LuggageTraveling this Memorial Day weekend? If so, you may have plenty of exciting things to do when you return home, like going grocery shopping, reading your mail, paying bills, doing laundry, and picking up the dry cleaning. There’s no need to panic on your return flight home as you think about all of the chores that await. [Cue the all-important post-travel to do list.]

As we all know, I love making and using lists almost as much as I love the concept of living a peaceful life (the latter, of course, is often enhanced by the order and planning made possible by lists). In my experience, lists lend themselves to organization, focus, and order. They’re a tangible way to chart task-related progress, and they offer a delightful surge of satisfaction when I get to check off  a completed item. And it should go without saying that creating a post-travel to do list is no exception. Before you head out of town, take a few moments to jot down your post-travel to do list. Three things to consider while concocting this wonderful little list:

1. What’s your schedule like during the first few days after you return from your trip?

This information will help you determine how many home-cooked meals you need to make, when you absolutely must go to the dry cleaners, and when you need to carve out time to pay your bills.

2. What items are due, and what appointments are scheduled, soon after you return home from your trip?

This helps everything continue to run smoothly on the home front even if you’ve been away for awhile. After all, there’s no need to unnecessarily pay fines for late library books.

3. What can you do in advance to support your “re-entry” into home life after you’ve been away?

Can you freeze a serving or two of homemade chili or lentil soup before your trip so you have a few easy meals at the ready when you return home? Can you use your electronic bill pay program to schedule on-time payments in advance of your travels? Can you have an outfit at the ready for your Monday morning work meeting so you don’t have to go to the dry cleaners immediately after returning home from your trip?

The intent of the post-travel to do list is to support your version of organizational bliss when your normal routine has been spiced up as a result of your trip. Hopefully you, too, will soon experience a wonderful surge of logistical satisfaction thanks to your post-travel to do list.

* Photo by brokenarts

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