Family, General, Self-Care

6 Ways To Deal With Empty Nest Syndrome

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

Most parents dread the same thing, and that is the day when their children move out. Even though it is exciting to see kids move off to start their own lives in the world of work or at college, it can still be quite upsetting for the majority of parents. After all, your babies have left after a lot of time together!

After their kids grow up and leave, most parents develop empty nest syndrome. This is when you experience extreme emotions and feelings, such as grief and loneliness. Thankfully, though, there are many ways you can prevent this syndrome from setting in once your children do move out.

So, are you expecting to say goodbye to your little ones over the next year? Here are some tips that can help you stay well away from any symptoms of empty nest syndrome!

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Downsize

When the kids move out of your family home, you will be left with their empty bedrooms and a lot of extra space in your house. Many people find that all of this excess space reminds them that their children no longer live with them, and this can worsen their feelings of loss and grief. There is one solution to this, though.

Home downsizing involves moving into a smaller home. When you and your partner find a house that is big enough for you and all your belongings, you will find that the home doesn’t feel quite so empty and you won’t rattle around in it so much. It’s still a good idea to get a new house with a spare bedroom, though – your kids will want to come back to stay sometime!

Talk To Your Partner About Your Feelings

I’m sure that your partner will be going through the exact same emotions and feelings as you are once your children move out of your family home. I’m sure that you will both benefit from being open and honest about what you are going through right now. Plus, talking about any issues will help you feel like you’ve let a weight go from your shoulders. You might even be able to come up with ways each of you can try and take your minds off things for a while.

Get A New Hobby

Now that you don’t have to spend so much time caring for and looking after your kids, you will have a lot more spare time to yourself in the evenings and on the weekends. So, why not do something useful with your time and get a new hobby?

Not only is this a great way to spend all your new free time, but it will also take your mind away from the loneliness and sadness that might have been getting you down since the kids moved out. If you have been meaning to get in shape for a while, now is your chance to do it by taking up a new sport for a hobby.

For example, you might want to look into joining a local running club so that you can start running and meet some new people. There are lots of hobbies that don’t involve sports if you don’t like getting active. For instance, how about joining a book club or taking part in a cooking course?

Get A Pet

Some couples like to fill their empty nest by bringing a new pet into their home. Your kids might be jealous of this new pet and they might even threaten to move back home! Joking aside, though, this is a good idea as it provides you and your partner with a brand new companion.

You’ll find that a new dog or a cat can bring a lot of joy into your home, and you won’t be quite so lonely anymore. Another benefit that comes with getting a dog is that it will help you stay fit as you will have to take it for a walk each and every day. If you and your partner are at work every day, you should try and get a peaceful breed that won’t be too bothered about being left alone all day.

(Related post: Don’t Forget Your Dog This Christmas!)

Keep In Touch With Your Children Regularly

Just because your kids have moved out doesn’t mean that you can’t keep in touch with them! In fact, if they have moved quite far away from you and you will no longer see them on a regular basis anymore, there is, even more, reason for you to try and keep in regular contact with one another. And you will find that keeping in touch can help to alleviate any loneliness or sadness that you might have been feeling. So, if you are ever feeling a bit down and miss your kids, pick up the phone for a quick chat with them!

Make Some Plans

Quite a few parents find that making plans helps to take their mind off their empty nest syndrome. So, it’s worth taking a look at your calendar for the coming months to see if you have any time to plan some days out or vacations. You and your partner might like the idea of going away to an adults-only resort, for example. Or perhaps you want to book a weekend away with some of your friends.

In fact, why don’t you visit your child and his or her new town or city for a weekend? You will, hopefully, find that packing your calendar with plenty of plans can help you to stay busy and can turn all your thoughts of sadness to excitement instead! If you do book some holidays, it’s a nice idea to see if your kids want to join you on a few of them as well. You will find that they will never be too old to accept a free trip away with their parents!

Hopefully, you won’t end up suffering from the empty nest syndrome for far too long. The ideas above should help you change your sadness to happiness!

Cleaning, General, Home Improvement

5 Tips for Freshening Up Your Home

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

There’s nothing more disappointing that feeling as though you’ve lost some of the passion and excitement that you once had for your home. However, it is a pretty natural thing. After all, you’re never going to be able to live in one place for years at a time without becoming so familiar with it that it loses some of its excitement. Of course, that’s not the way that things have to be!

Before you decide that your only option is to pack your bags and move somewhere else, why not try a few of these simple ideas to help bring you home back to life?

(Related post: Thinking of Moving to a New Country?)

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A new coat of paint

You would be shocked at how much of a difference a simple coat of paint can make the way that your home feels. Without even having to change a single structural element of it, you’re able to create a new and fresh atmosphere all throughout your home.

The kinds of colors that you choose are going to be down to you, but it’s worth taking some time to consider which ones you want. A lot of people tend to avoid using too much color on their walls for fear of it turning out garish and ugly. And while that’s a sensible idea, in theory, people often take it much too far. Having every single wall in your home be either white or magnolia is going to make the place feel dull and uninspired. Why not embrace color and go for some splashes of vibrancy throughout the house?

