Look into the back of the boots of a busy um’s car and there are usually two distinct types: the super tidy and the fashionably disorganised.

Whichever type you are, here are some tips on what should be in your car boot, so you don’t have to feel guilty if yours looks bare, and to give you the comfort to declutter if yours has one of everything in it.

1. A first aid kit

It’s amazing the weirdest ways that children can injure themselves – the car is no different. Have a portable first aid kit in your car packed with plasters, alcohol wipes and bandages etc just in case.

2. Spare scarves, hats and gloves

Obviously, this is during the colder months to stop whining children. There’s always the chance that something will get lost or left behind when you have a long day outdoors…get a few spares that stay in the car. If money is tight, the likes of the 99p stores and Poundland sell scarves, hats and gloves that won’t break the bank – for children and adults alike.

3. Wipes and tissues

From vomiting to spilt drinks and sticky fingers in the car, there should always be something to clean up. A pack of baby wipes is a must, even when the children have grown out of nappies – sometimes, older children can be a lot messier than the young!

4. Blankets

Like the spare scarves, hats and gloves, keeping warm is important when travelling in frequently changing weather. We all know and love British weather – sometimes, we get several seasons in one day, so preparation is key.

5. Drinks and snacks

Stock up on water, juice and snacks so you can keep hungry children under control in the car. There’s nothing more mind numbingly annoying than children who are bored and hungry…and stuck in slow-moving traffic.

6. Entertainment for the children

It’s good practice to pack an activity or two for the children (or encourage them to pack them) so they can keep themselves entertained. any parents these days depend on electrical gadgets (iPads and other tables), but a simple book, notebook and pencil can work wonders, too.

7. Lipstick, brush and a hair clip

Just in case you run out of the house looking worse for wear, it’s a good idea to keep some basic makeup in the car to add a bit of glamour before you drag yourself out of the car in the morning. Add to that a brush, comb and some hair clips for you and the children, and you’ll look presentable every day of the week.

8. Brollies

Umbrellas are often left out of cars unless we are welcomed by rain as we leave the house. But you know how reliable British weather is when it comes to rain. So, pack umbrellas for you and the brood so you don’t get stranded under a shop canopy or inside the car, waiting for a good moment to run!

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