When your kids play travel baseball, you spend a ton of time in your car.
You likely spend several hours per week transporting your players to and from practices, games, and tournaments in the spring and summer. You carry dirty gear and food and drinks. You shelter in the car during a passing rain shower. And if your family is anything like mine, it will become evident very quickly, by both smell and appearance, that baseball players use the car.
I’m sure you can relate: you’ll have that unmistakable layer of red dirt, turf beads, or sand covering your floor. Gum and energy bar wrappers stuffed into drink holders. And the slightly musty smell from a mostly empty Gatorade bottle that rolled under the front seat, which ended up next to a random sock.
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The thing is, I like to keep my car CLEAN. And frankly, with my kids, it’s almost a losing battle during baseball season. I’ve resigned myself to a certain amount of dirt ending up on the floor. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t try to have a clean and organized car.
Here are some car organization ideas for Baseball Moms, and a few tips to keep it clean (well, semi-clean) during baseball season.
Start with a Clean Car
This may be obvious, but starting with a clean car will make the organization process easier. Get the mess makers (i.e. your kids) involved. Look deep under all the seats and locate every fossilized french fry, straw wrapper, and capless tube of lip balm. Get into the glove compartment and clean out everything that doesn’t need to be there (a single glove? a used mask from 2020? expired proof of insurance?). Remove the floor mats, and give the floor a good vacuum. Wipe off all the surfaces. Clean the windows and windshields. Finish off by running the car through a car wash to clean off the last of winter road salt.
Once the car is clean inside and out, it’s time to organize your car for efficiency. Organizing also helps keep your car clean by giving everything a place for storage.
I use these back of seat organizers to keep my kid’s seats organized. There is plenty of room for them to store a mask, their sunglasses, lip balm, snacks, etc. Bonus – the seat organizers protect the seat from dirty kick marks and come in a 2 pack.
Having a trash can in your car is so important to keep your car clean. On long trips we use a large box lined with a garbage bag. However, for everyday use you probably want something more aesthetically pleasing. Well, at least as aesthetically pleasing as a ‘car wastebasket’ could possibly be. This EPAuto Car Wastebasket is not only compact but, more importantly, waterproof. Just get in the habit of emptying it regularly.
Also, if you don’t already have rubber floor mats, I recommend you get them. Thank me later.
Depending on how many players you have in your family, you want to allocate at least half of the trunk to leave room for their bat bags (and catcher’s gear, if that applies).
The other half will likely be used for chairs, coolers, and your gear.
If you have the space, I recommend getting a trunk organizer. This Drive Auto Products Trunk Organizer is similar to the one I use in my own car. I like it because it has dividers to keep stuff separated, and collapses when I don’t need it.
Stock Your Trunk for Baseball Season
Now that you’re organized, it’s time to stock your trunk for Baseball Season.
For your trunk organizer, here are some recommendations:
- A roll of Paper Towels (for wiping faces, hands, use as napkins, etc. – too many uses to count here)
- Garbage bags (for cleats, trash, protecting seats from wet or muddy clothing)
- Wet Wipes (for cleaning hands and faces)
- A windproof blanket – here is the one I recommend
- A First Aid Kit – Need One? Here’s how to build your own First Aid Kit
- A sweatshirt, hat and gloves (because Spring weather is *crazy*)
- An umbrella (here is an extra large and windproof one that I use and love)
- A roll of toilet paper (learned this one the hard way)
- One pair of extra socks, per kid (because no one wants to play a second game in wet socks)
If you still have room in the trunk, throw in a separate plastic storage container as well, like this one. We use this for dirty/sweaty/stinky cleats. No need for a lid, we just use the box portion. It’s a good habit to get your kids to remove their cleats before getting in the car.
Fun and Functional Extras for your car
Now that your car is clean and organized, you can add functional ‘extras’ that upgrade the look and feel of your vehicle:
- Your vehicle’s clean, but still smells like a locker room? Make your SUV smell amazing with this portable USB Aromatheraphy Diffuser that fits right into your cup holder. Just a drop or two of essential oil (I recommend peppermint, orange, or lavender essential oils) and your car won’t smell like stinky cleats and sweaty teenagers.
- Always misplacing your sunglasses? Never lose your shades again with this cheap-but-looks-expensive Magnetic Leather Sunglass Holder that attaches securely to your visor, then snaps shut securely with magnets.
- Clean seats and floors instantly make your vehicle look clean. The Bissell AeroSlim Car Vacuum charges and stores right in your car, for cleaning on the go.
Maintain your Organization
Now that your car is clean and organized, get your family involved to make sure it stays that way.
- Get your kids in the habit of removing their cleats after practice and games. Store those stinky/wet/dirty cleats in the trunk. Get your kids slides or Crocs that they can slip into before they get in the car.
- Immediately empty the car after games and tournaments (take it from me: coolers, drinks, food, sweaty uniforms, and trash don’t improve the smell of a car in July).
- Pro tip: Keep a car vacuum (like the Bissell AeroSlim) stored in your car, along with a microfiber towel. Next time you’re waiting for practice to end, take a minute or two to wipe down the dashboard, center console, and any other hard surfaces with the microfiber towel, then follow up with a quick vacuum of the seats with this amazing USB powered Car Vacuum. Your car will look instantly better!
- Shake out rubber floor mats weekly.
- Empty the trash can regularly.
These car organization ideas are proven ways to keep your car clean and functional. With a little bit of upfront work, and a little bit of daily and weekly maintenance, you can organize your car for baseball season. Involve you family so that you can all enjoy a clean, organized, and (mostly) nice smelling car the entire baseball season.
Is Sports Equipment taking over your garage? Check out this recent post about organizing the mess.
Want to know my favorite Baseball Mom Home Organization hack? Check out this recent post about how I use virtual AI assistant technology to keep my family organized.