Of course, painting your entire home can be something of a chore, like there are companies like this painting company who you can hire to handle that side of things for you. You get to be in charge of the creative stuff while leaving the legwork to the professionals.

Rearrange the rooms

Sometimes the issue that a lot of people have in their homes is that the way the rooms are arranged are either inconvenient or uninspired. Moving things around can make a room feel like a new space. A lot of people make the assumption that there’s a single “right” way to arrange any given room and it’s usually the most obvious and boring way possible.

Why not break out of that mode of thinking and try something a little bit different? Be a little bit creative with how you arrange the rooms in your home; you might end up finding something that’s unusual, but incredibly effective.

Of course, if you do decide that you actually preferred things the way that they were, you can just move things back to the way they were. And that kind of change in your home isn’t going to cost you anything more than the time it takes to move some pieces of furniture around!

Refurnish

Speaking of furniture, it can often have an even bigger impact on the way a room feels than the room itself. After all, most homes are little more than blank canvases for people to use things like furniture to decorate upon.

Now, you might be thinking that the idea of refurnishing rooms in your home is going to be expensive but that’s not the case. For one thing, if you’re willing to look around places like thrift shops and second-hand stores, you can often find some incredible deals on beautiful pieces of furniture.

Not only that but you don’t have to replace every single piece of furniture in your house. Sometimes finding a couple of attractive statement pieces for your home can create a much greater degree of visual interest in the rooms that there had been before.

Create more space

One of the biggest complaints that many people have about their homes is that they don’t have as much space as they would like. The thing that a lot of people fail to realize is that creating space in their home is much easier than you might think. Many people assume that you need to fully renovate and extend your home in order to make more space but in reality, a few subtle changes can make all the difference.

For one thing, the arrangement of the rooms can help you to create a much better sense of space. If you’ve got things sitting in the middle of the room, then you’re not using the floor space as well as you could be.

Not only that but if your home is cluttered, then it’s never going to feel especially spacious. Make sure to use your storage areas effectively so that you don’t end up with things spilling out and taking up areas that you’re actually trying to use.

Don’t forget the outdoor spaces

People have a tendency to exclusively focus on the interiors of their home since that’s the part of it where they spend most of their time, but if you want your home to feel as full of life as possible, you can’t neglect the outdoor spaces.

For one thing, the front of your property is the first thing you’ll see when you come home every day, by making sure that it’s well presented you’ve always got something pleasant to look at the moment you arrive home.

Not only that but an overgrown garden is enough to make anyone feel stressed so many sure that you put garden maintenance on your list of regular chores so that it’s not something that’s  hanging over your head.

A lot of people assume that the kinds of changes that you need to make in order to improve and revitalize their home are going to be expensive and therefore not worth the effort. Hopefully looking at these simple tips has shown you that that’s not the case. The reality is that if you want to improve your home, there are plenty of options out there that are effective but that aren’t going to cost you the earth.

Cleaning, Family, General

4 Ways to Make Your Kid’s Clothes Last Longer

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

One of the biggest struggles for parents is clothing. You’ll need a lot of it to cover different occasions and weather, but kids grow so quick that many items are unwearable after a short period of time.
Add in the fact that children will play, get dirty and fall over, leaving clothes ruined.Kid’s clothes are expensive, so if you’re looking for ways to get more for your buck – take a look at these top tips for helping your kids’ clothes last longer.

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Stock up on the basics

Just like you have a closet full of basics, it makes sense to have the same for your children. Items like plain t-shirts, socks, and underwear are worth buying in bulk so that you always have a good supply at home that can be washed. You can get some great multi-buy deals that offer good values on kids clothing to help you save some money. Try to put them in basics most of the time so that nicer clothes are kept clean.

Buy a size bigger kids

Clothing comes in many different sizes, usually by age until they reach adulthood. If you’re investing in clothes that you want to last, it makes sense to buy clothes a size bigger that you can alter at the beginning, leaving slack to pull back out. If you’re not great with sewing, there are some excellent no-sew DIY clothing hacks out there that could save you a ton of problems.

Buy quality clothing

Investing in quality clothes can make a real difference to how long they last. While you might hate spending more on a coat or sweater, buying from a quality brand will mean that the items last longer, resulting in less frequent shopping trips for you. Take a look at the latest collection from Stone Island Kids – there are some great items there made from premium materials for looks that last. Quality clothing can easily be handed down as well, so it’s certainly a great idea to invest in items that can either be passed on to younger siblings, given to other kids or donated to Goodwill.

Learn how to tackle different stains

Kids can spill all sorts of things over themselves, get muddy or fall in the grass that leaves their clothes looking a state. As a parent, you’re going to need to become a whizz with the washer and learn how to remove stains from kids’ clothes.

Granted, it’s not always easy – but being able to remove the majority of stains will help your money stretch further and keep your child happy with their favorite sweater or dress gets dirty.

We all know that kids are messy, and if they aren’t getting their clothes dirty, they’re ruining your floors. Learn to prevent spills from staining so that you can protect your carpet and other surfaces from getting spoiled. A good arsenal of cleaning tools is a great thing to have around the house, ready to tackle whatever mess your kids get into next!

(Related post: Tips to Prevent Spills From Staining)