Imagine this: you are returning from a wonderful time away from home. Whether you have been relaxing on the beach or hiking on some distant mountain, on your own or with family, there are certain things you’ll REALLY need to do before you start enjoying the afterglow. Tilo Flache, founder of Brighton-based professional organising company ClutterMeister, explains…
Whatever type of trip you return from, near or far, you’ll be faced with a luggage which holds a mixed mess of clothing, books, phone chargers, souvenirs, papers, pens and, depending of your holiday destination, a quantity of mud and sand. What you won’t find in there, though, is joy! Even if you are someone who loves packing before a trip, nobody likes to handle the mess you return with.
However, there is something to be said for taking care of the luggage right away! I hear you say “but I want to enjoy that holiday feeling some more! I’ll take care of that later”, and I would answer “I hear you.” Sadly, one of the most annoying things in the world is stuff sitting around for longer than necessary. Sooner rather than later you’ll need something in that luggage. The question is simple: would you rather find your phone charger in its proper spot or dig for it inside your disorganised luggage, creating even more mess in the process?
It only takes a moment to put all your clothes in the washing basket and you’ll find you are left with just a couple of items that can be quickly returned to their regular spot. Once that’s done, you’ll have one more reason to enjoy that holiday feeling.
If you’ve spent an extended amount of time in your car, a lot of things may have accumulated: the passenger space alone will now suddenly contain Tupperware, plastic bottles and packaging, rubbish in a bag, stuff that fell to the floor, wayward toys, and stray pieces of clothing. And that is without considering all the dust, mud or sand everyone has dragged in during the trip. Any constricted space we live inevitably fills up with the debris of life.
Do you want to be reminded of that task every time you step into your car? Probably not. There’s something to be said about making enough time to clear the mess before you start using your car again for regular runs.
Here’s a simple recipe to make your car ship-shape again:
- bring a rubbish bag and a box for items to take into the house
- extract the surplus contents from car
- separate into the bag or the box
- do NOT put the box down until you have returned everything to its rightful place!
- clean car, if necessary – which it probably will be!
On a general note, many cars really should be classified as moving clutter boxes. The next time you go to your car, take a good look around and consider some of the thoughts above. You might just find that there is a lot of clutter in your car that you could easily do without. Give it a go!
Once you have taken care of everything you brought back with you, maybe it’s time to look after your house as well. Even though leaving it empty for a while does not make it any worse for wear, you may want to give it a quick once-over. Keep your eyes, ears and nose open during this process. You’ll probably find nothing, but it will avoid surprises later. Having someone take care of your home while you are away is good, but they may not have been as thorough in their visits as they intended.
Another thing you may want to keep in mind when returning home: you are in a unique position to detect things that may have slipped your attention before you left! Remember that feeling when you arrived at your vacation spot, when everything felt airy and open, empty and clutter-free?
Take a moment to become aware of spaces in your home that need attention because you may just see them in a different light now that you have been away. There is no need to get going there and then, just take note of anything that seems off, and schedule a time to take care of it in the future.
Catching up with everyone
Finally, the most important lesson of all: once you have taken care of these little tasks, make time to arrive properly. Enjoy the fact that – except doing your laundry – there are no residual tasks related to your return home. Sit down, lean back and breathe.
This is the time to meet your friends and family, talk about your adventures, keep the relaxed feeling of being away from the daily routine going for another while. Listen to others’ tales of what has happened during your absence, and leave whatever you do for a living out of the equation for as long as you can. A vacation does not start and end at your front door, you can decide if that is the case.
Or you could decide that your vacation is not quite done yet…
If you have returned from your summer holidays and think you’d like a little help to get your home organised, you can find your local professional organiser here.