The sucky thing about vacations is that the relaxing benefits you may have enjoyed from being away from home are often short-lived, because once you walk back in the door you’ve got an overload of domestic tasks to take care of: fifteen loads of must-do-immediately laundry, grocery shopping to fill your empty fridge, and a flurry of cleaning to deal with the mysterious and awful odor emanating from your empty (. . . or is it?) fridge.
Having just returned from a four night parents-only getaway (in lovely Tofino, BC, which I really can’t recommend enough), the only thing I really wanted to do yesterday was spend time with my son, but once he went to bed I couldn’t ignore the post-vacation detritus any longer. I had suitcases and dirty clothes to deal with; a house that had thankfully stayed in good shape thanks to the presence of Riley’s grandparents, but still needed some picking up before the work week started; and a week’s worth of groceries to buy. Not to mention eighty jillion digital photos to sift through and organize.
With this topic fresh on my mind, here are a few tips that may or not be useful for you the next time you leave town:
• Deal with photos incrementally. I take tons and tons of photos on vacation and the last thing I want to do once I’m back is deal with the massive iPhoto “Last Roll” library I create when I transfer everything from my camera to the computer. I’ve found that it’s much easier to take on the task of editing and organizing images if I do it pieces—for instance, by downloading photos about halfway through the trip, and selecting my favorites from that bunch. This has the added benefit of creating a partial backup, in case my camera—godforbid—gets stolen.
• Arrange to have groceries delivered the day you return. This is a fantastic idea that I sure wish I’d thought of before I got home. Amazon Fresh has recently started servicing my neighborhood (for no delivery fee! And no sales tax!), and I could have easily picked out everything we need for the week and had it delivered yesterday evening. Well, next time.
• Unpack your suitcase completely before you retire for the evening. I don’t know about you, but there seems to be a strange law in my household that has to do with leaving a partially-full suitcase on the bedroom floor: if it gets left there overnight, it will remain there until the next time someone needs to use it. In general, the sooner you put something away, whether it’s the kid’s Pack N Play or your hairdryer or the extra pair of old shoes you threw in the back of the car “just in case”, the better of a chance it has to escape the post-vacation Entropy Syndrome, whereupon it resists all attempts at order and discipline for months afterwards, until it becomes covered with cobwebs and dust and an ancient mummy’s curse is laid upon anyone who tries to move it.
Okay, what about you? Do you have any tips or tricks for dealing with the stuff you have to do once you get home from a vacation or business trip? Share, please.