Before I had kids I had a very tidy car. It was clean and shiny. I was proud of how clean and organized my car was. Everything had it's place. I wanted it to always look and smell new.
When I was a nanny I was amazed how gross the parents cars were. When I took the car I made sure to clean it before returning it. I remember borrowing the Jeep for a weekend and using a toothbrush to scrub the stains out of the backseat. The mom was happy but said it was a huge waste of my time because the seat would be stained again within an hour. I thought, how can you do that to your car? Aren't you embarrassed.
Well, 15 years later, three kids, 8 years of marriage... a small African nation could survive off of the crumbs and old Cheerios that litter the floor of my mini van. My trunk has various strollers depending on the event. The cup holders are sticky from drinks. There are rocks, shells, Capri Sun straws, candy wrappers, etc... The side doors have various items such as a First Aid kit, flash light, bags of fruit snacks, bottled waters, glow sticks, baby wipes, hand wipes, paper towels, toy cars, toy keys, old homework, ... if a kid between the ages of 6 months and 6 years needs, wants, or has/had/have it... well, it's in my car!
When it was just the two kids and two adults we survived with a Jeep Wrangler and Toyota Prius. We lived in Oakland and I made sure there was a kite, beach towels, and sand toys in the trunk. You never knew when a random trip to the beach was needed. I would pick the kids up from preschool in Richmond and drive straight to the Berkeley Marina where we would play at the playground then head to the water to look for crabs. Sometimes we went to Alameda hoping that the tide was out so we could walk out among the little pools of water.
Now that we're on the east coast I have had to remove my beach bag from our car. Now I have a bag with gloves, hats, and scarves... just in case! None of us know how to dress for this weather. Our blood is still too thin to go without layers. Now along with my first aid kit there's an umbrella. The rain really comes down here!
I can think of a few items to add to my trunk: a windshield scraper and a snow shovel. Yup, I need to go get those two things and I'll be all set!