When the kids move out of the empty nest and go on their way - they tend to leave behind a trail of items that overtake our homes.You know in the rooms that you were afraid of going into for years. The ones with the sticky stuff on the dresser that you are not really sure what is. You know - the room with the aroma that you are not really sure what is but seems to just be teen-spirit. In order to begin to reclaim your home, you must begin the cleanout process.
This cleanout can bring about a lot of emotions for us empty nester moms. Some of the anger from the mess that they left behind others from the tears from missing them being in the house. You may find that this is a process you dread but is a necessity in order to begin to move on and reclaim your empty nest. Let's look at some ways you can begin to clean out the empty nest and reclaim your home.
#1 Tackle one room at a time
Limit yourself to only working in one room at a time. This will prevent you from becoming overwhelmed and prevent you skipping around from room to room. Focusing on one room at a time will ensure one room gets complete before moving on to another room. Begin by clearing out small items from the room that is no longer used first.
#2 Separate and conquer
Sort your room by separating and conquering. Begin by thinking in sections or try being more visual by creating storage bins with labels. Label 4 storage containers each for a different task - such as what to keep, donate, dispose and sell. Set aside items that might be used by others and are ready for donation. Make sure that as you begin to sort that you consult your kids. Ask what they have that has special meaning to them and what they are just not willing to let go of. They may value items in the room that you don't know about.
#3 Lower expectations
Make sure that if you decide to sell or get rid of items in your room that you are realistic. For instance, old furniture may not bring a large profit if you decide to try to sell. However, there are other items such as jewelry that might bring more than you realized. Consider donating pieces that you are not as likely to bring a profit. Don't forget that some items might be used in other areas of the home so consider repurposing in another area before you discard.
#4 Call in the recruits into the empty nest
Ask the kids what they still want to keep and what they are fine with getting rid of. Odds are they really are not even sure what is in the room. Try asking them to just take at least an hour or two to help go through items that might have to mean to them. Many kids will make time if they think you might get rid of something of their they want to keep. Ask the kids to take their stuff with them and store it at their house -but be realistic if they just got married and moved out. You should give them a few months to get adjusted first.
#5 Set a daily routine for the future and a deadline
Set a routine to make maintaining the extra rooms easier. If you set up a schedule of cleaning then you are more likely to get what is on a list done. Setting up a deadline for cleaning out will ensure that the kids will come and remove any items that they are not willing to part with. This as well gives you time to arrange for any additional storage options are needed.
#6 Be grateful
As this process of cleaning out and moving on can be difficult try to approach it with gratitude. Think of how blessed you have been for years to be able to share your home with your children. Remember how far you have come with raising them and what a great accomplishment it is to have raised children into members of society. Use your new found gratitude as motivation for a job well done.
Cleaning out the empty nest can be a bit of a challenge as it stirs emotions.
As you begin the physical cleaning out of clutter you may find it will help you to move past the emotional clutter - opening up a fresh perspective on new beginnings. Once this clean out has taken place you should feel energized to move forward with the next big step for designing your room.
Maybe you have some ideas for creating your dream room but need some help to pull things together. If this sounds like you then I have a room design consultation service where we can discuss your room ideas and create a plan of action for your room. Contact me and we will get to work creating your dream home.