Nearly two-thirds of boomers plan to stay in their homes after their baby chick flies off to Wilderness University. Are you one of those parents?
Whether you're feeling bummed (if you are, here are some tips to help you cope with an empty nest) or jumping up for joy, take comfort in knowing that you have an extra room in your home to do whatever you want.
Here are five genius ways to transform your empty nest into a full nirvana. Because you earned it.
1. Clear your mind.
As much as you love your son or daughter, let's be real: Kids are cute, but expensive. $200,000 expensive. Why not kick off your empty nest freedom by treating yourself?
You and your spouse have been focusing on your child for so long. Now's the perfect time to shine the spotlight on the stars who you've been neglecting all along:
Spice up that spare space by turning it into your private gym. All you need are some dumbbells or kettlebells, an exercise ball (which when you sit on, activates your core muscles more than sitting on a weight bench does), and a mirror to admire your results. And each other.
Get healthy, get fit, and do so in the comfort of your own home. Because couples that sweat together stay together.
What do you love doing?
Reading novels? Watching movies? Painting? Drawing? Sculpting? Playing piano? Playing pool? Dancing 90 percent naked? Singing karaoke? Practicing yoga? Building things with your bare hands because you're a sucker for DIY?
Whatever your hobby is, take this newfound time to pursue your passion in the same room that nurtured the honor student responsible for putting yours on the back burner.
If you're thirsty for inspiration, Pinterest is an infinite well of ideas from which you can safely drink.
If you're not selfish (and why would you be when you just spent 18 years focusing on everyone except yourself), turn that barren bedroom into a gorgeous guest bedroom for the kind souls who actually look forward to your call:
Pro tip: Paint the room in a light color, be strategic with your lighting, and if the room has a window, place a mirror directly opposite that window to reflect light and create the illusion of extra space. If you want to keep the room multi-purpose, we recommend getting a wall bed, a transforming table, and other space-saving furniture from Resource Furniture.
5. Pamper your clothes.
If you're a little selfish (aren't we all?), consider converting that clutter-collecting quarters into a colossal walk-in closet. Build (or hire an expert to build) some shelves and drawers, add some hanging bars, toss in a full length mirror, and unleash your inner Carrie Bradshaw.
If you're going the DIY route, make a pit stop at these walk-in closet instructions from Instructables along the way.
So, ready to renovate your empty nest?
Not so fast.
Be sure to tell your pride and joy about your plans before you demolish the central pillar of his/her childhood memories. Or not. Because you're the parent, and you always know what's best.