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Be Organised: Car Organisation

We recently bought a new car and I have been asked several times 'how do you organise your car?'...in particular 'the rubbish'! So I thought I would share with you how I organise our Honda Odyssey Absolute, and a few tips and ideas I have found online that you might find helpful as well.


I like to call the front of the car - 'Parent Zone' - this simply means that there is to be no child-related items in the front of the car. Our car is fairly new, so keeping it clean and organised is a priority (well for me it is). I have a retractable car charger (purchased from KMart) for my iPhone, so I can charge my phone when I am out and about or on long road trips - it's handy to have.

'Parent Zone'


We have quite a few mini compartments built in our dashboard. I have put a notepad and pens in one - just in case I need to quickly jot something down,  and I put a little bottle of hand sanitiser in another - which I like to use when I've finished at the gas station.  The other mini compartments are currently empty. 

Mini compartments


The only things I keep in the glovebox are a dust mitt, to wipe down the dashboard when it gets a bit dusty and I also have our synthetic chamois to wipe down the outside of the car, after I have washed it - once it's dry I return to the glovebox so I know exactly where it is. Note: In New Zealand we have our registration displayed on our windscreen. I don't like to keep any papers in the glovebox that has our mailing address on it, mainly for security reasons. I am looking into buying a little first aid kit to add to either the glovebox or put in the back. If you have a first aid kit in your car, where do you put it? 



Our middle console is fairly small and the whole console collapses on it's side, so I have decided to keep this area clear of items. I only use it for water/drink bottles. If I collapse it, I can put my handbag in the middle of the seats, but most of the time my handbag sits on the passenger seat. If we are travelling as a family, my partner can put his phone and wallet in the compartment. 

Middle console


The only thing I keep in the driver's door is a small hand-held umbrella. In my old car this is where I used to stash all my rubbish and it wasn't a good look when I opened my door.  There is also a space for a drink bottle if needed or I might actually buy a little cylinder-shaped box of tissues for this space. 

Driver's door


Passenger door


This is what I like to call the 'Kids Zone'! I have two children, 11 years old and 2 1/2. My daughter (11) is responsible for keeping their area clean and tidy. When we go on road trips, my daughter uses a tote bag that she keeps all her crafts, books, pens, notepads etc in. She also takes her lap tray to use as a little table. Our son will have a few of his favourite cars, diggers and maybe a book or two for long trips, but most of the time, he's either asleep or happy to look out the window. 

My son is still rear-facing and will probably be front-facing in Summer (due to weight and height restrictions of the carseat). I put his day care bag and shoes under his carseat (behind the passenger seat) and take it out when we get home. 

My daughter usually has her school bag next to her on the chair or on the floor by her feet. Again, when we get home, the bag is taken out. 

'Kid's Zone'


The door on my daughter's side is where we keep the wipes, and a plastic bag for rubbish or could be used as a spew bag (you never know). The bag is kept in this nifty slider compartment. It's also a great place to store her pencil case and other small bits and bobs for when we go on long journeys. 

Kid's Zone door


We keep this area clear because I tend to fold the seats down when we do our weekly grocery shopping. It's quite roomy back there and we look forward to filling the seats with friends and family this Summer, especially when we go to the beach! There is a place for a drink bottle on each side and has a mini compartment too. 



I usually keep our small stroller (not pictured) in the boot for when we are in town shopping, some spare plastic bags tucked away to the side and this white flexi-tub container (more details below).

The Boot


I decided to use a flexi-tub to store our items in the back simply because it's easy to take in and out of the car. They are really handy to have at the beach or park - I usually put all of the stuff we need in this tub and carry it to the beach or park, that way everything is corralled together and makes transporting to and from the car a lot easier. 

Our Flexi-Tub consists of:

  • picnic mat
  • grocery organiser
  • nappy travel pack (includes nappies, wipes, a mat and some nappy bags all rolled into this little organiser)
  • A change of clothes for the kids (kept in a plastic bag)
  • A spare towel (not seen in picture)
  • First Aid Kit (to be added)
  • Note: I will be adding baby powder to this tub in Summer (it helps get sand off easily)

Boot Organisation

Boot - with seats folded down
As you can see there is a lot of room in the boot area. Like I said above, I fold the seats down when we go shopping, and will probably do the same when we go on road trips to during the school holidays. Most of the time, I have the back seats up and my daughter occasionally likes to sit right in the back.


