Have you ever stopped to think about how we place an enormous amount of effort and energy on the process of packing, but barely any attention to the flip side – unpacking?

     The process of packing for a trip of any length (even a day trip!) gets lots of attention.  Making lists to prepare, figuring out the right outfits, accessories, packing methods, how far in advance you should start, how much is too much to bring…you name it. But, what happens when it’s time to unpack?
     Unpacking means you are paying attention to closing the loop – the last few steps to getting your possessions back to their original ‘home.’  Emptying your bags of their contents, cleaning/laundering, getting things back to where they belong.  These crucial final steps are key to keeping you organized.
     In many of the homes I work in, bags are a challenge…bags you packed to take your family to the amusement park or pool, bags you packed for a long trip, bags your kids packed for camp or school, bags packed for a work trip…many of these bags don’t get emptied and end up in a pile, in a corner, left in the car, sitting un-emptied in the laundry room….and then you spend lots of time looking for the items that may be in those bags…. 
     It’s a good habit to give yourself no more than 24 hours to unpack the contents of the bags you pack and take care of what is inside.  Throw away the trash, wash the laundry, put uneaten snacks back in the pantry…you name it.  You will be amazed how good it feels not to have to search thru every bag to find the lost pair of googles, your red shoes, or the souvenirs you bought overseas.   Let’s hear it for unpacking!