Emptying the nest: what to do after the kids fly away

Emptying the nest: what to do after the kids fly away

When children leave for college, a couple can have a hard time adjusting to the idea of being empty nesters. Sure, it can be nice not to have to worry about what the kids are up to when you leave home, and it can be fun to have the place all to yourself, but what happens once the novelty has faded a bit and you’re back to daily life? What kinds of things do you want to do then? A lot of people downsize once they have an empty nest, and others spend more time focused on their own hobbies and interests. If you’ve been thinking about a smaller house, or you want to get involved in more of the things you like, this is your chance. You have raised your kids well, you’ve done the work, and now it’s finally time to kick back and enjoy.

Having an empty nest can be enjoyable

That doesn’t mean you won’t miss your children once they’re grown up, but only that you’ll have the opportunity to move forward with things you want to do that you may have put off while raising your family. Now you can travel more, set up a home gym, invite guests over, or do all kinds of other things that you might find interesting. Some empty nesters also go back to school to take classes they never would have had time for while they had children at home. There are so many different things you can do with your time when it’s not all about your children any longer.


What if your empty nest is not that empty yet?

One of the ways you can make space for the things you like and want to do is through renting a storage unit. That will give you the opportunity to move some things out of your house while still having them where you can get to them. A lot of those things will belong to your kids, since they may not have taken everything with them when they moved out. If they’re at college, or they are traveling before settling down somewhere, they probably left things behind at home. If you carefully box up those things and take them to storage, you can give yourself the space you need, while your children won’t need to give up their things.


Being an empty nester gives you opportunities

You can also redecorate the rooms the children used once they’ve moved out, then use them as guest rooms or for all sorts of hobbies and interests. New paint, a change of flooring, and some new furniture can go a long way toward changing the entire look of the room. If you don’t want to get rid of the furniture your children used when they lived with you, the storage unit is a good place for those items as well. No matter how you envision your new rooms looking, being an empty nester gives you opportunities that you wouldn’t have had in the past.


Seize new opportunities and enjoy your life’s next chapter

Don’t let guilt at changing your children’s rooms into something new stop you from having the house you really want. Your kids are out in the world, living their own lives, and you should be living yours as well. Between some redecoration and a storage unit, you can have an empty nest that looks the way you want it to. You’ll have the opportunity to get involved with the hobbies you left behind, or create some new ones, which will give you plenty of opportunities for joy after your kids have moved on to the college and careers of their own.


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Tanvir Zafar

The founder of ISU Technologies, passionate in writing about entrepreneurship, work and technology.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.


3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.


6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.


9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.


Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via

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