I mentioned earlier that in my old car I used to stuff the rubbish in my passenger door, well that is not going to happen, not in this car! In the past few weeks, we have got into the habit of cleaning out the car when we get home each day. The rule is: what ever goes into the car, must come out...if things stay in the car, that's when I find it starts to get out of control.

As for rubbish, I don't have a rubbish bin/bag left in the car. We have plastic bags in the car that we do put our rubbish in, especially if we go on a road trip, but when we get home, we take the rubbish bag out and put it in the wheelie bin or kitchen bin, depending on how much rubbish we have.

We do a quick sweep of the car - I do the 'Parent Zone' and my daughter does the 'Kid's Zone', my son likes to help too, then our car is clean and tidy, ready for the next day. It's a nice feeling jumping into a clean car, and I think the systems we currently have in place, it's going to stay like this. 


Katrina from The Organised Housewife has some great tips for 'keeping your car organised' over on her blog, and Kathryn from Do It On a Dime shares 13 amazing tips for your car on her YouTube channel, in fact, I might adopt the 'essential oil peg' car diffuser idea. They each have different ways of organising rubbish - so be sure to check them out. 

I hope you found these tips and ideas helpful.
I would love to hear how you keep your car organised or let me know if you are planning to implement any of these tips/ideas mentioned - in your car. 

Happy Organising,

My KonMari Journey: Sentimental - Journals, Scrapbooks, Awards, and Achievements

Welcome to 'My KonMari Journey' series. Over the next few months I will be sharing my progress, as I make my way through the KonMari Method, based on the best-seller book 'The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up' by Japanese organising enthusiast, Marie Kondo.

Today I am sharing: Sentimental - Journals, Awards & Achievements

Taking Stock - July 2016

Welcome to another 'Taking Stock' for 2016. In case you missed any, you can read all of my Taking Stock posts HERE. Pip from Meet Me At Mike is the mastermind behind this, so be sure to check out her blog and share the blog love. This is something I have done since I started blogging and will continue to do, this year. You can read my previous Taking Stock posts HERE. In a nutshell, it's simply taking a step back and 'taking stock' of what's currently happening in your life. I am dedicating the last Sunday of every month to a Taking Stock post. 

Here's what's been happening in the month of JULY...

Making: sure I get #inthepicture with my kids.

Cooking: Butter Chicken with Garlic butter wraps - delicious

Drinking: lots of water! Today is the last day of Dry July - I am pleased to say I have NOT had any Coke in the month of July, and my partner has not had any beer/alcohol! So proud of us.

Reading: all about the 'Sentimental' category of KonMari method. The final category - eek!

Wanting: a better system for storing my Teacher Resources - click the image to see my after photos.

Looking: at this gorgeous park in Hamilton. Definitely take my kids back here in the Summer.

Playing: with the kids during the school holidays

Deciding: what cards and letters to keep...See my post here

Wishing: they added more apple flavouring to the Cadbury Dairy Milk - Apple Crumble chocolate. I do like the Lamington one...although it is very coconut-y

Enjoying: my special 'Card Shop in a Box' - can't wait to send some Happy Mail to my nearest and dearest.

Feeling: a little stressed...I have had quite a lot on...organising the Big Latch On, sorting out plumbing issues, buying a new car, having no Coke (ha!), going back to work, KonMari'ing my Sentimental items, plus trying to keep up with my blog and social media accounts. Fingers crossed next month (August) is less stressful for me.

Helping: organise this years Big Latch On - this will be my third year organising the event, and participating too...I will be starting to wean Master M after the event (insert sad face).

Waiting: for AUGUST! Lots of celebrations to be had...including my partner's birthday, and celebrating one year in our home.

Liking: our Science area at Playcentre - I spent three days rearranging and organising all our play areas! It looks and feels amazing. 

Loving: our new car - it's so spacious. We bought a Honda Odyssey Absolute.

Buying: a new purse - now I have enough room for my iPhone 6s - yaye!

Wearing: my puffer jacket most days...it's been super windy lately.

Admiring: all those who took part in Dry July - Congratulations on your achievement! It's a great cause.

