Historically, I've been terrible at unpacking after work trips. I typically remove what I immediately need from my knapsack (sorry, trying to integrate!—backpack) and leave the rest to fester: receipts, ticket stubs, notebooks, guidebooks, pens, in-flight magazines, newspapers, foreign currency, and my digital camera, for days and days on end. The one exception to this habit of neglect has been my propensity to deal quickly with dirty clothes, in particular after the arrival of the North American Bedbug Epidemic (NABE) of the last several years.
Dirty laundry excepted, my pattern has been without much variation to allow other things to languish. That many of these objects I need to have organized and on hand in order to do my post-trip work hasn't seemed to push me to change course.
No longer. After my last two trips I declared war against my own laziness and literally removed every single thing from my bag. Everything, I decided, should be put in its place: passport in its cubbyhole, receipts in their own unorganized pile, notebooks and other materials in a neat stack for easy reference, newspapers and magazines in another pile for quick review, toiletries in the bathroom, dirty clothes and duffel bag immediately into the washing machine.
There have been two immediate benefits to this no-brainer of a change in habit. First, I've been able to plow through the job of writing about my travels far more efficiently than previously. Secondly, I've been able to reduce clutter immediately.
Now to that unorganized pile of receipts...