You get home from a big trip and you’re exhausted. You really need a shower. The VERY last thing you want to do is unpack your crap, but you know you should....
You weigh the pros and cons: unpacking is a 20-minute commitment at minimum, putting off the shower and the glory of falling into bed; not unpacking means you’ll have to deal with the mess later, and you know that gear STINKS! You'll make the decision based off of one question: Who do you want to suffer more - the right-now version of you, or the tomorrow version of you?
|Packing is so much sexier than unpacking.|
Unpacking is generally less complicated (and certainly less thought-out) than packing. Your main concern is emptying the bag, laying the wet stuff out to dry, and throwing the rest in the laundry pile (even if you didn't wear it, you know it's not clean, so wash it anyway). In last week's post, we explored the six different Packing Personas.
Post-trip recovery is different for everyone, but generally you will fall into one of three UNpacking Personas:
- The Immediate Man: You got after it this weekend, and you know your stuff is rank. Leaving it in the bag will only worsen the smell for the next day, to say nothing of the potential mold-situation. Fearing the future repercussions of NOT unpacking, you do it immediately, laying everything out to dry, tossing dirty clothes in the laundry, and putting away the things that can be put away. You reward yourself with a hot shower at the end of your efforts. Water falling from the sky never felt so good.
- The I’ll Do It Tomorrow. And By Tomorrow I Mean The Next Day Guy: Your stuff always smells. You can never figure out why, but I’m willing to guess it’s because you’re too lazy to unpack, instead favoring the sweet serendipity of a shower (probably with a shower beer) before silently slipping into bed. You know the problems of today will still be there tomorrow. You get up in the morning with big ambitions to unpack, only then you remember you have to go to work and isn’t Sharon having her thing tonight? okay oh well you’ll do it tomorrow. This is a problem future-you can worry about.
- The Repeater Unpacker: Unpack? Why would you unpack? You have another trip planned. Gear is always in play, and your only job is to reorganize what you have for the next adventure. You do this for a living – you probably live out of your car – so the concept of unpacking doesn’t even make sense to you. You live in a perpetual state of packed readiness. The rest of us wish we could be this cool.
Personally, I’m definitely an immediate woman. I won’t let myself shower until I’m unpacked, because water is the only thing that will keep me going. And then sometimes I unpack but am too tired to take a shower and fall into bed all sunscreen and salt-sweat covered. But don’t worry, I promise to wash my sheets. Tomorrow.