Managing kid clutter by simplifying the carry-on
Yea....family vacation! You are so ready to get away.
But what about the kids' entertainment? You know that they will want to take (at minimum): a few stuffed animals, electronic devices, coloring books (and crayons), books (that they will never open, let alone read) and some of their most "favorite and just can't live without" toys.
We took a 5,500-mile trip two summers ago with a then 4-year-old and knew that we were going to need a strategy to ensure that the truck didn't end up looking like a garbage bag.
We only had one child, but this works even if you have more than one child:
We purchased a small organizer that we could attach to the back of the front seat. The organizer had a place for a drink or water bottle, several pockets for smaller items and a larger place for a tablet and/or small book.
Since we did eat in the truck, this was also a place where she would put her trash—and she would be responsible for her own trash.
We allowed her to also bring just one small backpack where she could keep everything else that she wanted to bring with her.
We kept it all very simple. We didn't allow anything that had a lot of small pieces. We kept the number of crayons and colored pencils limited to what would fit inside of a small zip-lock bag.
We all know that they want to take way more with them on vacation then they will ever use. (And then they will want new things while on vacation!) I suggest that you limit those purchases, too.
Vacation is about family time, fun and creating memories. Instead of taking a ton of things that will just clutter the car, play games that don't require "stuff" and enjoy each other's company on the road.