What to do with your home when your kids move out

What to do with your home when your kids move out
February 11, 2022 John Wason
In FlagHomes Blog
parents holding a small house after kids move out

A big family home is a dream of every parent. The house is full of laughter, toys, and kids everywhere. However, when everyone grows up and decides to leave the nest, the house becomes quite empty. This is when parents start to think about the possible solutions that will make their home cost-effective and more practical for them. This post will share some ideas on what to do with your home when your kids move out. It will help you get through this period.

First things first…

Make sure you’re dealing with your empty nest well on the emotional level. This can be a pretty hard time for parents, as they find it difficult to accept they live alone now. The common issues appear when parents realize they now have to go back to their old selves and learn how to live without taking care of their kids all the time. Make sure you put some effort into dealing with all the emotions you might feel. Also, don’t forget to check up on your partner. Now, with kids out of the house, you can focus on each other, making sure you reconnect and do everything you enjoy together. Explore new hobbies and find new challenges. Consider this a new stage in your life that you should use the best way possible.


One of the most common scenarios people opt for is downsizing. A large home was a great option when all the family members needed their space. But, once kids move out, parents are left with unnecessary extra space and costs, as well as maintenance tasks. It can become financially and physically challenging to take care of a big house. That’s why switching it for a smaller option might be the right thing for you. Here’s what to consider and do before you sell the old home, so you do this properly.

a floor plan of a home

Clear out the house first

If you decide to downsize, one of the main things to do is clear out and declutter the old place. This physical act can also be excellent mental preparation for this new stage in life. Also, it will help you prepare the house for sale. Decluttering is an essential part of every move, yet downsizing when your kids move is a bit more special. Several steps can lead you to a perfectly organized home that only includes items you’ll need and use:

  • Kids should take the items they want to keep – gather your kids one day and make it a decluttering event. They should be clear about what they want to keep and take with them so that you can get rid of the rest;
  • Donate items in good condition, or give them to family and friends. Maybe someone would like your kids outgrown clothes as perfect hand-me-downs;

Sell some of the pieces – many of the items can be quickly sold online or in a garage sale; If you’re downsizing, you might want to consider replacing bulky furniture or appliances with smaller/slimmer replacements.

a woman carrying a moving box

Are you buying a smaller home in the neighborhood or going away?

Downsizing is about getting a smaller, cost-efficient home, but who said anything about the location? Of course, if you love the place you live in now, you can start a local house-hunting process to find a smaller replacement in the area. But why don’t you make this more interesting and choose a place you’ve always wanted to visit, or you enjoyed as a holiday destination? Now, you don’t need to consider all the factors related to kids, their education, proximity to relevant amenities, etc. You can finally choose the location you’ve always wanted. This can be excellent preparation for the retirement days, too. So, think again what’s the ideal location for your new home.

Staying at the old house

Sure, there are many reasons why you should find a new, smaller home when your kids move out. But there are also a couple of reasons why you should stay put. Firstly, there’s the sentimental factor – leaving the home that holds so many family memories is not that easy. Also, you may not be sure if some of your kids would want to come back at some point. This can happen if they lose a job, get a divorce, etc.

Furthermore, you may feel insecure about selling the house now, worrying it’s not the best time to put it on the market. So, what to do with your home when your kids move out – if you decide to stay? There are several options here:

  • Remodeling – maybe it’s time to give your home a new look and spruce it up a bit. You can go for a fresh coat of paint, replace old furniture, add new art pieces, etc.
  • Create a home gym – now you probably have some space left, so why don’t you turn it into a home gym and tone your body. This is something both partners can enjoy.
  • Add a hobby room – whether you like crafts, painting, DIY projects, or music, why don’t you turn one of the kids’ rooms into a hobby room?
  • Make more space for your social gathering – extending your kitchen, adding a wine room, a game room, or an at-home cinema; the options are endless. You can make your home a favorite place to gather with your friends.
  • Create a home library – even a cool reading nook will do just fine, but it would be fantastic if you could convert some extra space in your home into a magnificent library where you and your partner could relax and enjoy some peace and quiet.

a cozy home library, representing what to do with your home when your kids move out

Take your time exploring your options. Choosing what to do with your home when your kids move out is not easy. However, the decision should be based on your and your partner’s preferences, your long-term plans, and your financial situation.