Posted by Sue on Aug 18, 2010
The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.
I’ve always envied people who put away everything from their vacations the evening they arrive home. The contents of my suitcase, the piles of CD’s and souvenirs I acquired while on vacation were still scattered on the living room floor a week after I returned. Do I need a vacation to unpack from my vacation?
No. What I need is a PLAN.
First, SCOOP: Put everything vacation-related in a box. Now, everything is together in one place, and the house no longer looks like a souvenir shop gone haywire. Instant relief.
As soon as possible sort the contents of the box into distinct categories:
Urgent: Anything that is time-restricted such as refunds, returns, thank you notes and photos.
Put Away: Including things that already have a home, such as presents meant for later and the hand knit sweater purchased for next winter; and things that need a home, such as the wood carving that you want to hang on the wall.
Fun Memory Stuff: How to keep on relishing the vacation long after it’s over? The beautiful shell from the beach and the coaster from a favorite brew pub remind us of the relationships we made, the sights that moved our hearts and the music that touched our souls. Joanna’s suggestion, “Create a place for vacation treasures that you can see every day.” I have a just the place – a shelf near my office desk. The treasures from my trip will remain there until they no longer sing to me, or until other treasures come along to replace them. Perfect.
Toss: Even though that brochure looked inviting when I picked it up, is it REALLY something that I’ll ever refer to again? And what about all those receipts? I don’t need them! Travel is meant to free us up and give us a new perspective, not drag us down.
Once you have the contents of the scoop box in categories, work on processing one pile at a time. If that feels too overwhelming, try working for just 10 minutes a day until everything is put away. Start with the most urgent items. If you find that you’re still struggling to get to the bottom of the piles after a couple weeks, invite a buddy in for coffee and clearing. You’ll have the fun of sharing some of your vacation stories.
Happy travels … and, happy returns!