Terri Brisbin


Terri Brisbin

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Hubby and I are at that stage when the nest is emptying . . and not just for those temporary things like sleepovers or college. I never thought I would have a problem with it — I thought I had lots of things to do and would never really go through the heartache and angst that I always heard about. Now, of course, it realize it’s much more poignant than that – it’s really been happening all along the way as the kids grow up and take step after step away from us. It’s only when their room is empty that it all hits!

So, last year as two of three were officially out (even though one came back in for a while before he left again!), I began to plan my re-claiming of my house!

C’mon – you parents know!You put off buying the things you need because you want to buy what the kids need. One thing we put off (clearly for too long!) was a new mattress.  Two weeks ago, we bought a new one – and wow, what a difference! We got one of those ‘memory foam’ types and some of my back pain is easing!

And, of course, little by little, child by child, their stuff took over the house and mine got pushed and shoved into smaller and smaller places. My first computer was in the corner and the kitchen. Then it was in the corner of the storage room. Gradually I claimed the whole storage room – but it’s a really small room. As I wrote more and collected research books and storage files and supplies (and BOOKS), my space began to inch its way into other places — the living room bookshelves, the family room corner, the closet in the smaller bedroom.

Well, I finally made my stand just as number two son moved out — I was taking the larger of the two, now-empty bedrooms as my new office! Yay! I spent time browsing furniture websites like IKEA to find the perfect (and perfect amount) shelves to house and hold all those books that needed to be collected into one place. I bought a new desk but chose a color with the NEW OFFICE in mind.  The first big step is next — we’re getting some new carpet!

So, how about you? Do you spruce things up as you go or do you wait for things like ‘empty nest’ to make bigs changes? Have you gone through the ‘empty nest’ experience? Is there something in your house you’d change or will change? I just found a $20 Lowe’s gift card that might help a bit for one commenter who has something to do in their house!



   Terri is working on the next MacLerie Clan story and looking forward to new projects and characters! Stop by her website for more info about events, books, and news! 



20 thoughts on “The Nest is Emptying…..

  1. CateS says:

    I’ve always been an empty nester.. but my house has filled up due to the passing of relatives and my processing their estates. But my friends did mention that when their daughters left for school… so did a lot of small appliances… The bonus was that they then could go out and purchase new ones.. which they admitted to hiding from visiting college children!!!

  2. catslady says:

    I hated when my two girls left and pretty much haven’t changed things. I guess it’s a very gradual process for me. Moving some of our things into “their” rooms lol. Neither has a lot of room to take what wasn’t given to charity (lot of clothes they didn’t want) but really I have a harder time getting rid of “memories” than they do. I guess I just don’t know where to begin lol.

  3. CrystalGB says:

    We spruce up as we go. We do home improvement projects every summer. We are going to redo our bathroom this year.

  4. All 4 of mine are gone, but the boys are still in college so they still have rooms here although I doubt either of them will ever come home for an extended period of time again. The girls both have jobs so we have a “girls who don’t live here anymore” room. We need to remodel out bathroom badly, but that will have to wait until college is done. The only thing that will help that room is a sledgehammer and a lot of money.

  5. I’m a constant sprucer. I have trouble starting new projects unless I’ve cleaned out my office, cleared the old stuff off the bookshelves…basically clear the decks!

  6. We’re at the opposite end of the spectrum, trying to expand our two-person family to three. For about the first year, the “baby’s room” was sacrosanct, with just a couple of things we’re going to use as decorations when the time comes. Now in year two and starting to eyeball adoption, it’s become the baby’s room plus the spare leaves of the dining table, some window screens, the box o’ cat toys, the rolled-up rug I booted out of my office when I got my treadmill …

  7. Kathleen Kathleen says:

    Terri, I’m with catslady! I mourned when my kids left, and it took us forever to be willing to turn their rooms into anything but “waiting rooms.” :cry:

    We did, though, and now one of them is an exercise room. Which…well, that pretty means it’s still a “waiting room.” ;-)

  8. Laurie G says:

    Hi, With all 4 of my children out of the house and 3 married I’ve been an empty nester for 5 years. I had no problems with them moving on with their lives. I took over the nursery/play room. It has been converted into my reading room with a comfy couch and chair with an ottoman. I can close the door and have peace and quiet for reading. I LOVE MY PERSONAL SPACE.

  9. bn100 says:

    fix them as we go

  10. I like the different approaches.

    My hubby is having a tough time with the kids moving out — he hasn’t said as much, but, goodness, he is grumpy when they don’t come over!

  11. Terri, the Norwegian and I are easing into the empty nest. The Crown Princess went off to college last fall, but now she’s back for the summer and I’m so happy. We, too, just bought a new mattress about a month ago. Something we’d been putting off for far too long.

  12. Quilt Lady says:

    Well my son was gone away to college but he is back home now. I really need to do something to his room. It is wall papered and the paper keeps coming loose, he also needs new carpet. I have no place to put the things in his room while we redo it. I have two rooms right now that needs carpet and thing fixed in them. This room where our computers are needs a lot of work also. Still have no place to put things while I redo. Price you pay for living in a small house.

  13. Ann s. says:

    My first of four will be leaving the nest next month, she is getting married. I know her twin sister will be next because she just got engaged. My youngest will be leaving for college in two years, but the oldest may be a lifer here at home, lol. I am thinking my daughters room would be a great den, bookshelves, a nice set of comfy chairs and I’m set. I will need new lamps to read by, and to look at pictures of my baby girls that have grown up to fast for me.

  14. ellie says:

    My two sons are married and we took over their rooms. Delightful changes and improvement are always ongoing.

  15. pearl says:

    We haven’t done much lately so updating is necessary. It would be wonderful to complete a project. I constantly discard at least and want to work on various rooms which need care.

  16. diane says:

    Since life happens so fast it is time to attend to household matters and why not now. We are on our own so perfect timing to get things going.

  17. Shana Shana says:

    Oh, so long until I have an empty nest! I do keep toys out of my bedroom, but that’s all I’ve managed.

  18. Rhonda says:

    I usually fix things as they are needed. I haven’t made any big changes to my house. My son spends his time between my house and his father’s house. Since my son drives, it could be several days before he shows up at my house but I don’t feel like my nest is empty since I have 2 dogs and a cat!

  19. Chelsea B. says:

    Haven’t empty-nested yet! But we are adding on to our house– a bedroom and library. Oh, the work that goes along with that! Well, I’m not personally building it, but watching it be built is exhausting :mrgreen:

  20. Georgie says:

    I have to say, we are at the long end of this spectrum, We have been empty nesters for over 25 years… I know, I guess we don’t even qualify at this moment for that label… I will tell you this, we have never been at peace with it. We no longer have the house they grew up in, so no fixing up. :smile: WE still miss the two of them like crazy. They both live a long way off, so visits are scarce. SKYPE is my lifesaver. Grumpy Grandpa gets very grumpy if his “little princess” doesn’t call regularly. Our son was here for a week last week, and I have not stopped grinning yet. We have one grandson, and I talk to him on Skype a lot. I read the same YA books he does so we have something in common to talk about and I recommend art FB pages to him since he is interested in watercolor pencils at the moment. He is also 6′ tall and plays Football (grandpa) talks FBall… grin http://jauntyquills.com/wp-includes/images/smilies/icon_smile.gif

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