Preparing for an Empty Nest

When your last child has moved out or is about to, it’s common to experience a lot of mixed feelings. While yourNest child is beginning his or her new chapter in life- so are you!

Your new chapter will provide you with more privacy, more time, more flexibility, and more opportunity. So- cry if you want to cry. Just don’t get stuck looking back because you have a lot to look forward to!

Here are six things to think about if your nest will soon be empty:

Make lists
What kind of lifestyle do you want to have in this new chapter of your life? Now is the time to rediscover yourself and to embrace all the things you didn’t have time to do when you had kids in the home.

Have you created a bucket list yet? If not- get started! If you already have a bucket list, start working on a plan of action so you can achieve some of those lifelong goals!

Start organizing
Decluttering and organizing can bring a lot of satisfaction to more than just empty nesters. Go one room at a time and sort through which items you’d like to keep, to donate, or to sell. If you struggle getting rid of sentimental items, try taking a photo of the item that you can hold onto instead of the item itself.

Donating items to charity is a great way to declutter your home while helping others in need.

Prepare a Budget
You may expect to have more money when your kids leave the home, but it’s possible you might not. While you will likely save money on your weekly visits to the grocery store- unless your children are completely financially independent- you’ll want to budget some unanticipated expenses for them because you still have kids- they just don’t live with you anymore!

Plan and monitor your financials to determine a budget for when the kids are no longer in the house.

Work on Projects
Have you been putting off replacing the roof on your house? Would you like to convert one of the bedrooms in your home to a home office space? Have you always wanted to take a cooking or yoga class or learn another language? If your kids have left the home- this would be a great time to tackle new ventures or some home improvement projects to increase your home’s value.

Nurture relationships
It’s not uncommon for married couples to put their relationship on the back burner while raising kids. Once the kids have left the home, there’s more time for privacy for you and your spouse. Nurture your marriage and relationships with other friends and family members. If you need extra support, reach out to a friend who has an empty nest too and start a support group together.

Don’t be impulsive
Once the kids are no longer around to help with the cleaning and yardwork- downsizing and maintenance-free living might start to look really appealing. While you may experience a wide range of new feelings and ideas, it’s important not to be impulsive about major decisions like selling your house.

If your mortgage is paid off on your family home, now may or may not be the right time to take on the additional expense of a new place.

If you’re an empty nester considering selling the family home, visit first with your children as well as a real estate professional to discuss all of your options.