Most of the tips I’ve written about so far presume that you are at home, in your natural, permanent environment. But what if you’re away? On the go, traveling, on a brief getaway, or an extended stay? What then? Well, then it becomes even more difficult to stay organized. You may not have access to the resources your regularly rely on, not to mention a significantly diminished collection of your belongings to work with (read: clothes).
Of course there is an aspect to this which is the point of travel; to abandon the regular, escape the everyday. I acknowledge that aspect, do not misunderstand. But even those with the most serious case of wanderlust can use some sort of stability. Here are three tips to help you keep it together when you’re out of the casa.
1. Check in
I should say, first detach (if you wish). Shut off your gadgets and plug into the present moment, wherever you may be. But after giving yourself some time to unwind, check back in with the world you left behind. Do this before you return home. Check your email, voicemail, whatever kind of mail and see what’s accumulated. You don’t even necessarily have to respond right then and there. Just take a gander. Know what you can expect to find when you return.
I say this because coming back home after a bout of being away can be tremendously excruciating, mainly because you have to deal with all the things that being away allowed you to avoid. I think it’s better to bite the bullet just a bit by staying clued in than it is to bombard yourself with a barrage of requests and responsibilities all in one sitting immediately post- stay-away.
2. Do not abandon the routine
Again, I know, part of being away is to do exactly this, but the truth is that your daily routine is one you’ve designed as such because that particular set of tasks or practices is what makes you feel and operate your best (hopefully). While you’re away, it may feel great to let the routine go slack for a minute. But after a day of that, get back to it. If you neglect your routine the entire time you’re gone, the chances are high that you’ll feel lousy when you return.
One obvious example that comes to mind is exercise. If you exercise on a regular basis at home, then you are an active person. Regardless of what factors are motivating that physical activity, you clearly feel better when you do it. Away from home, it may feel great to indulge yourself with a day or two off. But if you lay around like a stagnant seal for a week straight, your next destination is bound to be regret. The unbridled glory that was your trip will become tainted by the fact that you now hate yourself a little for being such a lazy ass.
Make room in your travel schedule for a dose of your routine. Just because you’re elsewhere doesn’t mean it’s not still real life, real time, real you. Act accordingly. What you do when you’re out of the house counts. That’s all I’m sayin.
3. Keep your shit neat
If you’re living out of a suitcase, it’s incredibly easy for things to become a wrinkled mess. Your life’s belongings are in a bag. I mean, hello?
If there is any closet/drawer space for you to temporarily utilize, do so. If you’re forced to stay within the confines of the bag, then be gentle. Don’t dig through your clothes like a ravenous beast foraging wildly for food. Be civilized and carefully peruse what you packed. Lift up items gingerly, try your best to keep stacks in tact.
Regularly (respective to the amount of time for which you’re away) take everything out of the bag. Refold things that have balled. Re-stack in properly categorized piles. It’s worth it do this. Trust me.
When you’re not in your usual element, it’s normal to feel a lessened sense of control over things. Where at home you have a car, you’re now relying on taxis. At home you know the lay of the land, away, you’re in unfamiliar territory. Keeping your belongings neat is just one way to help you retain that sense of control over your existence. Let the sight of your organized bag be a calming sight after a day of hectic touring.