Many parents will face a significant milestone in the next few months, and there will be many different reactions and ways of dealing with it. With kids heading off to post secondary school in the fall, parents will find themselves with an empty nest.
Some people may dread this upcoming event, while others may avoid thinking about it. It can be helpful to know that becoming an empty nester is an adjustment, but it doesn’t have to be terrible. In fact, many empty nesters end up genuinely enjoying the next chapter of their lives.
Whether your kids are off to college or university or have moved out for good, everyone will handle their transition differently, but there are a few strategies for effectively making your way through this major life event. Read on to learn some tips and advice for becoming an empty nester.
You may be tempted to leave everything your kid left in their old room untouched, but chances are, if they didn’t bring it with them, there’s a reason. Taking the time to declutter and repurpose their old rooms and spaces is a great way to process all the emotions that arise when left with an empty nest.
Whether you pack away their old belongings to give to them in the future or decide to donate them, it can be exciting to redesign the space according to your own needs. You can set up a home office, put together a home gym or dedicate the room to a new hobby or interest.
If the task seems too daunting or you’re not sure how to get started, consider getting in touch with organizing companies in the Greater Toronto Area who can help declutter and organize these spaces for whatever purpose you have in mind.
Take Up a New Activity
Many empty nesters are shocked by the amount of time they find themselves with after their kids have moved out. After years of chauffeuring kids to lessons, practices and activities, suddenly being left with an empty schedule can amplify the feelings of loss.
This is a great time to explore your own interests and invest your time in discovering new activities and skills. Perhaps there’s something you always wanted to learn more about, a cause you wish to volunteer for, or a skill you’ve always wanted to develop. Take the time now to start that business, volunteer, take up cooking lessons, travel or something else entirely. The world is your oyster.
Put Off Major Decisions
While it’s a good idea to spend time exploring your own interests, major life decisions should be avoided when you’re adjusting to so many changes. The rush of freedom can make some empty nesters want to make impulsive decisions. However, experts suggest holding off on making permanent decisions based on temporary situations until you’ve adapted and a sense of normalcy prevails.
Dealing with an empty nest will likely cause conflicting emotions to surface. Some people find the transition easy, and some people find it more difficult. All responses are normal, but it’s important to deal with those feelings so you can transition successfully to an empty nest and enjoy everything the next phase of life brings.