15 things you need in your mom car
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As a mom, I’m in my car A LOT and need to have all of the car essentials ready. 

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 are practically living in our car!  

Whether it’s a road trip or daily shuttling around, there are some car essentials that I make sure to have.  

This isn’t an exhaustive list of all the necessary things you need to have in your car for every possible situation or emergency, but these are some of the car essentials 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!

15 Things moms should keep in the car


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


This post may contain affiliate links meaning that I may earn a small percentage (at no extra cost to you) if you make a purchase through a link that I share.  See full disclosure.


Car Essentials 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!

mom car essentials: stain remover wipes

Change of clothes for everyone

car essentials for the mom car


I use these roll up space saving bags to keep a change of clothes in.  These take up very little room 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.


Space saving vacuum bags to save space in the car trunk



Seat Protectors

Seat protectors are an absolute necessity if you want to keep your car interior from being marred by kids’ car seats.  And to keep little shoes from ruining the back of seats, you need kick mats.  

The kick mats also serve as a back seat organizer.  You can store all of the car essentials like sippy cups, water bottles, umbrella, toys, and it can hold a tablet as well.  


Must have car items


Mom Car Essentials: Toothbrush

These mini disposable toothbrushes come in so handy!!  They are pre-pasted 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: 

Essentials Smart Moms Keep in their Hand Bag.


wisp toothbrushes for on the go: car essentials


Car Essentials: 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.  I’ve used this in the trunk of my car and in the back of my SUV and it fits nicely in both.  


car trunk organizer: car essentials for the mom car


But, for the SUV, I prefer a trunk organizer like this one.  

mom car essentials: trunk organizer

mom car essentials

Plastic Bags: Mom Car Essentials

I save the plastic bags from the grocery store and keep several in my car. 

They can be re-purposed for trash, muddy shoes, soiled clothing, and even a barf bag in a pinch!  


First Aid Kit: Car Essentials

A basic first aid kit is a must-have for the mom car.  I like to put my own first aid kit together so I can leave out the things we wouldn’t need.  

And since I have no concept of the passage of time, I use my handy-dandy label maker so I know when I last updated the kit. 

You want to routinely check expiration dates for the items in your kit and replace anything past it’s date.  


mom car essentials: first aid kit


If you’re feeling crafty, 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


Mom Car Essentials:  Wet Wipes

I don’t go anywhere without wet wipes.  We use them to wash hands, faces, wipe spills from the seat…a must have in your mom car! 

babyganic face and hand wipes for the mom car


Dusting Mitt

Keep a dusting mitt in your car to clean while waiting


I can’t stand a dusty, dirty car interior so I keep a dusting mitt in my console. 

When I’m waiting for a kid, I can quickly wipe all of the interior surfaces and keep things nice and clean! 


Hand Sanitizer: Mom Car Essentials

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

hand sanitizer: mom car essentials

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

They also hold a lot more than those tiny little pocket packs of tissues.  

Paper Towels are Mom Car Essentials

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


Necessary items to keep in your mom car


RELATED:  Why Your House Still Doesn’t Look Clean


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!

During the winter months, I leave a box of these granola bars in the car.  


mom car essentials: granola bars


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: mom car essentials
The water bottles the twins use

RELATED:  How to Make Easy Smoothies for Kids


Now that we have a DVD player in the mom car, the boys can watch their favorite movies on long car rides.  But, when they get tired of the screen, I have mess free markers to the rescue! 

These mess free markers are absolute genius!!! 

The kids can color in the coloring book but the markers won’t leave a mark on anything other than the book.  

mess free markers: mom car essentials


CLICK HERE TO READ:  The #1 Solution to Easily Organize DVDs




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

Be sure to share below in the comments! 


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2 thoughts on “15 Car Essentials Every Smart Mom Keeps in the Car”

  1. Genius to keep a dusting rag or mitt already in the van. You are so right that often we are just sitting in the car or van waiting. It the mitt is already there we can get the job done!:) Love it!

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