The Empty Nest Get's Refilled

Spring is in full swing, flowers are starting to appear, the snow is melting, and life feels fresh and full of possibility. It’s also the time that university ends and many students head home for four months of vacation.

For parents and students who have just spent the last eight months apart, it can be quite a shock to suddenly be sharing your space all over again. From the influx of laundry, to the larger grocery bills to the adjustment of sharing your space with a young adult – refilling the empty nest can be a stressful process for everyone involved.

To reduce the stress of integrating two lifestyles, Organize Anything has come up with some useful tips and suggestions to smooth the transition.

1) Plan ahead. A week before your student is due to move home, air out their bedroom and clear out any items you may have been storing in there. Your child will feel possessive of the room they grew up in, and having it as they remembered it will ease the transition home. If you stopped buying certain foods after your child moved out, pick some of them up before they move home so that they have a comfort food ready in the fridge. Ask if they have any new favourites that you can have for them.

2) Finding Space. If your child moved out some time ago, you may have turned their bedroom into a craft room, office or workout space. If this is the case, you will need to find a creative way to make space for them. If their bedroom is now the guest room, let them know about all the changes.

3) Storage space is at a premium. Your student will return with more stuff then they left with. If they are graduating, encourage them to sell anything they won’t need now that they are done with school. If they will be returning in the Fall, suggest storing extras that they won’t need over the summer with a friend.

4) Delaying the inevitable. With your adult child moving home, there will be a temptation to coddle and spoil them. It’s a natural pattern to fall into – you treat them like the child they were when they left, and they will act like a child. In this day and age, the markers of adulthood have been rearranged, so helping your adult child find their path is important.

5) New life experience, new rules. Your student has just spent the last 8 months being able to come and go as they please, and living their life on their own terms. No one is saying that you have to let your child continue to do as they please, but the house rules from when they were in high school will probably have to be renegotiated. Flexibility on both sides is the key to a happy integration. Drinking, noise, parties, helping around the house and communicating about where they are, are some areas for conversation. Better to talk about things ahead of time before they become an issue.

6) The sticky subject of rent. Often when an adult child moves home it’s because they can’t support themselves financially. This doesn’t get them off the hook however. Make arrangements for them to contribute to the household income, instead of the expenses. Would they be interested in buying the groceries, or paying the internet/cable bill instead of paying rent? If they don’t have a job or other source of income, what about contributing by taking care of various household tasks like making the meals or shovelling the driveway. This will let your child feel like a contributing member of the household and not just a boarder.

7) Spend time together. This is a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with your grown child. If they have a job and will be out of the house a lot, suggest once a week family dinners. Invite them to the cottage for the weekend or camping – you’d be surprised how much that invitation will mean to them.

8) Set some limits. If your recent graduate is moving home while they search for their first job and get back on their feet, sit down with them when they first move home and set a time limit for how long they are able to live at home. Having this conversation when they first get home will encourage them to set goals and not slide into the security blanket of “I can just stay here forever.”

Following these easy eight tips will ensure that when your child moves home after university, you won’t want to move out.

What Clients are Saying

“Organize Anything brought an air of control to a process that felt out of control, unmanageable and chaotic. It was calming to have other people (working with us), not just for me but for my family, to reassure us that things weren’t going to fall apart in total disaster. It’s true that moves are emotionally draining and physically draining, I think no matter what you do. This team provided coaching, perspective, tips and suggestions, practical support and kept us on track of the big heap of things that needed to be done.”

Let Us Help

Not sure where to start when it comes to integrating your child back into your home? Let us help you come up with viable storage solutions.

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Click here to watch a video about organizing your closet, and be sure to check out our other videos!

What Clients are Saying

“Organize Anything brought an air of control to a process that felt out of control, unmanageable and chaotic. It was calming to have other people (working with us), not just for me but for my family, to reassure us that things weren’t going to fall apart in total disaster. It’s true that moves are emotionally draining and physically draining, I think no matter what you do. This team provided coaching, perspective, tips and suggestions, practical support and kept us on track of the big heap of things that needed to be done.”

For more great tips and information on our services visit us at www.organizeanything.com and www.coletterobicheau.com.

Phone: (902) 233-1577
Email: colette@organizeanything.com

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© 2007 Colette Robicheau
The Organizing Coach
Organize Anything
Phone: (902) 233-1577
Fax: (902) 455-0553
www.organizeanything.com

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