While visiting a few weeks ago, my father commented about the messy state of my car. He said, "My car never looked like this when you were little. Your mother's car never looked like this." I replied very quickly: "It's because WE took the BUS to school!" So, I guess my excuse for a messy car is somewhat valid living in a town with no public school buses, plus the fact that I shuttle my preschooler to not one but TWO different schools, meaning he eats lunch in my car most days of the week. So, yes, there is often a large amount of papers, books, empty food containers, crayons, art projects, toys, and more floating around in my little Toyota.
So, perhaps it was kismet that the good folks at Diono reached out to me to review their line of organizing products and travel accessories for cars!
Diono's Pop Up Trash Bin (around $7), is a collapsible, portable storage bag that pops open to hold garbage when you need it. It's just the right size for on-the-go mess, and there's a drawstring to keep everything inside. You could also use it for storing or toting loose toys, but I have it in my car ready to receive our next set of snack wrappers!
The Diono Stuff 'n Scuff (around $8) is made to protect the back of your driver's or passenger seat from little one's kicks, mud, etc. It's made out washable, waterproof fabric and has a small pocket at the top that could hold sunglasses, crayons, wipes, or some other handy objects (which in my car are nevertheless on the floor). I found it a little difficult to close the Stuff 'n Scuff after I opened it, but I think once you've got it set up in your car, you wouldn't take it off to store it anyway.
My favorite is the Diono Travel Pal (around $15, and well worth it!) which fits between your car seats to keep books and toys neat and organized. It's clearly something that I've needed for a very long time, but I never knew it existed! It's a soft, fairly-sized storage bin with lots of pockets for small items such as pencils or hand sanitizer; it even has a small zippered pocket for tiny things like loose hair clips and the lucky pennies my kids love to find. There are two insulated drink holders, and the whole thing is waterproof, which would have been helpful that time my daughter spilled a whole cup of milk in the back seat!
Diono products can be purchased at such stores as Amazon.com, Bed Bath and Beyond, buybuy BABY, and Walmart. For details and more information about Diono's line of travel accessories, visit http://us.diono.com/travel.
Jennifer Niederhoffer is the founder of Impress Media, an independent lifestyle & entertainment public relations and editorial services firm. You can follow her on twitter @impressmedia or @themommysreview.