How to Unpack After A Trip
Why is it so hard to unpack? This post will give you tips on how to unpack after A trip. We’ve all been there, you finally get home from your amazing vacation and you throw your bag down. And it stays there for a few days or a few weeks before you finally get around to unpacking it and doing laundry. Often times when we get back from traveling, we just want to shower and sleep and unpacking falls to the wayside. Family travel is great, but thinking about all of the laundry you have to do when you get home is not.
But if you want to be better about unpacking after your next trip, we’re here to give you some unpacking tips that will make coming back to real life after a trip easy.
1. Limit what you pack in the first place
The easiest way to limit the amount of laundry you have to do after a trip is to pack less before you even leave. At She Packs Lite, we’re all about packing less in order to save space in your suitcase and to reduce the amount of bags you have to carry, but it helps you out after you get home as well. If you limit your packing list to our travel capsule wardrobe model, you’ll not only find that you have a lot more room in your bag, but you also won’t have a mountain of dirty laundry to get through when you arrive home.
2. Put dirty laundry in the laundry room right away
Another way to make the unpacking process as easy as possible is to just tackle it right away. It can be tempting to leave your bag in the corner of your room after you get home, but leaving your suitcase in a remote corner of your home only allows you to ignore it longer. The next thing you know, it’s been two weeks and you still haven’t unpacked.
That’s why as soon as you get home, you should, at the very least, get started and put all of the dirty laundry and sort them by different color. This will most likely be the bulk of what you have packed in your suitcase, so unpacking the rest after you remove the dirty clothes and get them in the washing machine should be a breeze.
3. Keep clean clothes separate from dirty clothes
If you’re a frequent traveler, a laundry bag is probably on your packing list before you even leave your house. A laundry bag is an important thing to pack, especially if you’re packing light. It will allow you to keep your clean clothes separate from dirty clothes while you’re on your trip, and it’s also a great way to organize when you’re getting ready to come home. If you end up not wearing a few items, you can keep them in separate bags to minimize the amount of laundry that you have to do at home.
Our favorite that we use on every trip is the Taskin Compression Packing Cube because the cube has a side for both clean and dirty laundry.
If you don’t have a laundry bag, a plastic bag also works just as well for dirty laundry. Next time you’re shopping and get a nice, sturdy plastic bag, keep it for laundry on your next trip.
4. Organize your suitcase before you arrive home
Another simple way to make unpacking easier is to do some organization before your reentry day. At the end of a trip, it’s tempting to throw everything in your suitcase and force it to shut so you don’t have to do any folding. However, this puts unnecessary strain on your suitcase zippers and can make them wear out faster. It also makes the unpacking process a nightmare.
If you find that the majority of your clothes are dirty and only a few are clean, you could switch it up and use your laundry bag to keep the clean clothes separate from the dirty laundry. Then go back and fold or roll all of your dirty clothes so they fit nicely in your suitcase. It doesn’t take much effort and it will make opening your suitcase at home much less overwhelming.
5. Create rewards for yourself
If you’re finding it really hard to motivate yourself to unpack after returning from your trip, create a reward system to keep yourself invested in unpacking. This can be as easy as rewarding yourself with a shower after you pull all of the dirty laundry out of your suitcase and putting it in the laundry room. Some people also like to put on a TV show while they’re unpacking and use the commercial breaks as a challenge to see how much you can get done before the show comes back on. Then you can catch up on the shows you missed while you were gone and unpack at the same time.
6. Use clothes to protect more fragile souvenirs – but don’t forget you put them there
If you’re one of the types of people that like to buy souvenirs everywhere you go, finding room for them while you’re packing to go home can be challenging. Some things are fragile, but keeping them in bulky boxes that you get from a souvenir shop can take up a lot of space. Use the volume of stuff in your bag to your advantage by wrapping souvenirs in clothes. Just make sure you remember which shirt contains the breakable trinket so you don’t shake it out over the laundry room floor.
7. Leave your suitcase somewhere where you can see it
One of the best tips for making unpacking easy is to leave your unpacked suitcase somewhere where you can’t ignore it. When you put it in your closet or another room with a closed door, it’s easy to ignore. Something as simple as leaving the suitcase in plain sight will motivate you to take care of it and get it unpacked.
8. Use up toiletries before you return home
If you’ve read some of our other packing guides, you know that we often suggest packing travel-size toiletries or buying them at your final destination. If you limit personal items like shampoo and conditioner to travel sizes, you’ll have less to pack when you’re leaving for your vacation, and bonus points, you won’t have to pack them on the way home. Or conversely, leave your toiletries packed so you can just grab and go each time!
9. Inspect everything that comes out of your suitcase
Hopefully, this never happens to you, but some hotel rooms have been known to have bed bugs, and if you don’t realize it until after you leave, you could be bringing them home to infest the rest of your house. Taking a quick look at everything that you take out of your suitcase can save you a lot of trouble later on. Lip balms left in pockets that go through the washer and dryer can also ruin clothes, so it’s a good idea to take those out before you do any laundry.
10. Leave some things packed
If you’re a veteran traveler, you probably have your go-to suitcase ready at all times. If there are things that you always pack for trips, but don’t use in daily life, just leave them in your suitcase for your next upcoming trip. Then you’ll have less to unpack when you get home and if you get a phone call from your friend asking you on a road trip last minute, you’ll be able to pack your bag quickly and get going!
FAQ: How to Unpack After a Trip
How can I make unpacking easier?
One way to make unpacking easier is to pack less in the first place. If you bring less on the packing side, you’ll have less to do on the unpacking side. Organizing your suitcase prior to coming home will also help you unpack efficiently once you’re back home.
Why is unpacking so hard? How to Unpack After a Trip
Unpacking can be hard because we try to fit too much in our suitcases. Even if you do pack light, souvenirs and clothes that you buy while traveling can take up a lot of space and make unpacking feel overwhelming when we finally get around to it.
How do I motivate myself to unpack?
Creating rewards for yourself while you’re unpacking can help you stay motivated once you start. Setting small goals can also help to break up unpacking tasks and help it feel less overwhelming.