We just got back from a four day trip to the LA area for some great time with family and friends. I'm sorry that I had to skip two days of posting, but I promise to fulfill the 31 days anyway. At the last minute, the hubs was able to take some extra time and we extended our trip, which was awesome, but also meant packing in a hurry and not enough time to get posts ready for our absence. Boo (but yay for our trip)!
Now we're back and I thought I'd take the opportunity to talk about how I "recover" our family and home from an out of town trip. Here's what happened when we came home and unloaded the car...
Step One: The first thing I do is take each suitcase and unload it, room by room. A lot of the clothes go straight into the laundry basket, but the rest get put away and toiletries are accessible for bedtime.
Doing this step first accomplishes 3 tasks: (1) It clears stuff out of the suitcases so you don't feel like you are still at the hotel undergoing a constant search for what you need. (2) It allows you to take stock of who needs what (for example if your preschooler is out of clean undies and needs some for school tomorrow you know you need to do her laundry pronto - not that this happened.) (3) It gets the suitcases out of the living room and back into storage. Less clutter = less stress.
Step Two: Unload the food/dish supply. If you have young kids, you probably travel with a lot of snacks and plenty of cups and bottles. Toss what needs to be trashed and put the snacks away and dishes into the dishwasher. I like to run the dishwasher the night we get back if possible.
Step Three: Deal with the extraneous clutter. In our case, we came back with a lot of gifts so those need to be opened. Be sure to keep a list of who gave what so you can write thank you notes later!
Step Four: Clean the car! If you drove to your destination, as we did, the car is probably thrashed. Once it has been emptied of all the big stuff, you can clear out the trash from the trip. I took ours to get washed and vacuumed - well worth the extra cost in my opinion. Of course you could always do this yourself.
After everything is sorted and cleared out, I run loads of laundry as needed and do a general wipe-down/vacuum of the kitchen and living room. Especially since we just spent three days at the beach, the floor is a mess. We literally brought the beach back with us so there is sand everywhere. There you have it, the simple steps that I take to get us back in order after a trip.
If you missed any of the previous days in the series, check back here!