Get Organized After Returning Home From Vacation

Getting organized after returning home from your holiday is probably the one thing you dread the most (as well as going back to work), but in the long run, this can really help you get back to normality without the stress of dragging it out things that inevitably will need to be done anyway.

How do you get organized after returning home from your vacation?

In a nutshell here are our tips to get organized:

Before Going
on Vacation
After Returning Home
from Vacation
Home maintenanceFood shopping & fuel up
Fuel upUnpack
Preparing freezer mealsDo the laundry
Up to date laundryDownload photos & videos
Neighborly requestsSeparate your gifts for
your family & friends
To-Do list
when you get back
And relax!
(once everything is done)

The workload can be halved if you organize some things before you leave for your holiday and things to do when you’re back. Let’s get into these tips further and we’ll share why we think this is something you should dive straight into rather than avoid.

Things to do BEFORE you leave for vacation

Home Maintenance

We think that this is one of the best things you can do before leaving for your holiday. Trust us, your future self will thank you! There’s nothing worse than returning from a trip (possibly slightly jet lagged), tired, stressed, and overwhelmed with the mountain of things that need to get done. If you can tidy your home (that means inside and out) before you leave, you’ll also come back more relaxed knowing you’re coming back to a tidy home. So, what things should you make sure you do?

  • Dust and vacuum the house
  • Mow the lawn and tidy the garden
  • Put on clean bed sheets
  • Take the bins out

Fuel Up

This is particularly useful if you’re going to be traveling to the airport by driving there. It’s better to fuel up the day before than on the day – it’s just one less thing to think about, especially if you’re running late to the airport.

Preparing Freezer Meals

A few days before you’re due to travel, it’s always a good idea to cook some meals which you can easily freeze. We’d say cook enough that will last you (and your family) a couple of days. It’s one less thing to worry about when you get back as your time will be spent on other things.

The last thing you want to worry about is cooking. I mean, you could cheat and get takeaways but if you’ve just spent a fortune on a holiday and you’re wanting to start saving money again, cooking and freezing meals is probably your best cost-effective option.

Up to Date Laundry

A day before your trip, make sure you do all the laundry and ironing including all your work clothes. This will make it easier on your return that all of this is ready to go when needed, especially if you’re returning to work quite quickly after getting back.

Doing it a day before and not earlier means you can wash and iron as much as possible before you leave so there’s less to add to your vacation laundry.

Neighborly Requests

If you have a trusted neighbor, then they can be a great asset to helping you out a little with a few things if you’re willing to give them a spare set of keys to your house:

  • Ask your neighbor to collect and pile up your post
  • Ask your neighbor to water your plants
  • Ask your neighbor to put some milk and bread in the fridge (if they don’t mind of course) for when you return

To-Do List when you get Back

You don’t really want to think about what needs doing after returning from your vacation, however, for most of us, it’s the harsh reality that we do have to get back our normal routine.

And one thing that can do it as less painful as possible is to make a list of to-do items and stick it on your fridge ready for when you return. Then you don’t need to go rooting around in your diary or calendar searching for the things you needed to remember to do upon returning from your holiday.

Things to do AFTER Returning Home from Vacation

Food Shopping & Fuel Up

So, the first thing you want to do when you clear customs and get your luggage is to head straight home. However, if you’re not too jet-lagged, we’d recommend popping to your local supermarket before going home.

It’s so much easier to do the food shop beforehand than going home. Snuggling onto your sofa or taking a nap – does this sound familiar? Now, are you telling me you’re going to get up and go and do the food shopping then? Highly unlikely!

It’ll probably more likely mean you’ll be ordering takeaways for days before you can be bothered to do the food shop. So, just do it! You’ll thank yourself after!

Also, while you’re at the supermarket, go and fuel up your car. So, that’ll be ready for whenever you need it like for work or visiting your family and friends or just in general.


As soon as you’re back to your (tidy) house, get straight to unpacking.

  • First, unpack all your clothes (whether dirty or not), and chuck this into a laundry pile.
  • Second, unpack and put away your toiletries, shoes, travel documents, and any other items in their designated places.
  • Third, throw away any rubbish gathered in your suitcases e.g. receipts.
  • Finally, give your suitcases a quick wipe down and store them away.

Do the Laundry

Once you’ve unpacked everything, if you have a lot of laundry either because you were away for a while or you’re a family with lots to wash, we’d recommend heading to a launderette (even if you do have your own washing machine and dryer) and just getting all the laundry done in a couple of hours – washed and dried.

Although you’ll have to pay for this, it’s still worth doing just to take advantage of the bigger machines and the number of machines to get this boring job done as soon as possible. And if you don’t want to do it yourself, you also have the option of leaving your laundry there to be done. Of course, this comes at an extra cost. Then get to the ironing when you get home.

Download your Photos & Videos

Other items to unpack also include your camera. Downloading your photos and videos from your camera as well as your phone early on is very useful. Your memory of the places you visited on what days will be a lot better too so it’ll be easy to organize your photos and videos easily.

Finally, going on vacation ultimately means you’ll bring back gifts for your family and friends. When you unpack your suitcase, make sure you put all your gifts aside, then separate them into different bags.

If there are loads of gits you’ve brought back with you, it’s also useful to label up the gits with who they are for. I know the last trip we went on we had to do exactly that as we knew weren’t going to see any of our family and friends for a while so instead of forgetting which gift was for who, we already organized that on day 1 from returning from vacation.

…And Relax!

If you can do the suggested actions above, we really think it can help you have a less stressful beginning to your vacation as well as when you return. If you can manage to do the return activities within a couple of days depending on what time you can get home, that’s awesome.

Especially, if you return just before a weekend, it’s great to get everything done before the weekend so you can actually get proper rest and relax and mentally prepare for getting back to normality.

For most of us, this means work. WE PROMISE YOU, you will feel so much better having done it. Many people will put off doing things like this putting it off for days or even weeks, but it only drags out the inevitable. It all still needs to be done.

It’ll also always be in the back of your mind, whereas if it’s already done you have a clear head and can back to normality more efficiently.

And the Moral of the Organized Vacation Story is…

Planning and organizing yourself (and your family) before starting your vacation is always going to be a winner! Overall, it’ll mean you will be less stressed, more efficient, and mentally prepared to get back to normality after your vacation.

Re-establishing your routine will be hard anyway, don’t make it worse. Go ahead and do it, your future self will certainly thank you!

We hope these tips will help you get organized. If you’re interested in reading about some other tips for organization for traveling or any other topics we’ve recently written about here are some of our picks that we hope you will enjoy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Content