When the kids are all grown and no longer living at home, your empty nest can take some getting used to. While you’ll never stop being a parent, facing a quiet, empty house can be tough for you and your spouse, at least in the beginning. If you’ve been wondering what to do now that the kids have moved out, it’s time to think of a whole new world of possibilities.
Here are just a few reasons to get excited about your empty nest.
You Can Renovate Your Home
It’s tempting to leave his or her room as it’s always been, but this isn’t doing anyone any favors. Rethinking your home’s layout and overall design is a good way to reclaim your space and make your home feel less vacant. It’s also a great way to focus on an exciting project when you’re missing the kids.
Have you always dreamed of adding an extra bathroom, den, or walk-in closet to your home? What about a dedicated crafting space or home gym? Now that the whole house is all yours, you can renovate and redecorate to your heart’s content. Just be sure to reserve a sofa bed for guests, just in case the kids want to visit.
You Can Downsize and Find a Smaller & More Affordable Home
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Parents who have raised a large family often end up in an oversized house during their empty nest years. If this is the case, you may want to consider downsizing by purchasing a new home more suited to your new lifestyle.
Empty nest house plans are ideal for couples because these houses are smaller and more manageable than your traditional family home. A cozy one-story home is not only easier to clean, but it can also save you money on energy bills. What’s more, this is the chance to build or purchase your dream home — the place where you and your spouse will enjoy retirement.
Downsizing takes a lot of planning and coordination on the entire family’s part, especially if the kids have been storing their childhood treasures at home, but the end result is worth the extra effort. Renting a self-storage unit to store the kids’ stuff until they can come claim it is a great solution.
You Have More Free Time
One of the best things about being an empty nester is having the free time to do, well, whatever you’d like! Go on a camping trip, take a class at the local community college, volunteer, go to happy hour, see a movie, throw a cocktail party, or just veg out on the couch without guilt. The sky’s the limit when you don’t have kids dictating your schedule, so enjoy every second of it.
If it’s been years since you planned a girls’ brunch or met the guys for a round of golf, now is the time to plan on being more social and active. When you’ve found yourself moping around the house from missing the kids, scheduling a weekly get-together with friends will give you something to look forward to.
You Can Reconnect With Your Spouse
With all this newfound free time comes the ability to reconnect with your spouse, which is an invaluable part of being an empty nester. Plan a date night once, if not twice a week to rekindle the relationship. Even if your date night consists of fast food and a stroll around the mall, you’re still enjoying quality time together, which is what counts.
Once the kids are out of the house, though, you’ll have more money in your bank account to enjoy a nice romantic dinner more often!
You Can Travel More
Splurging on a dream vacation isn’t something most families with children can do, but once the last kid moves out, you can travel at a fraction of the cost. Sure, the kids might be jealous that you’re planning a trip to Europe without them, but this is your time to enjoy life without the kids. Hey, you’ve earned it!
When ticking items off your bucket list, plan your destinations based on your budget, comfort preferences, and activity level. If you’re active, you may want to plan a cycling trip through a national park. Prefer a more laid-back experience with all the amenities? Book a cruise. You can even buy that RV you always wanted and see America. And, if you’ve reached retirement age, you can also take advantage of money-saving discounts on everything from accommodations to dining options.
Whether you opt for solo adventures, trips with a friend, or romantic getaways with your spouse, traveling as an empty nester comes with undeniable benefits that can’t be beat.
Life after raising kids is anything but empty. While you’ll never stop being a parent, now is the time to focus more on yourself and a new set of possibilities. Trust us, there’s plenty to get excited about!