You know you love your kids and are not ready for them to move out. But we both know that it is pretty inevitable, as they get older the more they will want their freedom from their parents.
Like really - they would already be gone if they would not have to live under a bridge (or at least that is what my son says). As parents though we are in no hurry for them to go anywhere. We have a sense of security of knowing they are home. There are some ways that we can ease the blow-off of the kids moving out.
Here are 10 tips that can help you prepare your home to become an almost empty nest.
Prepare your home with small changes your kids won't mind. Don't make to many changes all at once. Making small changes will help the kids as moving out can be really stressful for kids as much as it is for parents - although they will not admit it. Some kids really worry about how they will actually do in their own place. They even worry about what will happen if they have to come back home or if they don't do well on their own. Will they be welcomed back with open arms? Making small changes will assure them that you are in a hurry for them to leave but that you will accept the change.
Create a place to come home to. No matter where they roam kids always want a place to call home. That home will always be where their parents are. No matter if you plan on downsizing or staying in your home kids want to know that mom and dad are there for them. Try to make sure they know they have a place to come home to. Even if you downsize make sure that you still keep a guest room so they can visit and feel like there is still space for them. This will give them assurance that you have thought or considered them.
Make a dream list. We have all seen the pictures in home & garden magazine and said, boy, I wish my house looked like that. Create yourself a dream list full of the thing you have wanted and thought you could never have because you had kids. You know like the nice clean cream-colored sofa in the furniture store that is obviously made for people with no kids. You can now start to fulfill that list as don't have to worry about little kids messing up the finer things for the home. It is finally time to live a little and enjoy the finer things in life.
Update or put out pictures of your kids. Your home can still tell your families story even without the kids there. Check the pictures in your home. You do have pictures out of your kids, right? If not do it NOW! You should be proud to show off your kids and should never worry that a picture of a kid will cramp your decor style. The whole reason for the house is to have a place to raise your family so let it tell your story. Let the pictures in your home tell their story- this means updating. They are no longer two-years-old so change out the picture. You don't want the company to come in and think that you still have a two-year-old. Your kids are older, show off the fine young adults they have become and be proud.
Create bedrooms that are more grown up. When kids become older we should update their room. I mean the Thomas the Tank Engine bedspread was cute when he was small but I'm pretty sure it will not go over well with his teenage friends. It is time to let the kid's rooms age with them. Update their room to a look that reflects them but with an adult feeling. This will give them a feeling of maturity. Opt for patterns and colors that would work even if this was a guest room.
Make preparations for forever keepsakes. Start to find a storage place for the items that you and your kids don't want to let go of. There will always be those special things that we really just can't part with. Such as the little handprint in the Plaster of Paris, or where they finally learned to write their name -priceless, Those things should be kept in safekeeping in a place that they can be pulled back out to reminisce. This means it might even be time to clean out the storage building or add more shelving to the storage unit you have. Add furniture pieces to the room that contain hidden storage. Create a memory box full of all your children's special things.
Get rid of old toys and clutter. This is a big problem you may have when you try to prepare your home for the almost empty nest. Fix your decor problems by decluttering the kid's things. A great way to begin is in the kids closet. We are in an age where we provide more than what our kids even need. Which leaves us with very cluttered closets full of things that can no longer be worn, used or even desired anymore. Get rid of the toys that have no sentimental value and donate the clothes that no longer fit. This will help you begin with a clean slate.
Begin to entertain with other empty nesters. Prepare your home by beginning to entertain with other empty nesters. Kids actually begin to not feel as pressured when they see their families embracing change. When we act like all we are going to do is sit around and wait for the next encounter with our kids we put excessive pressure on them. They actually worry about us -they just don't want us to know it. Make sure that you have extra seating that you can pull into the room for your entertaining. Your kids will feel a sense of being released.
Create a bathroom to pamper yourself in. Let's face it we have taken care of the kids so long and totally have been neglecting ourselves. Now I know we really did not mind sacrificing but it is finally time that you can relax and pamper yourself. Create a bathroom that you can do just that in. This time I will tell you to spare no expense. Buy the better towels -you know the ones that are actually full-sized and cloud-like fluffy. Add to the mood by adding a few candles for bath time. Add a makeup mirror that expands to where you need it. Use relaxing colors to set the relaxed mood.
Create a romantic bedroom to rekindle the fire. This special place with your spouse is very important. Many of us find that when the kids move out that we are stuck at home with a spouse who we feel that we barely know anymore. Why not rekindle the fire and begin date nights all over again to get to know each other again. Let your home embrace the love of the relationship that started it all.
These tips can start to prepare your home to be an almost empty nest.
It is the early stage preparation that can help you transition more easily to an almost empty nest. Use these steps to help you get a jump on preparing your home and family for the change that is almost inevitable.
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