How to Get Organized After Vacation – Unpacking, Laundry, Meals, + More!

Cleaning Tips and Tricks, Lifestyle, Productivity, Travel, Video

Post vacation blues got you feeling overwhelmed? Learn how to stop stressing about unpacking and bounce back quicker than ever after vacation!

unpacking luggage after vacation, from Fun Cheap or Free

If you're like me, returning home after vacation can undo everything about your nice relaxing trip. Sometimes figuring out where to start and what to do with the mountain of tasks can be overwhelming. Everything just piles up and kind of looks like hoarder-level chaos. Am I right?!

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We recently went on a trip to Mexico with the whole family and I shared all of my packing tips with you. Now, let me share with you how we bounced back after vacation and got back into our normal, productive routine.

If we can do it, then so can you!

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Alright, you made it! Whew! That was a lot of work! If you're not needing a vacation after watching me unpack from our vacation, then read on for a recap!


cleaning after vacation, from Fun Cheap or Free

It's so nice to come back to a clean home after vacation! We always hire a cleaning crew to clean our house while we're gone for a long trip. The cleaning crew can really deep clean the house like I'm not always able to do on a daily basis.

There are a few ways that this can go down. We currently have family who lives with us. When they don't join us on vacation, they can let the cleaning crew in. They can keep an eye on everything and lock up once they're done.

We have also had neighbors help us out in the past and that has worked really great for us. They come over to unlock our house and lock it back up once the crew is finished. We always make sure that we can return the favor for them when they're gone. We'll watch their house, grab their mail, take care of their pets, you get the idea!


We now have a Vivint security system after someone tried to break into our house. There's a doorbell camera, so the cleaning crew lets us know when they're at the house and we can unlock the door from our phones. There are security cameras all throughout the house, so we can check in while they're cleaning. We can even talk to them through the cameras!

The crew lets us know that they're done on the front door camera. Then we're able to lock the house from our phones and reset the alarm. Easy peasy!

I pay the cleaning crew through Venmo rather than by check. That way, they don't get paid until they're done cleaning and we know that they finished the job. Just make sure to add in the cost of the cleaning crew to your vacation budget. It is so worth it, there's really nothing better than coming home to a spotless house after a long day of traveling!

If you're in the market for a security system, I HIGHLY recommend Vivint. We love having the peace of mind that they provide. Check them out here and use code FUNDBC for a FREE doorbell camera with your qualifying purchase.


Most of you know how I do my laundry the unconventional way. I basically do it the same way once we get home after vacation, but I get all of those dirty clothes in the wash as quickly as possible.

While we're on vacation, we make sure that we put all of our dirty laundry into bags. We'll either use the laundry bags that the hotel usually provides or trash bags that we bring with us. It's so much easier to keep up with all of the dirty clothes this way! Shoving them back into all of the suitcases and then having to dig through them to find what's dirty once we get home is not a fun task.

Once the dirty clothes are done, the rest of the “clean” clothes go into the wash on a quick, light, and cold cycle. This freshens them back up and gets out all of the wrinkles and any weird smells that they got from being trapped in a suitcase with shoes.

I also make sure to wash any special blankets that we bring with us on the trip., because airplanes and hotel rooms… EWWWW!


Here's the reality of coming home after vacation. Even with the cleaning crew, your house ends up looking like a bomb went off. You get home late, everybody is tired and dropping their luggage everywhere, and it's all you can do to get everybody into bed.

Then, you wake up in the morning with your house looking like a tornado went through it! It's so frustrating and it just makes you want to go back to bed and take a nap. Don't give in! Instead, try setting a timer and hitting zones of your house to get it cleaned up. If you need tips on how to speed clean your house, then check out this post!

While I'm rotating through the laundry, I gather all of the suitcases and carry-on bags and completely empty them all. I make sure that everything goes back in its proper home, including the bags and suitcases!


Before we leave, we email the teachers and ask them to send home any assignments that the kids will need to work on while we're on vacation. The teachers are usually pretty great about getting us the assignments to do, but it never fails that they'll still have worksheets and homework to do once we get back.

We usually let the kids play once they get home from school on a normal day. But after vacation where we had lots of fun, they come home and it's homework time. Dun dun dun!


sorting mail after vacation, from Fun Cheap or Free

Why does it always seem like the pile of mail that you come home to after vacation is always so much bigger than it is when you're at home? While the kids are doing their homework, I get to work on sorting through the mail.

You may be wondering why I do this the first day back after vacation instead of letting it sit for a day or two while other things get done. The last thing that you want is for a bill that you don't know about to be sitting on the countertop! So buckle up and plow through that pile. It won't take as long as you would think!


I sit down and order groceries on my phone after going through the mail. There's usually no way that we're leaving the house and our fridges are always bare after vacation, so we have them delivered to the house. Instacart is one of my favorite grocery delivery services. If you don't have this option, then you can order them through your local Walmart grocery pickup. All you have to do is drive up, load the bags in your car, pay and you're good to go!


I always make sure that I have freezer meals ready to go before we leave for vacation. That way, after vacation dinner prep is a breeze. I don't usually have a lot of time to think about or prepare a meal for the first few days after we get back, so this is a quick and easy way to have dinner at home!

There's a lot of different ways that you can do freezer meals. I double a meal that I'm making (lasagna is a really easy one!), put it in a disposable pan, and stick it in the freezer. Then when you need it, you just pop it in the oven and there you go.

Don't worry, if you didn't have time to prep before you go, you can always order food in! Grubhub will pick up your food and deliver it right to your house. I worked out a deal with them for you. If you're a first-time user, and you use this link, you'll get $10 off of your first $15 order!

So there you have it! That's how we get back into somewhat of a routine after vacation. Do you have any tips for bouncing back after being gone? I'd love to hear about them in the comments!

image that reads "tips for getting organized after vacation", from Fun Cheap or Free

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Do you need some more tips and ideas for traveling?

Safe travels!


  1. Lauren | Penny for Your Dreams

    Coming home to a clean house is the BEST feeling, but coming home to a disaster is totally deflating (been there, done that)! I can’t afford to hire a cleaning crew right now, but I definitely make sure that the house is clean before we leave. Relatively clean sheets are a perk, too. 😉

    • FunCheapOrFree

      It really is! We haven’t always been able to afford to hire a cleaning crew, so we would always make sure that our house was as clean as possible before we left for a trip, too. You are so right, clean sheets are the best!


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