If you've been holding onto summer vacation, you're not alone

With the Labor Day holiday coming up, for most families, the first weekend in September marks the last hoorah of the summer, and the start of the new school year. My oldest has been back to school for a couple of weeks already, but my youngest doesn't start back to school until after Labor Day, so we've been stuck in a weird routine for a couple of weeks. As much as I hate to see our summer break officially come to an end, I'm ready to have that set routine which I can rely on for the next several months.

Back to school time takes a lot of prep and organization. My kids are five and a half years apart, so I have one in elementary school and one in preschool. The school supplies and uniforms have been purchased, and I'm back to a regular school day routine, but there's one little thing that I didn't do when I made my back to school preparations. I forgot about my car!
We purchased a new car over the summer, and I just sort of skirted by, thinking that because it was new to us, I wouldn't really have to do anything to get it ready for the new school year. Boy, was I wrong! I forgot all about scheduled maintenance, and making sure that my kids had what they needed in the car for all of those pickup and dropoff trips!
Here are a few quick tips on how to get your car ready for the back to school grind:
Clean it
This probably goes without saying, but honestly, there is nothing more embarrassing than having wads of crumpled papers or trash fall to the ground as your kid gets out of the car in the drop off line at school. Be that parent who keeps their car clean, and smelling fresh! The people who load and unload your kids will thank you for it (and they'll never say it aloud, but your kids will thank you, too).
Make sure everything works properly
The school car line is not the place to be checking and making sure the seatbelts work properly, or that the child safety lock is on each back door. I check seatbelts, airbags, and car seat buckles on a regular basis- at least once a week, to make sure my kids are safe. I always check the safety locks so my toddler can't fling the door open when we're moving. I also make sure that the windows and doors are locked, so my kids can't roll windows down and smash their fingers. 
Bring a snack
I don't love my kids eating in my car (with leather interior), but I do make sure that I have a quick snack for each of my kids. Sometimes we get into the pickup line pretty early, and the little one gets hungry and antsy. To avoid meltdowns, I have a healthy snack packed and ready to hand back to her. I also bring along a granola bar and fresh water for my oldest, who is usually hungry and thirsty by the time he gets into the car.
Secure loose items
You never realize how something as simple as a kid's backpack can be dangerous in the back seat of a car. I have organizers on the backs of my front seats for loose items, such as tissues, wipes, small books, etc. I also have a rule that backpacks have to go at the kids' feet until we're home. Placing objects on the seat between two kids leads to pulling and tugging, and fighting, which is a major distraction to the driver, and can cause them to have an accident in a split second.
Make sure everything runs smoothly
As with any other time of the year, make sure your car is in good shape and is running smoothly. Take your car in for scheduled maintenance and make necessary repairs as needed.
Keeping your kids safe when you're carting them around is so important. If you take good care of your vehicle, you'll be able to rely on it for years to come.
Have a wonderful school year!
Brought to you by Victorville Motors.

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