Do you think you'll try the system for "loading up" any time soon? I have to let you know it's not perfect the first time... or three. As with any training, it does take consistency and time. Practice. And the first few times it is important and necessary for you to be present and give directions and correction. To be honest, you'll have to do this repeatedly forever, just less and less over time... that's life with children, right?
Once we arrive at our destination, we unload in a very specific order. The girls in the back row exit first, often while I'm unbuckling the baby. They stand near whichever tire I direct them to stand next to (no leaning on the van!). My oldest daughter often/usually climbs over and unbuckles the little guy. She usually exits before him. He almost always finds something to fiddle with and take a bit longer than he needs to get out. A guy thing? I don't know.
When out of the van, they know they are supposed to stand in order... either birth order or reverse birth order. Either is acceptable.
Once I've taken baby out of her car seat and put her in the sling, I hold the youngest's hand and the girls line up in reverse birth order behind him. We walk to the store this way. I do check my girls in line frequently for two reasons. First, to make sure they are still there! And, of course, to make sure they are walking in a straight line. Unfortunately, lines are very much part of our society, so as a homeschool family, I take such opportunities to teach them how to walk in a line.
I put the youngest in the seat of the shopping cart. If the store has a bench right at the front, he climbs onto it and I lift him from there. If not, I just lift him up from the ground. He's a pretty solid guy, so I like when there is a bench at the front of the store! My third daughter likes to ride on the opposite end of the card (standing on the undercarriage and holding on to the basket), but I don't often let her as it usually causes problems. So, most often, the girls line up in reverse birth order behind me and that's how we walk. It works. We get plenty of comments about "Mama Duck and her ducklings" and most of the time I don't mind at all. The comments that bug me are usually, "Man you've got YOUR hands full!" Sometimes it's said very kindly and I don't mind those. But there is a tone of voice that is problematic and I definitely don't prefer those comments (same words, just different delivery).
Next week: how I save money and aggravation while shopping without using any coupons!