The Importance of Unpacking and Chores After a Trip: A Lesson in Post-Travel Relaxation

Why taking care of chores and unpacking immediately after a trip can lead to a more relaxing and stress-free return to normalcy.

Returning from a 13-day van trip, the author found themselves faced with the daunting task of unpacking and doing chores. However, instead of immediately indulging in a much-needed shower, they decided to tackle their to-do list first. Little did they know that this simple shift in priorities would completely transform their post-trip experience. In this article, we explore the importance of unpacking and completing chores after a trip, and how it can lead to a more relaxed and stress-free return to everyday life.

The Overwhelming Task of Unpacking

Unpacking after a trip can often feel overwhelming, especially when faced with the accumulated belongings from a long journey. The author describes lugging in bags filled with laundry, unworn clothes, groceries, and various personal items. The sheer volume of items needing to be unpacked was intimidating, but it was the smell of unwashed clothes and the realization of five days without a shower that motivated the author to take action.

The Power of Procrastination

The author admits to being a procrastinator when it comes to unpacking and completing post-trip chores. Suitcases full of dirty clothes have been known to sit untouched for weeks. However, this time, the author recognized the value of immediately addressing these tasks. By doing so, they were able to put an end to the chapter of their trip and welcome the return to normalcy with open arms.

Unpacking as a Symbol of Relaxation

The desire for a shower as a signal of relaxation is a common sentiment among travelers. However, the author realized that true relaxation would not be achieved if they still had the burden of unpacking hanging over their heads. By spending a few hours doing chores before indulging in a shower, the author was able to create a clean and organized space, setting the stage for a truly relaxing experience.

The Unexpected Benefits of Chores

While the author initially saw chores as a necessary evil, they soon discovered the unexpected benefits that came with completing them immediately after a trip. By putting away groceries and washing their comforter, the author not only created a tidy living environment but also eliminated any lingering tasks that could detract from their post-trip relaxation. The experience taught them the importance of setting up their home for success upon returning from a trip.

The Gift of a Tidy Apartment

For a chronic procrastinator, the gift of a tidy apartment was a revelation. The author realized that the act of unpacking and completing chores immediately after a trip allowed them to fully relax and enjoy their post-trip activities without any looming tasks. By the time they finally took a shower, there was no stress or unfinished business to detract from their much-needed relaxation.


The lesson learned from this experience is clear: unpacking and completing chores immediately after a trip can make a significant difference in one’s post-travel experience. By addressing these tasks before indulging in relaxation, travelers can create a clean and organized space, eliminate any lingering tasks, and fully immerse themselves in the joy of being home. So, the next time you return from a trip, consider prioritizing unpacking and chores. It just might be the key to a more relaxed and stress-free transition back to reality.






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