In the margin Travel and days out

How to prepare for coming home after a holiday?

19 July 2017
home next exit

I always find it difficult to get back into my usual routine after a holiday, don’t you? Not only do you suddenly have to start working 5 days a week again, you also have to get the house back in ship shape after having left it to its own devices while you were away. I have noticed that when I come home at 10pm the day before going back to work, I am always in a bad mood because I am worn out from the trip and suddenly swamped with things to do.

It is even worse when you come home to a sink full of dirty dishes, an empty fridge and a huge pile of laundry to wash. So this time, before I left for my week-long holiday, I planned things a little so that I could come home feeling calmer. Here are a few (very simple) tasks to plan before going away, in order to return feeling refreshed and energized for the weeks ahead!

In the kitchen

At least a week before your holiday, start emptying the fridge so you don’t have to throw away any rotten food when you come home. I found that this helped me eat simple meals before going away on holiday (where you often overdo it a bit) as well as save a little cash as I didn’t buy any extra groceries and instead just worked with what I had. I took a good look at the contents of the fridge and planned all my meals up until my departure so as to use almost everything up, and then I froze the rest in old jam jars! Our freezer is currently overflowing with coconut cream, sliced apples and applesauce (for an apple tart somewhere down the line), a bit of red wine, sweet potato mash and who knows what else. Another perk of this system is to be able to defrost homemade food for your lunch at work the day after your holiday instead of buying a soggy sandwich or trying to find inspiration in an empty fridge. It makes things considerably easier when you’re struggling to find time to get to the supermarket!

Also try and do all the washing up the day before you leave so you can put it all away before leaving. A clean and tidy kitchen is such a nice thing to come home to!

I also recommend:

  • Taking out all the rubbish, including any recyclables
  • Wiping down the stove, the inside of the fridge and the kitchen sink
  • Sweeping the kitchen floor

In the rest of the house

  • Do several loads of laundry, then fold and put away the clean clothes, sheets and towels (you’ll have enough clothes to wash after your holiday, so you’ll be glad to not have to deal with 15 kilos of dirty laundry on your first week back)
  • Hoover the floors and give the main surfaces in the house a quick dust
  • Change the sheets on your bed
  • Put away anything that’s in the way: shoes near the front door, paperwork piled up on a desk, books forgotten on your bedside table… I even put a bunch of things I wasn’t using in bags and put them in our basement so as to save a little space in our flat
  • Clean the loo(s)! (I now use citric acid for this, I find it in our local organic store and it is 100% natural and effective! See my article on the natural cleaning products I use for other ideas)

Other ways to make your return home a calmer one:

Avoid making plans after work on the 3-4 days after your return home, so you can ease yourself back into your usual routine. Or on the contrary, if you like you can go out when the workday is done and pretend you’re still on holiday :)

Another possibility is to return home a full day before going back to work, so as to leave yourself plenty of time to get back into the swing of things.

What about you? Do you have anything to add to my list?

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