My routine keeps me sane

As much as I would love to be a go-with-the-flow type of person, I’m just not.  I really try to be in most situations, but I crave routine and a schedule.  And that’s why I love my husband.  He is the exact opposite.  He is a go-with-the-flow, lets explore new things today, kind of person.  That is why we fit so well together.  I give him structure and routine, he gives me fun, exciting, adventures that push me past my comfort zone and end up making me a better person.

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But, I do think my husband loves that I love having a routine because it means the house is clean, the laundry is folded and put away, the dishes are clean, the grocery shopping is done, food is prepped, pantry is stocked, weekend plans are made, trips are booked, dogs are walked and fed, the list goes on and on.  

Today I thought I would discuss how I try to make a seamless transition from the holiday celebrations/travels back to reality/work.  Here are a few tips that work well for me:

  1. When getting home from a trip, I always make an effort to unpack soon after I walk through the door.  If I lay down, the suitcase may stayed pack for a few hours… or days.  Just get it done. 
  2. Start the laundry.  As soon as I unpack and the hamper is full, I run a load of laundry. 
  3. If you plan ahead and stay somewhere with a washer and dryer, wash your clothes the day before you plan to leave.  My husband and I love to do this.  We washed our clothes at my in-laws house on Saturday so they were ready to go on Sunday when we left.  Coming home to clean clothes that just have to be put away… AMAZING!  It seems like a much less daunting task than having to wash, fold and put away clothes.  
  4. I tend to clean the house before leaving for a trip (mop, vacuum, wash sheets and make bed, dust, etc.) so I can come home to a clean house.  When my house is clean, I feel less overwhelmed about unpacking and getting life back in order.  Now don’t get me wrong, this does not always happen… but when it does, I am happy.  
  5. Clean out your fridge and empty your trashcans/recycle bin.  There is nothing worse than coming back to a stinky fridge or trashcan.  Clean it out before you go and you will be much happier when you get home.  I also love to come home to an empty sink and dishwasher.  Do it before you go if you can!
  6. After unpacking, I always put my suitcases away (we store them in the garage) so they are out of the way.
  7. Check your mail.  I love getting caught up on my mail/packages the day I get back especially if I was expecting something 😉
  8. Go grocery shopping!! I know, I know, this is the LAST thing you want to do when you get home from a trip.  But, you won’t regret it.  It is easy for my husband and I to want to order take out when we get back from traveling because we are tired, but after indulging on vacation, I always try to make a simple, healthy meal for dinner when we get home.  If we get take out, I try to go for healthier options like salads, soups, rice bowls, etc. 
  9. Prep your food. When you get home from the grocery store and put away your haul, wash and chop fresh vegetables and fruit and make any snacks/meals ahead of time so you aren’t rushed/stressed during the week.  
  10. Lay out your outfits for work the night before.  I always lay out my outfit for work the night before.  I get up at an un-godly hour already and don’t have time to waste picking out an outfit.  It is so nice to wake up knowing what I am going to wear.  Besides, if I made an outfit choice in the 4am hour in the dark, I may regret that later.  

I do realize all of this cannot be done if you get back at 10pm.  Or even 5pm.  But, incorporating some of these tips (before or after the trip) will surely help to relieve some stress when trying to get back into the grind of reality.  

Dinner Sunday night (not much food in the house, but didn’t want to eat out again).. so I came up with this meal: black bean veggie burger with avocado, baked sweet potato fries, roasted zucchini, sauteed spinach topped with roasted garlic.  Easy, healthy, and delicious.

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Chopped fruit after grocery store trip: pineapple and grapefruit.  Two of my favorites.

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Questions:

1. Do you have any pre/post travel tips that help ease the transition back into normal life? 

2. Do you unpack right away or leave your suitcase in your room, packed, for a week?

3. Do you do any food prep after the grocery store?  

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