugs to block out the whining and force everyone to help me do it all at once.

We chose all at once, because otherwise the kids just drag twice as many things into the car in the first place to compensate.

Plus, is it really even spring cleaning it it's not a huge, inconvenient ordeal you can take pictures of and complain about on your blog?

It took a little while, but 2 baby dolls, a pair of pink Dora Crocs, 2 jackets, 3 water bottles, 4 picture books, 1 American Girl doll dress, a bunch of toys, 3 pens, 6 pencils, assorted food wrappers/bowls/Ziploc bags, and a 100-year-old oak tree's worth of coloring pages later, we were done.

Oh, and then there was this, which I'd somehow failed to notice for however long it had been staring up at me every time I drove anywhere.

Spring Cleaning: the Minivan Edition -- Feeling bad about the trash that falls out of your car every time the door opens? Before you waste all day cleaning it, just read this and you might decide it's not so bad, after all. {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
Being a mom is weird.

All in all, I'm glad we did it. Now we just need to vacuum.

Eh, maybe next spring. No need to go crazy about this.

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Unremarkable Files

18 comments:

  1. Oh man, you reminded me I need to clean my car. It's scary. There are stains that I'm not even sure will come out at this point.

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    1. They won't. I wouldn't worry about it. You're in good company.

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  2. Oh wow. That is pretty bad. See...a car like this was never an option in my family because my Dad is a car guy (worked in the car manufacturing industry for most of my life) and...intense...in his need for clean cars. Unless we're on a long road trip, there has always been a strict no food and drink policy while inside the car, and no toys unless it was an actual road trip, either. Even books weren't looked well upon unless you were deemed old enough and responsible enough to take it with you. Sure, he's had to drive either minvans, conversion vans, or 15-passenger vans most of his adult life...but at least they were clean. (Although, I was brought home from the hospital in a 2-door 1960s Oldsmobile Cutlass because he was the kind of college student who bought a classic sportscar to get around in...it wasn't too much longer before they upgraded to a station wagon and then a never-ending series of vans).

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    1. Hats off to your dad. I would love to have his rules. But needless to say, I do not.

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  3. Girl, I feel ya! I don't even have kids, well, PP part time, and my car looks like this ALL the time!

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  4. Haha! The rubber ducky is fantastic. I'm a bit of a stickler about keeping my car (relatively) clean, but all I could think about while reading this is my closet. It's a nightmare. Things are strewn everywhere. About twice a year I organize it and purge, and yet no matter how hard I try, it spontaneously combusts within a month or two. It's exhausting.

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    1. That makes me feel better - clean in one area, messy in another. Nobody's perfect.

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  5. Do you make your kids get out one side of the van on windy days bc if you have both van doors open at the same time you might get 254 separate citations for littering? That's how I do damage control.

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    1. Ha! Usually it works out that my kids toss their heavy crap on top of the lighter crap, so it hasn't been too much of a problem. Yet.

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  6. I also treat my vechile like my home away from home.

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  7. Oh I'm glad I'm not the only one who kind of prefers a messy car! There's *always* an extra sweater or pair of shoes or socks or barrettes or snacks or books... But then once it's clean, it's like my entire survival kit is GONE. There's a reason I don't pack a diaper bag - everything I need is in my abyss of a car!

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    1. So well said. That's EXACTLY how I feel.

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  8. Well, I'm certainly not going to suggest vacuuming after what happened to me the last time I vacuumed!

    I like the duck. I say keep it.

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  9. Yep... Being a mom is weird... Between all the things we say that we immediately think, "Did I really just say that?" and the repeated actions and chores that never seem to be quite done, this weirdness is also part of the cycle of insanity (oops, I meant motherhood). The ducky is great! Admittedly, I don't like a cluttered vehicle, so it's in better shape than the house.

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  10. They say the inside of our cars mimic our lives and yeah, mine is a hot mess. I have bags in the trunk that are driving around with me until I can finally hit DI and drop them off, but for now they continue to drive around with me!

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  11. Our car is a constant disaster and we don't have kids to blame it on. But I've started keeping a rubbish bag in the passenger side (that's my seat - I don't drive) and it's becoming a habit for us to actually use it. It's scary how quickly that bag fills up and needs changing, I can actually see car floor. (Just don't look in the back seat)

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  12. Solidarity, my friend! And can I just say that I can probably find a pen/water bottle/ something to mop up a spill/spare diaper with the contents of my van floor right now? Also- someone recently gave me a great idea: instead of vaccuming your car, open all the doors, and turn on the leaf blower. Works like a charm in a fraction of the time. (then you might need to sweep the driveway, but... )

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    1. I think I need to do that every night in my kids' rooms...

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