August is the time for kids to leave for college or new jobs and local parents are celebrating with a new trend sweeping our area and the country called “Empty Nest Fests”!

The “Empty Nest Fest” craze went viral this year as parents in the U.S. and across the globe posted pics on social media of breaking out the bubbly as their last kid leaves home. Parents are partying to finally enjoy alone time, a romantic vacation, sell the house and downsize or at least transform junior’s junkyard (a.k.a. bedroom) into an office, gym or man cave.

To help local parents prepare for their “Empty Nest Fests,” folks at UNITS Moving and Portable Storage created the “Empty Nest Fest” Checklist.

“While parents are of course sad the kids are leaving, they eventually find happiness with more time to themselves and to finally straighten up their homes that have felt cluttered, unorganized, and out of control for years” says Michael McAlhany, founder and CEO of UNITS Moving and Portable Storage, a national franchise with moving and storage pros in our area. “We came up with the “Empty Nest Fest” Checklist to help parents regain the peace of mind and freedom that comes with organization and extra space now that the kids have hopefully flown the coop for good.”

 “Empty Nest Fest” Checklist 

  • Start Simple – Parents often rush in to clear out and organize bedroom and playrooms only to burn out quickly because the clean-up seems overwhelming. Start with something simple like a drawer or two vs. trying to tackle an entire room.
  • Save Sentimental Stuff for Last – Don’t get hung up on pictures or photo albums that could bog you down with emotion and make you reminisce for hours. Start with more practical things like clothes and books that don’t flood you with memories.
  • Don’t Trash So Fast – Take a Time Out before you throw out! Your house is filled with photos, books, trophies, posters and candy wrappers that have cluttered the house for years. (Ok.  You can trash the candy wrappers.) For many kids — no matter how old they are — their stuff is chock-full of prized moments, a security blanket of memories they may want to reflect on as they grow up. So, preserve these memories by storing stuff in boxes in the attic or a storage unit. When the kids visit, see if they even notice their once prized possessions packed away.
  • Photograph Everything – As you pack up the stuff, take photos of it. Later, you can discuss with your kids the sentimental value without dragging it all out of the attic or storage. Keep memorabilia they want to save in storage. Haul stuff they can live without to charity or the dump. And if they’re debating whether something stays or goes, that usually means it should go.
  • Store Smart – If you rent a storage unit, use a company like UNITS Moving and Portable Storage, that drops a steel container off in your driveway. They can then keep it for you in a climate-controlled warehouse or leave it with you for as long as you like. Valuable family memories can rot if they’re not kept at the right temperature, allowing mold and mildew to ferment and grow.
  • Use Empty-Nester Storage Hacks – if you prefer to store stuff in your own home.

Hanging Closet Organizer — to save family-favorite board games you won’t keep out until the kids come back to visit.

High Ceiling Shelves — to hold family-favorite books so they don’t take up space.

Hanger with Shower Rings – to hold clothes so they don’t crowd closets.

Decorative Suitcases – to hold seasonal favorites like blankets, pillows, jackets, etc.

Empty-Nester Nuggets:

A survey by AARP finds: 

> When soon-to-be empty-nesters think about their kids moving out, most worry about their children (66 percent) and about missing their children (65 percent).

> Most current empty-nesters (69 percent) say they have become more comfortable with being an empty-nester over time. 

> Even though-soon-to-be empty-nesters worry, most (76 percent) hope their children do not move back home one day.

> Nearly three quarters (74 percent) of current empty-nesters say they are comfortable and enjoy their empty nest; 75 percent say it took them six months or less to adjust to having no children in the home.

Call your local UNITS Moving and Portable Storage location to see how you can hold your own Empty Nest Fest!


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