Many parents struggle with all the free time and space they suddenly have when their kids move out for work or school. It’s a normal part of life that comes with a difficult transition—physically, emotionally, and mentally.
However, it is also the perfect time to pursue various projects, passions, or other activities that you might not have had a chance to dabble in previously! Here are 22 suggestions for what you can do after your kids move out of the house.
1. Give Yourself Time
Don’t forget that this is a significant transition in your life, and it will take a while to settle into a new routine. So, giving yourself time to cope with this change and to healthily deal with your feelings is essential.
Part of the challenge of having your kids leave home is defining the new dynamic between you. But if you sit down and figure out the new roles you can play, it can help with the feelings of loneliness and uncertainty.
2. Connect With Yourself
Parenting can take up most of your personal time and lifestyle, so once your kids move out, it’s the perfect opportunity to reconnect with yourself and your needs.
You can keep in touch with yourself and your feelings by pouring your heart out in a journal. This is a great way to focus on the positives and what you are grateful for—even without your children being present.
If you are a spiritual person, this can be a good time to reignite your passions. Whether it’s attending church services every Sunday or meditating for ten minutes a day, it’s essential to use your new free time to reconnect.
3. List Your Goals
Now that you have embarked on a new chapter in your life, it’s a good time to reevaluate your goals. Reconnect with yourself and go over the items on your bucket list, making plans to pursue any of the activities you can now!
4. Practice Self-Care
Bubble baths, spa treatments, manicures, and pedicures are just a few of the many self-care options you will have the time to pursue.
This transition without the kids being at home can be difficult for parents, so taking time for yourself and your needs is essential.
5. Keep in Touch
Make a plan to keep in touch with your children and stick to it as much as possible. They might not be as available now, with school, work, or whatever else is going on in their new adult lives, but it helps to ease the loneliness by keeping in contact with your kids.
6. Don’t Make Big Decisions
Though this is already a big alteration to your life, try not to overload yourself by making other huge decisions at this time. Give yourself time to recover emotionally and settle into a new routine before making any further big changes to your life.
7. Update Your Closet
Your life has just experienced a large alteration, so why not change up your wardrobe to match?
Go through your wardrobes and closets, try on all your items, and donate any that no longer give you joy. Then, treat yourself to some new clothes or shoes to get your apparel up-to-date.
Even though your kids have moved out, they don’t always take everything with them.
Use this opportunity to work on decluttering your home. Look into closets and rooms for things to donate to charity or sell for extra cash. Consider renting storage space for any memorable items you don’t want to get rid of.
One of the best things to do to keep yourself busy after the kids move out is redecorating your home. Not only will this refresh the space after so many years, but you can also transform the house into a sanctuary, especially for you!
10. Do Home Repairs
Now that you have the time make sure the house maintenance is up to par! Carry out any repairs or DIY projects you have been putting off for a while, and ensure everything is working well and running smoothly.
11. Downsize Your Space
Once the kids have moved out, it’s prime time to downsize your space and possibly conserve some funds.
Instead of staying in a house with several empty bedrooms, consider selling and moving into a property that is more attuned to your current needs.
Not only will you avoid the heart tug of seeing your kids’ empty rooms every day, but you might also save money on housing!
12. Catch Up on Sleep
It might seem trite, but you likely have not been able to catch up on sufficient sleep for many years as a parent. Now is the perfect time to set up a sleep schedule and bedtime routine that works for you, including sleeping in!
13. Test Out New Recipes
Take this time to get creative in the kitchen!
Look into different cuisines that you have been fascinated by, test out a new technique on the grill, or get your hands on a baking book to whip up some tremendous treats. These are all some great ways to get busy cooking.
14. Find a New Hobby
When was the last time you took a moment to develop a new hobby? This can be one of the most rewarding things for you to do now that you have the time and space.
Consider what activities or crafts intrigue you most, and give yourself permission to try them out! If you have always wanted to write a book, knit a hat, or create a scrapbook, now is the time! Get the supplies and begin working on making your masterpiece or sign up for a class.
There are so many options for interesting classes that you can take to enhance a skill or discover a new passion—pottery, weaving, creative writing, kickboxing, wine tasting! Do it alone or with your partner, and open yourself up to new experiences.
15. Start a Side Hustle
Now that you have plenty of free time, why not add some more income by turning a hobby into a profitable side job? Whether you are a proficient knitter, a gifted baker, or a budding artist, set up an Etsy shop or farmer’s market booth to sell your goods.
16. Go on a Health Kick
Getting healthy can be challenging at any stage in life, but now that you have more available time for yourself, it’s the perfect opportunity to better your body and mind.
Sign up for the gym, get an at-home yoga kit, or take up meditation to help with your personal mental and physical health.
17. Go on Dates
Many parents find it difficult to dedicate time to themselves while raising their children. This is a great time to take steps to reconnect with your partner.
Plan a weekend away together, take a class that develops new skills, or simply sit down for a relaxing movie night with your significant other to strengthen your bond at this time.
If you are a single parent, take this time to go out, meet new people, and hopefully have some great times yourself!
18. Host Events
Now is the perfect time for hosting dinner parties, book clubs, or whatever kind of event you and your friends are interested in. Not only do you have more space without the kids there, but you also have time to host a gathering for the ages.
19. Plan a Vacation
Take time to travel now that your kids have moved out of the house and your responsibilities have lessened.
There are a variety of trips you can take, from cruises to adventure retreats, so do some research and determine what kind of vacation vibe is right for you and your budget.
20. Adopt a Pet
Consider giving yourself some animal companionship with a furry friend. You can either adopt a pet or foster one that needs an interim home, giving yourself some great company, unconditional affection, and the ability to get out for activities.
21. Consider Retirement Options
Whether it’s looking into your options online or even meeting with a financial advisor, now is a good time to start planning for retirement.
Even if you don’t have plans to retire in the next few years, it is wise to plan in advance—and now that you don’t have to worry about your kids as much, strategizing and saving for retirement can take place safely.
22. Volunteer for a Cause
With all the free time you might now have on your hands, this can be a great opportunity to pursue volunteering for a cause near and dear to your heart. Not only does it help others, but it will make you feel good—a win-win situation!