We just got back from an awesome trip seeing college friends. I love seeing family and friends, but do not look forward to coming home and putting everything away. We travel a decent amount, and I have this packing thing down! (If I do say so myself!) I know what to take, and how much, and where to put it into a car. We have a great system in place.
However, unpacking and putting things away is another story.
In the last year I have done a better job of having the kids put their toys and books away the night that we get home, and that definitely helps the de-cluttering of the living room. My main problem now is getting the suitcases completely emptied and put away. There have been times when 2 weeks later the suitcase is still sitting in our bathroom begging for someone to take the final five things out and put it safely back into the closet.
So this trip I set out to do better.
I had everyone bring everything from the car into the living room and we put things into piles. We had a kid pile, mom and dad pile, basement pile and upstairs pile. Then I split everyone up. Luke and Nate were in charge of putting the sleeping bags, toys and games away in the basement. The girls were in charge of putting away the toys and books upstairs. I brought down my laundry sorter basket and went to work on the dirty clothes. I emptied out all the dirty clothes and sorted them into the basket. I then made piles for each kid with their leftover clean clothes, shoes, and toiletries. Then I had each kid come down and put their pile away. As each person was taking care of their tasks I put away the food bag, pool bag and attacked the rest of the random bags. As I unpacked I put the item on the stairs that lead to their home. Then as each person finished their pile there was a new one waiting for them to put away. Nate did a great job of keeping everyone on task and alerting them when the next pile was done.
When all of us pitched in together it only took us 20 minutes to get it all done. Which was much quicker and less stressful than trying to tackle all of it tomorrow by myself! Another added bonus was it got the kids moving and stretched their legs out before they had to head to bed. I will have to say that this system worked great! In the morning I will come down to a house that has all the trip stuff put away and loads of laundry already sorted and ready to be thrown into the washer. This week will start off normal instead of way behind. Good thing, since it is a short week! : )
What tricks do you use to get your house back in shape after traveling?