Make Your Bed This is especially important if you've returned late the night before, and have yet to face an unruly jumble of dirty laundry and vacation accoutrements bulging from your suitcase, which can be overwhelming. Making your bed right off the bat has an important psychological effect because it's easy to accomplish, and it gives you an instant sense of order. Think of it as a mental jump start that prepares you for the more grueling tasks ahead.
Designate an unpacking spot Instead of spreading laundry and odds and ends throughout your home, concentrate the chaos in one area. That way, if you don't have an uninterrupted stretch of time to get through a whole suitcase in one go, at least you have it contained.
Dump out your suitcase Sometimes, I'm too good at compartmentalizing. If I don't see a mess, I'm likely to forget that I have a suitcase full of dirty clothes and toiletries that need to be put away. Placing it all out in plain sight forces me to deal with it right away rather than continuing to live out of a suitcase even after returning home.
Make a list of post-vacation priorities This includes phone calls that you need to return and emails that need answering as well as home tasks that need to be attended to&mdash i.e. laundry and organizing. Mentally, it always helps to have a physical list to cross off from.
Take 5 minutes to relax and reconnect with your home This may sound kooky, but it's the perfect way to end a vacation before real life starts to rob you of your peace. Wake up five minutes early, sit down with a cup of coffee, tea, water—whatever—and relax. Don't think about how many things you have to get done, but instead try to concentrate on the thing you like best about your home. This doesn't necessarily mean a material object; for me, it's the way the late afternoon/early evening light streams into our living room. Taking a few minutes to appreciate my home is often the biggest motivator to unpack, restore order, and get back in the swing of things.
What are your tricks for getting back in the saddle?