If you do any searches about vacations, you can find post after post about how to pack and prepare to go on vacation. However, do you ever read up on how to unpack when you return home?
That can be just as time consuming as when you get ready to travel. When I go out of town with my family, I take steps to help the unpacking process go a little smoother. Here are some of them:
Prepare your laundry. When we travel, we always take more than one suitcase. The night before we head home, we turn one of them into our “laundry bag.” I take the time to turn all of the clothes right side out (so they are ready to be washed). I even fold and sort them in the suitcase – grouped by color for ease in getting them into the machine. Then, when we get home, I put the suitcase right by the laundry room and am ready to start washing them right away. Not only does it help get the laundry started more quickly, it prevents the clean clothes from needing to be washed as they absorb the smells from the dirty clothes.
Unpack right away. I know that when you walk in the door you are tired and just want to sit down. We spend 20 – 30 minutes when we get home and just unpack everything. Then, and only then, do we sit down. That way, everything is put away and ready to be used when we need it and we are not searching through bags to find a toothbrush or toothpaste. We even put the suitcases right back away. It helps our children (and even us) get back into our routine (which is needed after you’ve been gone for any period of time).
Clean up the vehicle. When we unload our vehicle, we also make sure to grab all of the trash, books, toys (and anything else), which might be lying on the van floor. It is so easy to just leave the trash in there, but by cleaning it up, you keep your vehicle clean (and smelling better if there is an half-eaten burger sitting in the back).
Clean out your purse and/or wallet. When you travel, you usually have several receipts, papers, maps, ticket stubs — you name it. These can end up in your purse or wallet. Just take a few minutes to clean these items out so that they don’t take up necessary space.
Make sure everyone helps. You all traveled, so you all should share the responsibility. It isn’t just “Mom’s Job” to unpack everything. If everyone jumps in to do their part, then these tasks won’t take long at all.
Do you have tips on how to unpack after your vacation?