I’ve recently discovered that one of the best times to declutter is when you return home from traveling. Perhaps this is a well-known practice for some of you, but for me, it was like a shiny beam of knowledge illuminating my messy-person soul. I could have never anticipated the clarity I’d experience when returning home from our recent trip, and I fear that if I don’t take action immediately, I might miss a great decluttering opportunity.
So here’s why I believe returning from vacation is perhaps the most valuable and best time to declutter:
1. You become a tourist in your own home.
After experiencing sight after sight for the first time while traveling, your brain (temporarily) hardwires itself differently. Coming home is just like traveling to your next destination – and for the first time, you’re like a tourist in your own home. After being away for just 10 days, I was seeing my own things for the first time – some good, some not-so-good!
2. You realize how much stuff you don’t really need.
Depending on how long you’ve been traveling, you most likely had a suitcase or two of belongings: Some of your favorite clothes, hygiene essentials, a purse or daypack, and any other basic necessities. Of course, we can’t all live out of our suitcases forever – I know I couldn’t. But upon returning home, I can’t help but to look around at ALL the extra stuff that sat here while I was away. Did I need it? Not really. Do I like it? Sure, I suppose. Should I keep it? I don’t know. (Time to decide!).
3. You’ve just experienced minimal living.
If you’ve been staying at hotels, or even some AirBnbs, you’ve most likely just experienced what it’s like to live in a pretty minimal space. Now you have something you can clearly compare your own space to – and not just a photo from a magazine. Did you like how clean your temporary traveling quarters were? How uncluttered the surfaces were? Everything had a place, there were no excess decorations or overflowing junk drawers… It was minimal, and I’m willing to bet it was pretty darn nice.
Yep, after just 10 days with only a suitcase of clothes and a few necessities, everything else just feels like excess upon returning home.
It seems super obvious (now), but as I look around my space I’m seeing things I clearly don’t want or need. Perhaps I couldn’t see them before due to clutterblindness, or perhaps, Spring Break was exactly want I needed to fully appreciate how easy it was to live with less.