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items moms should keep in the car


As a mom, I’m in my car A LOT.  The teenager has school, sports, orthodontist appointments, and a summer job.  The twins have gymnastics, play dates, Beckem’s therapies….most days it feels like we practically live in our car!

Since we spend so much of our time shuttling around, there are some essentials that I make sure my car is stocked with.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of all the necessary things you need to have in your car for every possible situation, but these are some of the items moms should keep in their car to make life a little bit easier!

Oh, and you can read more here about how I organize my schedule to ensure everyone is where they should be on the correct day and time!

Short on time? Pin now and you can read about smart things moms keep in the car later!

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Items Moms Should Keep in the Car

Stain Remover

You will definitely want to keep some of these stain remover wipes in your car to remove small spills and spots on clothing.  They come in super handy when pulling in to church and noticing toothpaste on a kid’s shirt!


Change of clothes for everyone

I use these roll up space saving bags to keep a change of clothes in.  These take up very little room in my trunk and have been so helpful many times! I’m always prepared if I spill coffee on my shirt, spill an entire cup of coffee in my teenagers lap, or if the twins need a change of clothing for whatever reason.




These mini disposable toothbrushes come in so handy!!  They are prepasted and don’t require any rinsing.  Perfect if you need to brush on the go.  I keep these in my car, my purse, and I never travel without them!

Speaking of my purse, check out what mom purse essentials smart moms keep in their handbag.  


Trunk Organizer

A trunk organizer will help keep everything neatly accessible.  This one is foldable, waterproof, and holds tons of stuff!  This is where I keep our change of clothes, umbrellas, jumper cables, etc.

car trunk organizer

handling home life simple schedule workbook free printable

Plastic Bags

We reuse the plastic bags that we get at the grocery store.  I use them to hold trash, muddy shoes after playing at the park, wet clothing, as a barf bag, liner for the potty chair we take in the car when potty training—definitely a must have for the car!

And if you feel like gettin your craft on, go here for an easy tutorial to make your own cute dispenser to hold  recycled plastic bags.  Much better than wadding them up and stuffing them in the glove box like I do!


First Aid Kit

With rambunctious boys, I stay prepared for bumps and bruises with a first aid kit.  I also suggest keeping fast melt or liquid Benadryl and Ibuprofen in case mom gets a headache.  Be sure to replace items once you use them and routinely check expiration dates.

Click here to read:  How to Organize Kitchen Drawers to Save Time in the Kitchen


car first aid kit

Check out this post to make your own DIY Dollar Store First Aid Kit for less than $10.


RELATED:  To be sure you are prepared for any middle of the night tummy illness, be sure to read, How to Make a Kid’s Nighttime Sick Kit.



I don’t go anywhere without wet wipes.  We use them to wash hands, faces, wipe spills from the seat—I even use them to clean my dash and interior when waiting in the school pick up line!

babyganic face and hand wipes


Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer is a must in my car since I’m kind of a germ-a-phobe!  I keep some in the car and in my purse.

hand sanitizer

RELATED:  Teach Kids What to do if Lost



With my allergies, I always have tissues nearby.  These soft packs are convenient because I can easily fit one in my center console.


Paper Towels

For the inevitable spills that will happen.  Always keep a roll of paper towels handy!


Snacks & Water

During the summer I don’t leave snacks in my car since it gets so hot in Texas.  Everything would be disgusting and gross.  However, I certainly have to be ready for the “I’m hungry!” from the back seat!

There aren’t many packaged foods the boys can eat due to their extreme food sensitivities so I try to make sure snacks and meals don’t have to happen in the car.  But I do keep these granola bars in my purse for a growling tummy that just can’t wait!

Related:  GMO Foods & Kids:  The Dangers and How to Protect Your Family


It may not be a good idea to leave plastic bottles of water in hot cars, so I make sure to fill up our reusable water bottles on the way out the door.  These are the ones I like for the twins and the big people in our family like these.

camelbak crocodile cup kids
The water bottles the twins use

water bottlesRELATED:  How to Make Easy Smoothies for Kids


These mess free markers are absolute genius!!!  Keeps the boys entertained if we have to wait in the car for any reason.

mess free markers

BONUS:  I make all different sizes of these and put them in the freezer.  Then the kids grab one to take in the car during the summer.  In the winter, I pop them in the microwave for hand warmers when having to be out on super cold mornings!


What other important mom items do you keep in your car? 

Be sure to share below in the comments! 

essential items to keep in the car for kids

—>Be sure to check out the Handling Home Life Pinterest board below for more ideas to help you handle your home, kids, and busy life! 

12 Essential Things Every Smart Mom Keeps in the Car
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