Summertime brings long, sunny days and that summer vacation you’ve looked forward to all year long. As exciting and relaxing as vacations can be, inevitably, the day comes when it’s time to head back home. The last day of vacation is full of packing and cleaning up and often, a long trip home. No one’s happy about leaving. Even though it’s always good to get back to familiar surroundings, there’s still the chore of getting everything unloaded, cleaned up and put away.
From unloading all your stuff to washing and drying load after load of laundry, there’s still a lot to do after the tiring trip home and it’s easy to just put it off. But as much as you dread getting to work on your unpacking, it’s going to be just as challenging tomorrow, so you might as well get on with it. Make the post-vacation wrap up easier with these handy unpacking tips.
Unpacking Tips for Easier Post-Vacation Wrap-Up
Unpacking after vacation is tough enough, so don’t add to the work by leaving chores left undone before your departure. Along with all that vacation planning and making sure you have everything packed and ready to load, make sure you put aside some time to get your home cleaned; remember to check if everything is in working order before you leave for vacation.
From a cleaning standpoint, dust, vacuum and perform your routine cleaning tasks throughout the house. Wash, dry, fold and put away any laundry. Also make sure the kitchen is spotless to deter any pests that want to “vacation” at your place while you’re away. If you need some help getting your home clean before you leave, The Maids is always ready to lend a hand.
From a safety and maintenance standpoint, set your thermostat for efficient cooling and turn off the main water supply (just in case!). To keep your home and belongings secure, double-check all windows and doors to make sure they are locked. Set up a few lights on timers, so you’re not announcing your absence.
Post-vacation Unpacking Strategy
Along with your pre-vacation cleaning and decluttering, be sure to create a strategy for when you eventually get back home. You don’t want to scramble after a long day on the road—you want to have a plan laid out ahead of time so you can keep the momentum going for unloading and unpacking. These tips will help you unpack faster, create less clutter and keep your home as clean as you left it.
Make Inspection Part of Unloading
From sand and dirt too bedbugs and other critters, there are a lot of things you can bring home from vacation that you just don’t want in your nice, clean home. Inspect suitcases and dirty laundry totes carefully before you bring them inside. Grab a clean tote or basket from inside to hold your post-inspection gear and clothing. Shake out any sand and dirt from toys, clothes and gear. Wipe down your suitcases and inspect the pockets and sections with a flashlight for any signs of bedbugs or other pests. Once you’re done, haul your baskets full of stuff that passed inspection inside.
Take All Clothing Directly to the Laundry Room
When you’re on vacation, you’re focusing on fun and sun, not keeping up with dirty laundry. Forget trying to sort out what’s clean and what’s dirty, just wash everything so everyone’s clothes are nice and clean for a fresh post-vacation start. This may be one of your least favorite unpacking tips, but it’s worth the effort. Not only will everything be clean, you also get another chance to get rid of any pests, dirt and mildew you may have missed during your initial inspection.
Unload Items Where They Belong
Beach toys, chairs, coolers and all your other vacation gear should be cleaned and put where they belong. If you store these items in a storage building or garage, don’t even bother bringing them inside your home; take them directly to their storage space. Unpack toiletries in the bathroom and put them where they belong.
Declutter While You’re Unpacking
We’re all familiar with packing up for vacation and discovering floats with holes, broken beach chairs and other vacation gear that are past their prime. When you’re sorting out your outdoor items and performing your initial inspection, check that everything is in good working order. If something is broken or otherwise unusable, repair it or get rid of it and make a note to replace it. Those broken seashells, brochures and other “souvenirs” from your vacation are probably going to just end up as forgotten clutter, so out they go.
Make Using Your Unpacking Tips a Family Affair
Unpacking after vacation is never fun. Make unpacking easier by making it a family effort. Get the kids involved by letting them fill your totes and baskets with post-inspection clothes and gear. Older kids can help clean up all the trash out of the car, vacuum up any dirt and sand and help sort things out for inspection.
Let kids help you haul the chairs, toys and other gear to the garage and ask the to assist you in putting everything away. You can assign unloading items that belong in the bathrooms to one child and laundry duty (at least the hauling inside part!) to the other. You can even make the whole process a game or competition to keep things fun.
How to Get Motivated to Unpack as Soon as You Get Home
Even with a great unpacking strategy and helpful unpacking tips, it’s tempting to put off unloading, inspecting, cleaning and all those other tasks. But if you don’t do it as soon as you get home, you’re going to dread doing it tomorrow just as much, if not more.
Besides, if you’re not following our unpacking tips, you’re more likely to haul that dirt, sand and other non-desirables inside and create unnecessary clutter in your tidy home. Get your unloading and unpacking out of the way and reward yourself and your helpful family with a special dinner or some other incentive.