The day has finally arrived: The kids are all grown up, you’re selling the family homestead and downsizing to a smaller place. While less space and upkeep sound appealing, part of you still thinks about all the wonderful memories you made in your home over the years. The question is, should these memories move with you — or should you move on? And how will the kids react?
A new home gives you a unique opportunity to create spaces that reflect where you are today. So, while the nest may be empty, is there still some value in providing a place where your kids can roost?
Be Accommodating, But Set Boundaries
Should you designate rooms exclusively for your children and grandchildren? On the one hand, giving them their own place to stay over makes them feel welcome and provides a familiar environment. On the other hand, having adult children in and out can interfere with your own routines and schedules. As with so many things in life the solution is finding a compromise that works for everybody.
For example, you could designate a section of the house, like a finished basement or a spare room, as a place for them to stay over that isn’t permanent. If there are grandkids, you could make this a kid-friendly guest room with a TV, toys and twin beds that can be pushed together. This multifunctional approach means the space doesn’t go unused when they’re not around. In short, you have the best of both worlds — a place for them to stay that doesn’t take over your new environment.
Make the Most of Outdoor Space
If you have a big backyard, an inviting outdoor area gives kids and grandkids a place to call their own for recreation and spending some quality time with you. Consider adding play equipment, a treehouse, sandbox and/or fire pit where you can all be together. Smaller kids might also love to have a special box full of toys and games they use exclusively at their grandparents’ house. The main idea here is to have a gathering place that’s comfortable and fun for family members of all ages.
Be a Good Parent, and a Great Host
If you’re expecting a visit, stock up on their favorite snacks, drinks and other treats so they feel well-fed and cared for. Plan a few out-of-home activities, like a trip to the movies, dinner at a casual local restaurant, a shopping expedition, or a low-key recreational event like mini-golf or bowling. And while they’re with you, encourage them to engage less with their different handheld devices and more with you.
Create New Memories
Start new traditions in the new place, like a family dinner night, game night or a movie marathon. Making cherished memories together will help the house become “home” in everybody’s mind, including yours. On the other side of the equation, consider moving events like holiday celebrations or birthday parties that were always held in your old home onto the next generation of hosts. A final thought: should you give your kids a key? We say yes because it’s a symbolic gesture that they will always be welcome and have a place in your new life. It’s also a good idea for those times you’re off on a well-deserved vacation or other adventure.
Above all, remember that home is where your loved ones are, so keep that door open and the light on. Your kids will always need you and providing them with a soft place to land will strengthen your bond for years to come.
Planning a move soon? Why not let the professionals at United Van Lines take care of the heavy lifting? United’s full-service moving packages provide flexibility to mix and match the services you want and need, from packing and unpacking to standard furniture placement.
Get a quote from United Van Lines today.