“For me, it’s how abruptly our house went from noisy and full to quiet and empty,” Audrey said. “One son made the decision to join the Navy, and the other chose to pursue his career in New York. So we have the classic empty nest, and honestly, I hate it.”
Life Changes Prompt Home Changes
“We’re not going to sell our house. That card is not even on the table,” Drew said. Audrey’s husband has also been having some issues with adjusting to this new life stage. “For me, it’s the kitchen.” He laughed. “It’s probably because I do most of the cooking. But the way we cook has changed. The way we shop for groceries has changed. The amount and type of food we keep on hand has changed.
And there’s just a lot of stuff in the kitchen we aren’t using as much anymore. The big serving platters. All of the plates, bowls and glassware – I am not saying we need to get rid of these things; we still entertain family and friends from time to time. The boys visit. But I don’t need to have all of these items in my presence all of the time while I am cooking.”
Life changes often prompt home renovation projects. This is because your household needs have changed. The space you have is currently optimized for a different set of needs. Going from a household of four to a household of two is a dramatic change.
And the empty nest in particular is a difficult change to navigate emotionally. Of course you’re proud of your kids, and the way they’re pursuing their dreams. However it would be very nice if somehow they were still young kids at home.
One common way to work through these emotions is to renovate the house. Focusing your attention onto a change you do want – upgrading the kitchen, for example – can help you from dwelling on more complicated emotions about other things.