Wednesday, October 05, 2011
Creating Efficiency in the Car
I don't know about you, but I spend a tremendous amount of time in the car. I don't use a cell phone in the car as others do in the name of getting things done and efficiency. When I'm out, I want to be phone-free and computer-free. I much prefer to listen to the radio, talk with my kids and their friends who are along for the ride, and simply concentrate on driving.
This year I've created a "Car Office" and a month into the new school year I am happy to say that it is working well.
What should everyone have in their car office:
A File Cabinet: When Office Depot was running a 100% Worklkife Rewards promotion on plastic file boxes with a nice closed caddy on top, I picked one up to complete my "car office." I immediately hung hanging folders and put in files for things I need to keep organized in the car. I have folders for client errands. I also have folders for each type of coupon circular. I no longer cut coupons I might use because it was no longer efficient for me. I now cut just the coupons I plan to use right there in my car and when the coupons in the circular expire, into the trash bag they go (yes, I should probably have a trash bag and a bag for recycling. There is always room to improve). I have folders for Groupons, Smart Source, Red Plum, Random Stuff, and P&G.
Plastic Bags: These are great for throwing away dirty trash when you are out. They hang nicely on the hooks for garbage bags. Next step: encouraging the kids to use them better. One of my 5 minute tasks I like to go is purge the car every other week of any trash including work they brought home but didn't really value enough to get inside the house. I'm not the most sentimental type. A few art projects can be retained and notebooks that are valuable. The rest can't take space up. . . especially not car space!
Office Supplies: In the caddy at the top of my file cabinet are some office supplies. I keep additional supplies in one compartment in the car. I have a pair of scissors, especially important for last second coupon cutting. I have a few pens. I keep a stack of business cards around. I'd be remiss without a roll of tape and some sticky notes. Keeping office supplies nearby is important for me to function optimally. I used to have an open box which was easy to access, but the kids would "borrow" and I could never find what I needed when I needed it. Plus, it created more cleaning work.
A Binder: My binder fits in the file cabinet nicely. I like to have some paper (contained in the binder) for jotting down thoughts and ideas that come to me and making lists. The binder is great to store things that I use so often that I don't want to play with file folders. Things like a school calendar, a phone list, etc are all in my binder.
Rubbermaid Box: I'm the type of mom that cannot get out the door with a the things I need. A rubbermaid box is my friend. In it I keep things I won't get out the door with but that I should have. The rubbermaid box is a great place to keep some warm blankets for the winter when the kids are freezing and the heat hasn't kicked in yet. It is a great place to keep a change of clothing for kids that might need one. It is a great place to keep a soccer ball, some coloring books, and some small games for when we are stuck on an errand. I probably should add a first aid kit too.
GPS: Goodbye piles of maps and yellow pages. This is an amazing invention! Try 1saleaday.com to nab an inexpensive one. You don't need to pay retail.
Other Nice Things to Have: A few CDs, a tehillim/bencher/siddur, a little extra change, a few toiletries, some plastic silverware and a can opener.
Please share your "car office" tips. I know I'm not the only parent trying to make my carpools the most efficient possible.