Here we are in the beginning of the school year and many of you are probably saying: “I just got home. Now what?” Do we really expect you to just jump right in as if nothing happened? As if you didn’t just come home from a trip? From the best vacation?
You’ve just spent time away from your home on a journey. You saw new places, experienced new smells and sounds and suddenly, just like that, Bam! You’re Home! The research tells us we are happiest before our trip, anticipating what’s to come. But afterward? Not so much.
But, there are things you can do when you come back from a vacation to keep up the momentum! So spend a couple of days recovering from jetlag and doing laundry in that not-quite-there stupor, then start getting excited for what to do next.
I just got home
Who hasn’t had the feeling before…I just came back home. My vacation is over. Now back to reality; back to the routine. Man, sometimes it is such a bummer. People talk about vacation blue or post vacation depression. This post is not about that. This is about what to DO when you get back!
Bonus: you will be happy if you do these things!
Embrace your fresh eyes
When you come back from a trip, you suddenly notice all these things that you took for granted previously. Your neighborhood may seem different (or the same). Does the the traffic seem worse or better? Are the smells you walk by pleasant?
You might be more aware of things you had previously chosen to ignore- the pile of junk in the garage; the litter in the street; the people rushing around.
Does it bother you?
Even if we are plunged back into our daily routine, there is an opportunity to CHANGE because you suddenly have the awareness to make that a possibility. This is exciting! But what can you realistically do about it?
Decluttering After a Trip
The absolute best thing to do when you get back is take a look at your personal living situation. This is the area in your life where most likely you have the most control and ability to make changes.
Being on the road, you get used to having less things, living out of a suitcase or backpack. Suddenly when you get back, your home may feel cluttered or organized all wrong.
Use the momentum from your trip to declutter. Depending on the time that you have to put into this endeavor, you may want to Marie Kondo your whole space, or just pick a few areas to focus on.
Is your closet overflowing with things you never wear? Try to pare down. Use whatever method works for you.
- The “Have I worn it in the past year?” Method No…get rid of it.
- The KonMari method “Does it spark joy?” No…get rid of it.
- The Get Rid of One Thing Every Day Method – simple as that
- Build a Capsule Wardrobe – Figure out a selection of items that will work together in various combinations and get rid of the rest (or box to re-examine a few months later).
While you’re at it, commit to purchasing longer lasting sustainable clothing so that you don’t end up repurchasing just to fill a bare closet. Happy bonus: it’s good for the environment!
Rearranging After a Trip
One of the most powerful changes I personally love to make after a trip, especially an extended one, is rearranging furniture. You don’t have to move everything around to make a big difference in how a room visually appears.
Here are some simple possibilities:
- Try turning a piece of furniture 90 degrees. This works especially well in pieces that are placed in a corner.
- If you have more that one couch or armchair, switch them around. Even if after a couple of weeks you go back to your original arrangement, you will feel a change in your space by viewing it from a different angle than you normally do.
- Hang up a new piece of artwork! So easy, especially if you brought back something you can hang from your trip. It doesn’t have to be a print or painting, you can even hang a small rug or tapestry.
- Look in your closets for those decorative items you never use. Bring them out and rotate a few.
Notice that none of these things cost money! But you will see a visual difference in your space which can remind you of your trip or excite you for being back home.
Plan Your Next Trip
Now this may seem ridiculous, but trust me it is not! Remember what we first said, we are happiest anticipating our trip.
So get planning. Plan out when you can next take vacation days. Figure out where it would be fun to go in the time-frame and season of the year you are looking at. Start thinking through alternative itineraries.
Worried about the budget? Check out this post on making travel affordable. And guess what? If it’s too far out, or you really don’t have the funds to think about a vacation, think of it as pre-pre-planning.
Last Tip: I love keeping a few backup itineraries around of places we would like to visit. Even if it’s two, five, ten years from now. It’s a great starting point to look at one of these theoretical itineraries when you do get to travel planning!
Then begin anticipating your next vacation. It’s only a little while away and in between you have time to reorganize, declutter and improve your home environment.
Let’s Recap- Coming Back Home from a Trip
Repeat after me: Declutter. Rearrange. Plan a Trip. It really is that easy!
How do you feel coming back from a vacation? Are you a homebody and happy to be back in your bed? Or does your wanderlust never seem to stop?
*All pictures from our 2018 trip to Destin, Florida.