One Thing You Shouldn’t Put Away After You Unpack From Vacation

updated Jun 10, 2021
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unpacking suitcase

Although re-entry can be jarring at times, coming back from vacation can feel almost as good as being on one. Having some time away from your usual surroundings leaves you recharged enough to face the grind, and with any luck, eager to return to what’s familiar and routine. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, etc.

Setting yourself up for a good transition back makes a return to normal life as smooth as possible. Doing things like leaving your house clean for when you return and even making sure to place a grocery order for the next day are good ways to start off on the right foot.

How you deal with your suitcases and their contents also affects how your transition back home goes. It doesn’t always happen, but I love to follow my great aunt’s example of tossing vacation clothes in the washer straight from the suitcase on your first day back. This prevents the sad pile of neglected dirty laundry or suitcase sitting untouched in the bedroom that can stay for days or more once your daily life picks up again.

There’s one type of item that you need to unpack, though, that shouldn’t be put away right away. If you do, you’ll make packing for your next trip more frustrating that it needs to be and you might also waste money. Next time you come back from vacation, don’t put away your travel toiletry bottles. Use them up!

Here’s why: You spent so much time and care decanting your face wash, lotion, shampoo and conditioner, and more into travel containers. If you put the bottles away full, the next time you go to pack them for your next trip, you won’t necessarily remember what’s in what or how long ago it was packed. (The sniff test doesn’t work; I’ve tried.)

Even if you labeled your bottles with what’s in them, your product could go bad before the next time you travel again. In either of these scenarios, you’re forced to clean out your travel toiletry bottles before you can use them again. No one needs that additional work when they’re already dealing with packing stress!

So instead of putting your toiletry bottles away when you get home from vacation, put them in the shower or on your counter — wherever you would reach to use the full-sized versions of your favorites.

Use up the product that’s leftover in each of them and, when it’s gone, wash the bottle out, let it dry, and then put it away where you keep your travel supplies. Next time you travel, you’ll be glad to have bottles empty and waiting to be filled.