We just got back from our vacation last night. And last night, a mere 2 hours after getting home, I’m typing this (but I won’t be posting it until Thursday).

So how in the world can I be sitting here typing away on my computer? There’s laundry to do, our car to unload, bags to unpack, kids to put to bed, mail to open, flowers to water, etc.

Well, I don’t know about you, but when I come home from a vacation, I’m tired.

Really tired.

Kind of like Grant here (in the green shirt).

And looking around at all there is to do once getting home wears me out. So I have to prioritize and plan. But it’s not the kind of planning that takes a long time. It’s the kind of planning that only takes a few seconds.

First Priority: get the kids in bed

Since we were going to be getting home in the evening, I knew the kids needed to sleep. So when we were almost home, I gave the kids a super quick rundown of what needed to happen so when we pulled in the driveway, there was no question about it.

–Bring in your pillow & backpack, say family prayer, get pajamas on and the 4 youngest ones have to go right to bed–

At this point, I didn’t even care if they brushed their teeth (gasp!).


Second Priority: unload the van

While the little ones were getting their pj’s on (I helped with the 2 youngest), the 2 older ones and my husband started unloading the van. Then when the little ones were all tucked into bed, I went out and helped finish unloading the van.


Third Priority: unload the cooler

I didn’t want the food to spoil, so as soon as the kids were in bed and the van unloaded, I started unloading the cooler and put the food in the fridge. Now the cooler is (inside) outside upside down (name that Berenstain book) drying on the lawn.


Fourth Priority: everything else

Now that the essentials are taken care of, the rest can be done at a more leisurely pace. And guess what I did?

I set my timer.

Do you ever get tired of hearing that? Is it penetrating your mind and your way of thinking yet? I will repeat this over and over and over again all throughout this blog:


Here are some things I took care of before going to bed:
Started a load of laundry
Went through the mail
Put the kids’ stuff in their respective rooms (unpacking it all will happen today)
Checked my email
Wrote this blog post

That’s it. I knew that everything else could be done later. If I tried to do it all at once, I would be so cranky and mad that everyone else is in bed and I have to do it all by myself and waaaaaa, waaaaaaa, woe is me.

So I chose the better way.

And guess what’s even better? I set my timer for 15 minutes and did something that required me to move around (like laundry and putting stuff in the bedrooms) and then I set my timer for another 15 minutes and did something sitting down (like checking email or going through the mail). Repeat.

That way I mixed it up a little and didn’t get sidetracked.

That’s basically what the timer is for: to stop me from getting sidetracked so easily.

And there you have it. That’s why last night, after 2 hours of being home, the kids are in bed, the van is completely unloaded, the food is put away, the mail is sorted and opened, laundry is going, I’ve started putting the stuff in bedrooms and I’m typing on my blog.

Yes, there’s still stuff everywhere and yes, I still have a lot to unpack and put away, but the most important things are done and I don’t have to stress about it when I’m so tired.

And now my 15 minutes is up so I’m going to go now. I’ve got more to put away before I sit down again to check my email.

And there will be more to post from my vacation.

About organizedbyjenn

Busy wife and mother of 7 children; grew up in Oregon, currently lives in Utah. Loves the outdoors, organizing, crafting, running, and eating chocolate
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