Friday, April 3, 2015

With This Many Kids, Ya Gotta Get Creative When You Clean

We spend a lot of time running hither and yon in the van. Since we live 20 minutes from school (30 from the high school) it isn't always feasible to run home before heading to an activity.

This means lots and lots and lots of junk ends up in my van.

Water bottles.

Books.

Shoes.

Balls.

Food containers.

Crayons.

Hats.

Toys.

Oh, the list goes on and on.

The kids' hands are always full when they leave the van, but unfortunately, they don't have 10 hands each to actually be able to get everything in one trip.

And two trips are considered cruel and unusual, especially in the winter.

(We have no garage, you see.)

When I can no longer open the side door without something falling on my foot, it means a cleaning-out is necessary. Yet the van is huge, and climbing around to gather everything is a pain. Literally.

My solution?

It came from my experiences of coming to a light that turns yellow at just the wrong time. Speed through or slam on the brakes.

(12-passenger vans don't stop quickly, you see.)

It's the slamming of the brakes part that is helpful.

On cleaning out the van day, I make a point of picking up speed as I make my way up the driveway.

At the end, I make a nice, solid slam of the brakes.

All of the flotsam and jetsam in the van comes flying to the front.

I simply need to grab a bag and pick it up.

No climbing over, under, and on the seats is necessary.

While I really, truly do this to clean out my van, I understand that this might not be all that helpful for most of you. For you, there are posts that give seriously helpful cleaning tips.

Cleaning with vinegar

and other eco-freindly ways to clean

Lay it on me. What are your favorite cleaning tips?

Have a lovely day!

24 comments:

  1. Hahaha snort hahaha! Hahaha I cant stop!

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    1. Glad you found it to be enjoyable. :)

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  2. Ha, ha...this is so funny! I think I might try this. LOL (sssh....don't tell my husband, he would say it wears out the breaks). LOL

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    1. If you do it when the kids are in the car, make sure they pick their feet up so nothing gets hung up on them. :) Let me know how it works.

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  3. alright!! (no seriously! what a personal-qualities-confirming-idea is this!)

    (and, yes, I know you only execute this cleaning maneuver when alone in the car… lol)

    (a movie scene comes to mind. 'Wanted' and the protagonist is running from the bad guy and Angelina Jolie spins the car she's driving, throws the passenger door open and scoops the guy out of harms way…without slowing down.)

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    1. Yes! Only when the kids are not in the car.

      I have not seen that particular movie, but I've seen plenty of similar ones.

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  4. I think my comment got eaten--or maybe it's just waiting for the next brake-slamming. Anyway, I love this tip! No, I don't have a long driveway, and my van isn't nearly as messy as it was when the kids were around, but still. . . Practical tips are the best!

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    1. Hate it when that happens. Thanks for being persistent.

      I am nothing if not practical. :) Let me know if you use it!

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  5. That's brilliant. Brilliant. I would have never though of that. An easier way is to hand a bag to the kids and have then fill it with the trash before they exit the van. I would have thought of that.

    Cleaning. Cleaning is something I'll get to day after tomorrow. It's always day after tomorrow.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend. :)

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    1. Ah, I've done the kids picking up, but somehow I have 6 blind children. They never, ever see it all. I do pass a bag around the van for them to collect the trash. That doesn't take flight as easily as the more substantial objects in the van.

      I will be cleaning the same day you do. :)

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  6. That is an awesome idea! And here I was going to suggest a leafblower...

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    1. Ha! We live in the country, where collecting leaves is not necessary. No leafblower here.

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  7. Necessity is the Mother of Invention - glad to hear I am not the only one with a messy car - what I do is hand my kids a garbage bag and tell them to go clean the car out - whatever is not garbage they bring in. it works :)

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    1. I do pass a trash bag around the van while I drive, and sometimes I will have a kid clean out the van, but normally, I'd just rather do it and have it done well while they are at school.

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  8. The visual of you slamming on the brakes and everything flying forward (passengers included?) is hilarious. I like using vinegar to clean the floors. It is cheap, and works and no yucky chemicals.

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    1. No, no passengers. Their feet and legs would impede the objects flying to the front. :)

      Vinegar is awesome. Stinky, but awesome.

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  9. THIS is why they invented seatbelts. And my experiences of anyone cleaning with vinegar were during a stint my mum went through when I was in my early 20's, and the house CONSISTENTLY stunk like a chip shop.

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    1. Ha! Actually, the kids love it when I drive "crazy" up the driveway, weaving and swerving the slamming on the brakes. While they are standing in the van. :)

      I remember you aren't a fan of the vinegar. :)

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  10. You are too kind. In my head the story was going along the lines of slamming on the brakes so the stuff would hit the kids in the head thereby having THEM unload the van. I'm just mean though. ;)

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    1. Hahaha! Unfortunately, the stuff doesn't fly, it rolls. And not hard enough to hurt anyone's ankles. :)

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  11. You are a problem solver! I will admit that I maybe, MAYBE, have done something like this because I was too lazy to crawl back and get it....

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  12. A very funny tip for gathering all the junk in one go - I must remember to try it when my van needs cleaning out, though as I don't have a long driveway I'll need to use a country lane. Now that could be interesting! :)

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Thank you for taking the time to tell me what you're thinking!