You’ve just dropped off your child at college and you’re now an empty nester. So, what are you going to do???
Well, first probably cry. And drink a lot of wine.
But seriously (although I’m pretty sure I am serious about all of that), I have this feeling that once you’ve cried your way home from dropping them at college, there are some things to consider. Big questions like:
“Do I get to hold the remote now?”
“Do I still have to go to the grocery store every day (sometimes several times a day)?”
“Who is going leave gum in their pockets, so it gets all over my dryer?”
But also, there may be more practical questions that affect everyday life at home, like how to spruce up your home furnishings. So, here’s how to get started with organizing your home to match this new stage in life…
Step 1: Consider Life Without Children at Home
You might have some questions like:
“Do I still like the furniture in my living room?”
“Could I get new furniture that no one has left drink rings on?”
“Could I make a home office now that isn’t out in the kitchen?”
“What will I do with my time now that I’m not driving and cooking for all those people?”
“Would I take up a hobby?”
“Would I like a special room for that hobby?”
Step 2: Get Ready for Your Next Phase of Life with the Right Home Furnishings
Essentially, becoming an empty nester means life is changing in a big way, and whether we are excited about that change or not, it will still happen. What we can control is how that change affects us. How we fill the now-vacant time that used to be occupied by our children living at home is something that can have a significant impact on our lives going forward. Which means it’s time to finally think about doing more of what makes you happy. Maybe it’s dancing. Or doing more crafting. Maybe you want to binge old movies or that latest series on Netflix everyone’s talking about. Or maybe, just maybe, you’d like to entertain more.
Step 3: Think About Entertaining?
Perhaps you’ve wanted to join a book club, but never felt ready to commit to hosting on a regular basis. You know, you had this picture in your head of how your home would look as your girlfriends sat around discussing the latest book, all the while arranged in a setting that looked so utterly perfect. And then you would look up from your daydream and look around your living room and realize that you were so not going to host a book club anytime soon.
But maybe book club’s time has come. What if you could make your space look like that picture in your head? Would it include a bar or wine cabinet that would be just perfect – the kind of piece that would bring striking style to your room and would hold all the things you need to make the cocktails everyone will be talking about? Maybe it will be a hot navy blue with round gold tone handles that are totally unforgettable – you know like this one below that is sooooo much the piece that will have all your friends asking for style tips.
Step 4: Update Your Main Living Space with Home Furnishings You’ll Actually Love
So now you’ve considered at least some of the ways that life will change. And how some of those changes may affect what you need in the way of home furnishings. So, maybe you’re ready to start making some changes.
Let’s say you want to update your living room. Without a pack of teenagers sprawling all over your couch with bare feet and sports drinks in hand, the idea of getting a new one may be appealing. You could even get a new coffee table and side tables to go with that new couch. Perhaps a TV stand that matches the coffee table and side tables? (Or maybe just one that you’ll fall in love with like the little number from Twin Star Home™ at the start of this blog.)
You could even get furniture with integrated USB charging like the side table in the modern farmhouse group pictured below. Because whether you need to charge your devices or you want to make sure all the kids can when they come home, it’s probably time your furniture worked harder for you.
Step 5: Choose the New Style You Want with the Right Home Furnishings
With the changes going on at home, you can take this opportunity to actually give some thought to the style you want your home to have. Tired of the same look your home has had for the last decade? Maybe you’d love to lighten up with a relaxing coastal cottage style? Or maybe it’s mid-century modern that speaks to you. This is the perfect moment to redecorate your home in a style You Would Love.
And it might be very liberating knowing that you’re adding new style to your home with no one around to immediately break in those home furnishings in by inviting a bunch of friends over and eating cheese puffs and drinking soda right in the midst of your brand new WHITE living room.
Step 6: Upgrade Areas Beyond the Main Rooms of Your Home
It’s possible that all this updating of the main areas of your home will have a snowball effect and you’ll find yourself jonesing for another area to work on – like maybe the bathroom that’s looked the same since your kids played with tub toys and has the bathroom vanity with stained top to prove it. A sliding barn door bathroom vanity can be just the addition to start a bathroom remodel that will give you stylish and comforting modern farmhouse style.
Step 7: Turn one of the kids’ old bedrooms into an office or reading room
Another redecorating strategy to consider is to repurpose some space into something just for yourself – like a quiet reading nook. A place where you can go sit and try to take your mind off all the hustle and bustle that is part of daily life. A nice wall mantel electric fireplace can add the perfect ambiance to your nook, while a bookcase can serve as home for all the books you can’t wait to read.
Maybe you have some big projects in mind, like writing a book or starting your own business. A standing desk is great because you can be working for long periods, without needing to sit the whole time. You have freedom to put more movement in your day, without sacrificing productive work time. Or maybe you love crafting and need a new workspace – an adjustable height desk is perfect for that too, especially because you can then adjust it to the perfect height for whatever type of project you’re working on.
Step 8: Enjoy Your New Home Furnishings and Look Forward to Thanksgiving Break
It can feel surprisingly liberating to be an empty nester – no more panic about what and how much to cook for dinner. No real concern about when to return home, other than the dog if you have one. Maybe even grown-up vacations that don’t require endless activities to keep restless kids busy.
But it will also feel so amazingly good to see your kids walk back through the front door and know that they’ll always return home to make more memories. And you’ll be thrilled to take more family photos in a beautiful space filled with your new home furnishings.
Because you always know how to make home the best place to be.