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Top Tips for Revamping Your Empty Nest

Top Tips for Revamping Your Empty Nest

There’s a lot of empty space – and opportunity – when kids move out and go to college. Check out our tips for revamping your empty nest.  

Empty nest syndrome will become a reality for many moms and dads as millions of students prepare to head to college campus in late summer and early fall. This transition can be a difficult stage of life for moms, whether their child’s college is a drive or a plane ride away. But while empty nest can evoke all the feels, there are plenty of things to look forward to: a child-free home comes with endless opportunities to revamp different areas of the home and enjoy some well-deserved “me time.”

Zulily is here to help you discover the exciting opportunities that come with being an empty nester with transformation ideas for your newly vacant space. And amidst record-high inflation and rising cost of tuition, we can help you find things you’ll love to make your space your own — without breaking the bank.

Outdoor patio with blonde woman and small dog
Outdoor patio with wine and charcuterie board

Reclaim Your Outdoor Living and Garden Space

Since you will have more free time on your hands, it’s a good time to tackle your outdoor living and garden space by creating a relaxing and inviting oasis just for you. Whether your ideal outdoor activities include reading, relaxing in the sunshine, entertaining, sipping your morning coffee, or a little bit of everything – you deserve a space that brings you happiness and satisfaction, especially after parenting 24/7 for the last 18 years (or more!).

We’ve got a simple formula to help you make it happen: furniture + plants + accessories + décor = your happy place!

Start by choosing the patio furniture to set the foundation for your outdoor retreat. Consider the size of your outdoor space and the activities you’d like to enjoy in it. Add some decorative touches with a comfy throw pillow or outdoor décor and accents that extend your interior aesthetic into the outdoors. Don’t forget to illuminate your yard, garden, or walkway with outdoor lighting solutions, including eco-friendly solar lighting (no outlets required!). If you need a bigger overhaul of your space, work with a local landscaper or a deck builder to create the space you’ve always envisioned, too.

Upgrade Your Bedding and Home Accessories

Change can be good, but sometimes change needs to happen slowly. One of the easiest ways to transition your empty nest is by sprucing up bedding in your kid’s room– this simple revamp and can bring new life and aesthetic to a room without doing a complete overhaul all at once.

When the time is right, you can incorporate home décor accents, area rugs, window treatments, and more. By the time your child returns home from college for the holidays, you’ll have a brand new room to show off.

Looking for an easy piece of décor to add to your space to spruce things up? Try indoor plants or a couple of vases. Flower vases are easy and effortless décor items to add to your home to change the look or to add some color and texture.

Striped blue bedding
Neutral color bedding
Storage Solutions

Clutter Control

Kids leave A LOT of stuff behind when they go to college, from childhood memorabilia to sports equipment from high school. And while you may be tempted to turn your kid’s room into a tricked-out yoga room, experts advise to ease into that transition. While paring down possessions is an important part of home organization, you (or your child) may not be ready to let go and get rid of sentimental clutter just yet – and that’s ok!

Instead of donating, selling, or tossing out everything your kid has left behind, organize those items in storage baskets and bins to free up space and create a multi-use room. A cleared-off desk suddenly makes a great perch for a home office; less clutter means a more inviting guest room, and yes, you can even use it for your at-home yoga sessions. A few simple storage solutions can transform the space and keep you organized.

We recommend sorting through these belongings with your child during their next visit home or over a summer break and decide what to keep or toss. You’ll whittle stuff down to the most precious and valuable belongings AND take a trip down memory lane with your not-so-little kid as you reminisce over memories of past events in their life.


You’re not the only ones rethinking your definition of home. For college students, living on campus may be their first time away from home and organizing their dorm room or first apartment to feel stylish and personalized is a heavy feat for tight quarters and unfamiliar territory.

As you start thinking about how you want to convert your empty nest, help your college student settle into #dormlife with new comforters, mattress pads, and pillows, so they can rest up comfortably for the next four years of tests and big events. And, with the right organization essentials, like shoe organizers to decorative bins, you can help them make the most of their minimal space.

College dorm room with blue bedding and laptop

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About The Author

Mattie Heider

Mattie Heider is the Public Relations Manager at Zulily. With a passion for storytelling and helping moms find exactly what they need to equip themselves and their families at every stage of motherhood, she uses customer insights and data to create meaningful marketing communications and trend reports, including the popular State of the Date Night Report. She lives in Seattle.

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