So did you just pull into the driveway after dropping your youngest off at college? Or maybe you spent the summer helping the last holdout move into their own place. The bottom line is that now you fit into the special club called the “empty nesters”. Yes, the first couple of weeks may be filled with a few tears and lots of memories, but then the fun starts – THE PLACE IS FINALLY ALL YOURS!
All the home shows on television seem to focus on couples who are looking for special areas in their homes for their particular interests. Most real parents have probably yelled at the screen wondering who ever had time for their own interests. Well now is your time, so we’ve come up with a few ideas of what you can do with Junior’s room. Sure you might want to include a sofa bed or air mattress in the house for him – but don’t make it look too permanent!
Library – Are you a book lover but currently the only place you have to store them is as a make-shift bedside table? Think of the possibilities of having bookshelves installed in a dedicated room. Add a big comfortable chair, a side table, and maybe even a sound system and you have the makings of your own library to enjoy.
Meditation Room – Now that there is actually some quiet in the house, a meditation room might be a good idea. Make it clutter-free with soothing colors and maybe some big pillows or comfortable blankets because after all, naps count as meditating too, right?
A Closet to Die For – For years you have been shoving your clothes into what seems like a smaller and smaller space. Suddenly there are empty closets in other rooms (well, once you convince the previous occupant to clear them out). You could look beyond the closets and make the entire room a walk-in closet. Install a closet system, add a dresser or two and finally be able to keep your things organized and neat.
Exercise Room – How many treadmills currently do double duty as a clothes hanger? Past space limitations have resulting in exercise gear relegated to the corner of the master bedroom. Clear out that new empty room and you’ve got all kinds of room to do your workouts. Install a wall mounted television and add some floor mats and you will soon be on the path for a healthier you.
Man Cave/Indoor She Shed – Yes, we have all seen the commercial where Sheryl’s She-Shed is in flames. But why not leave the shed for what it was meant for – storing the mower. An empty room can easily be taken over and used for displaying sports memorabilia, doing crafts, listening to music, or even being transformed into a luxury bath for your own in-home spa.
Home Office – Let’s get that laptop and stack of bills off the kitchen counter. That room is screaming to be your own home office. You might want to even start a new business based on your hobbies (now that you have time for them!). Enjoy the opportunity to be able to shut the door on distractions.
OK – maybe you want to look beyond the empty room.
As empty nesters you can make all kinds of changes to your home. Remember it’s your space and you can do whatever you want. Other ideas include investing in some finer furniture – you know, maybe you can finally get a white sofa now that no one is sprawled on it eating pizza.
This may be the time to redo your floors or even freshen up the outside areas. Paint the walls the colors you’ve always wanted to or even remodel the place for resale in the future.
No matter what you decide, it’s important to realize that life goes on and you’ve reached a new chapter. Make the most of it and take some time – and space – for yourself.
You’ve earned it.