Sorting: my keepsakes...I have started to KonMari my Sentimental items! Here's the first part - Cards & Letters. 

Celebrating: ONE YEAR IN OUR HOUSE! 1st August 2015 was the date we stayed in our new family home for the first time. What a year it has been! I love it, and really happy we got this place when we did. It's perfect (for us).

Giggling: at Miss B's reaction when she jumped in our new car. I think she likes loves it!

Watching: 1 hour Shortland Street on Mondays! Bliss. I love my hospital dramas! Tuesday I watch Grey's Anatomy and Wednesday it's Chicago Med.

Hoping: to get at least 100 breastfeeding mothers together at this years' Big Latch On event. I am co-ordinating it again this year.  Last year we had 72 mums and bubs, including twins.

Needing: our drains fixed. A couple of weeks ago, we had major problems with our drains and plumbing, especially the toilet. We thought we fixed the problem, but it happened again last week. We had to move quickly, so I got on the phone and found an awesome drainage company who fixed it and replaced the pipe on the same day. I will be recommending this business to all of my friends and family.

Getting: to know me better with 20 Random Facts About Charlene - which reminds me, I really need to update my About page...watch this space. 

Bookmarking: easy dinner ideas...if you have any to add, please let me know in the comments below.

Hearing: the rubbish truck come down the street and my little boy squealing with excitement!

Forgetting: times of appointments...I have recently started to use my iPhone iCalendar a lot more this month.

Winning: at life - well thinking positive about it anyway.

Giggling: at Master M dressed up as a Fireman - he looked so cute!

Pretending: to enjoy Master M's 'play dough' food creations

I am...
Embracing: life, love & positivity!

Now it's YOUR turn...

Tell me, what's been happening in YOUR world? How was JULY for you?
Choose three (or more) words from the list and 'take stock' in the comments below.

Read previous Sunday Share: Currently & Taking Stock posts

Until next time, I hope the next month treats you well!

Linking up at these parties.

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My KonMari Journey: Sentimental - Cards and Letters

Welcome to 'My KonMari Journey' series. Over the next few months I will be sharing my progress, as I make my way through the KonMari Method, based on the best-seller book 'The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up' by Japanese organising enthusiast, Marie Kondo.

Today I am sharing: Sentimental - Cards & Letters

20 Random Facts About Me - 2016

Lately, I have had an influx of new followers on Instagram and Facebook, plus new subscribers to my blog (THANK YOU ALL and Welcome!). It's been a while since I shared one of these, and I thought it's a great way for you to get to know me, Charlene - the blogger behind Teacher by trade, Mother by nature...so here are 20 Random (and not so random) Facts About Me. Enjoy!

1. I got a perm for my 10th birthday, brushed it out and had to get another one a few days later (mum was not impressed)! 

2. I love the colour Teal, but my favourite colour is purple (not grape, Purple) 

3. I got $1000 from my parents when I turned 21 (because i had no babies)...6 months later..BOOM pregnant

4. My daughter is "my past, my present & my future"

5. My son is the "definition of perfection" (well to us he is) 

6. I met my partner on online :) Best thing I ever did! He was the first and only guy I met :) 4 years going strong 

7. I am a sentimental hoarder (i get it from my Grandad) 

8. My daughter was named after my Papa 

9. I am addicted to Coke! (but a lot of people already know that lol) - currently doing Dry July (no Coke for a month)

10. I actually HATE clutter but i'm really good at hiding it! 

11. I can eat a whole box of Chicken Crimpy crackers in one sitting (don't judge me LOL) 

12. I hate being confronted

13. I collected soft toys as a teenager - especially squeaky dogs

14. Is my favourite number (my shirt number in soccer for 12+ years) 

15. I had Osteomylitis when I was 8 - stayed in hospital for 6 weeks (couldn't walk) 

16. I bite my nails, especially when I'm anxious 

17. I breastfed B for 25 months and still b/feeding M at 29 months. 

18. I love reading Horoscopes

19. My dream holiday would be going to England, London 

20. My bedroom walls (as a teen) were covered with Hanson & Spice Girls posters! ‪#‎MmmBOP‬ ‪#‎SpiceupyourLife‬

Now it's your turn, can you relate to any of these? Tell me some random things about YOU in the comments below.

Have a wonderful week, 
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