Are you planning to take a vacation soon? The end of August – Labor Day weekend – is a popular time for many people to get away. We often talk about packing your suitcase. You begin with:
1. Thinking about where you’re going
2. Checking the weather forecast
3. Thinking about the kinds of activities you’ll probably engage in while you’re away so that you bring appropriate clothes
4. Making a list
Well, what about when you pack up to come home? I just came home from a week away. Thankfully I remembered to check and double check everywhere I had stashed my belongings. I was flying home and the flight was due to leave around noon which was good because it gave me time to pack my suitcase and thoroughly check my room before I left. I think it can be a little easier if you’re driving. Then you can have a laundry bag in which to deposit the dirty clothes. Just tuck that bag into the car and you’re all set. It can go from the car to the washing machine! You can also have a tote bag or two to hold any trip souvenirs.
What about if you, like me, are flying home? Is there a way to pack your suitcase to separate the clean and still wearable clothes from those which need to be washed?
What do you do with the things you’ve accumulated during your vacation?
How do you make sure not to leave anything behind?
I start with an empty suitcase. I think some people sort of live out of their suitcase in the hotel room. I tend to unpack everything. I hang up those items which can be hung up and stash in a drawer my other clothes. Toiletries go in the bathroom. Desk items, like my computer, planner, and a notepad go on the desk.
Before I begin my packing I decide what I’m going to wear as I travel home. I lay those clothes aside, so they aren’t accidentally packed. Then I start my packing with my shoes on the bottom of the suitcase. I open the closet door and empty the drawers onto the bed. I add in the clothes which can be worn again or which I haven’t used during my vacation. In the interest of full disclosure, I tend to pack too many clothes! I tuck in the empty spaces any small items – things I may have purchased during my stay. I separate the clean clothes from the laundry by layering a dry cleaning bag on top of the clean clothes. I keep one or two dry cleaning bags in my suitcase just for this purpose. Any laundry goes into my suitcase next to last. This way it’s among the first to come out of my suitcase and straight into the laundry.
The last place I empty of my belongings is the bathroom. I double check the counters and any shelves to make sure I bring everything home with me. My laptop, charging cord, phone charging cord, planner, and notepad go into my laptop bag.
Before I actually leave my hotel room I give the drawers, the closet, the bathroom and the desk area a second look. I definitely don’t want to leave anything behind. If you’re traveling with children who have their own room follow the same procedure with them. Do you have a system for making sure you’ve packed everything as you travel home from vacation? I’d love to know about it!