Empty Nest? Here are 8 Cool Projects You Can Start Today

Screen shot 2016 08 11 at 1.30.46 pm

JLP Staff

Aging Well /


After your youngest finally leaves to start their freshman year of college, it can be an emotional time. You’ve spend at least eighteen years, if not more, being a parent. It’s been a central part of your life and your identity. But now that your kids are adults, the house is strangely empty, and you’ve suddenly got tons of free time on your hands.

Once you’d emotionally adjusted to your newly empty nest, try some of these fun, rewarding activities. An empty nest is a great time to find new hobbies and get more in tune with yourself.

1. Go Back to School

This option isn’t for everyone, but if getting your master’s degree or PhD would further your career, now is a good time to do it. If you’re not interested in getting another degree, you can also consider taking a few classes at your local community college. If you’ve always wanted to take a class in art or ceramics, this is an ideal time to do it.

2. Spend More Time with Your Spouse

When was the last time you had a romantic dinner together, or went on a vacation for two? Now that your kids have moved out of the house, it’s a great time to reconnect with the one you love.

3. Learn to Play a Musical Instrument

Ever wanted to learn a new instrument? Many teachers will gladly offer lessons to adults as well as children. Whether it’s the piano, the violin, the cello, or something more unusual like a sitar, it’s a great time to let your inner musician roam free.

4. Start a Blog

Blogging can be a great hobby, and you might even make some money with it. You can blog about just about anything you’re interested in, from coffee, to music, to health and wellness. Ad revenue and affiliate income can generate a bit of a profit, too. If you want to monetize your blog, you’ll need your own website, rather than a free blog through Blogger or Wordpress. Learning how to build a website can also be a lot of fun.

5. Sell Handmade Goods on Ebay or Etsy

Are you crafty? If you can knit, sew, make jewelry, or otherwise produce handmade goods as a hobby, you can actually sell them online. Etsy is usually the go-to place for selling things you made yourself, but you can also put things up for sale on Ebay or Amazon.

6. Do Some Spring Cleaning and Redecorate Your Home

Now that your kids moved out and you have some extra space, it’s a great time to redecorate. Start by thoroughly cleaning every room in your home. You may also want to get rid of some clothes and other items you’re not using. You can bag them up and donate them to a local thrift store. If you have things you want to keep, but don’t want in the house, consider renting a storage unit.

You can also consider repainting or remodeling your home. Whether you’re just updating an outdated powder room with ugly 90s floral wallpaper, or you’re planning serious renovations for your home’s interior, now is a great time to do it.

7. Get Involved with a Charitable Cause

You can also consider putting in some hours as a volunteer for a charitable organization, like a soup kitchen or a charity shop. Not only does it give you something new to do with your time, but it’s also a great way to give back to your local community and make a difference in people’s lives.

8. Learn Meditation

Meditation is an age-old practice that is found in many world cultures, although most people in the West associate it with the dharmic religions, especially Buddhism. Meditation has been the subject of extensive research exploring its many benefits for mental and physical health. Meditation produces measurable changes in the brain, and can help you better manage your emotional responses to events in your life, decreasing your susceptibility to negative emotional states like fear, anger, and sadness.

Although meditation is a spiritual practice for many people, you don’t have to hold any spiritual beliefs in order to benefit from it. There are many types and styles of meditation that you can explore, and you can find one that works well for you.

Staying Busy in an Empty Nest

Many people feel sad, listless, or lonely after their youngest child leaves for college. But an empty nest can be a positive thing. You have more free time to devote to your hobbies. You could go back to school, start a business, learn a new skill, or just relax and take some time to yourself. It’s a great chance for a new beginning, and an opportunity to get more in tune with yourself.

Categories: Aging Well, Parenting
About The Author
Screen shot 2016 08 11 at 1.30.46 pm

Joan Lunden’s in-house research and writing team works with Joan to create content that complements her focuses and the interests of her fans. The team is dedicated to creating a thriving community through content and conversations, and hopes their work, like Joan’s, can make a difference in the lives of her readers everywhere.

comments powered by Disqus