Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes I struggle with what I call Re-Entry.
We are very lucky that we get to travel often to visit with family out of state. And I’ve gotten really good at the getting-ready-and-packing / coming-home-and-unpacking process over the years. But with this weekend marking the unofficial start of summer, I’m out of practice, it seems, as my brain was total mush when we got home today.
So, my first hour home was spent reminding myself how to manage Re-Entry, after a weekend away. Here’s what works for us, maybe it will work for you to! First things first (30 minutes):
- (5 minutes) Unload dirty clothes and start a load of laundry. (We carry a dirty laundry bag when we travel, to facilitate that first load of laundry when we get home and also to keep any left-over clothes we’ve packed smelling fresh.)
- (1 min) Drink a really big glass of cold water. I don’t know about you, but I always seem to arrive home from trips slightly dehydrated.
- (5 – 10 minutes) Unload the car all the way. Yes, ALL THE WAY.
- (10 minutes) Put away perishable food from the cooler, grab a snack or start dinner (or lunch or breakfast, depending on the clock). Like the commercial says, You aren’t you when you’re hungry. I find it easier to manage the unloading / unpacking / putting away tasks when I’m not also famished.
- (5 minutes) Check the snail mail box, and any voice mail messages.
The next 45-60 minutes:
- (5 minutes) Clean up from your snack / meal.
- (10-20 minutes) Unpack your suitcases / bags, put away clean, un-worn clothes, shoes and toiletries. Yes, AWAY.
- (5 minutes) Put the bags / suitcases away. Yes, AWAY!
- (10 minutes) Depending on how you manage your tech, check your emails and such, but just for emergencies. This is not time to get work done, just to make sure there’s nothing that needs your immediate attention.
- (10 minutes) Move that laundry through the process. I didn’t have time for cleaning on Friday, before we left town. So this afternoon, I had a mound of clean but unfolded laundry to tackle before I could move today’s laundry along.
- Head to the grocery? That’s where I’m headed. I am loathe to get back in my car, but we need some staples for the work and school week ahead, so I’m off.
- If you’ve been on a long road-trip, or if there was a beach involved, stop off at a car wash and give your car a wash and your rugs a vacuum.
So, there you go. If you struggle with that first hour at home after a weekend trip, keep this list in mind. And if you happen to have helpers with the unpacking process, this list will help you delegate tasks!
Happy and Safe Travels!