What Happens When You Have An Empty Nest: Decluttering To Happiness


It’s happened. I am officially an empty nester.

I have just returned from getting my kids off to college.

Without my youngest at home to nurture, I’m sending you a care package in the form of a FREE DOWNLOADABLE – Top 10 Ways to Declutter + Mama Mantras! So keep reading to get yours 🙂

Refocusing In The Empty Nest

It feels strange. Beyond strange really, because part of me thinks I have had 18 years to prepare for this. Plus I already went through this with my eldest child.

And, guess what? I am not prepared.

The house is too quiet and yet it makes strange sounds.

I came home to a tiny mouse that scared the bejesus out of me when I entered the empty nest and flicked on the mudroom light.

My youngest son, Skye, is the pro at catching mice in a clean plastic container so we can drive them 5 miles away to release them in a field of dreams.

I try, and fail, to catch the mouse in the container. Seems he shall be my new roommate.

Feeling Disoriented and A Wee Bit Unmoored

I cry at odd times.

I did try not to cry when I said goodbye to my two precious sons, Tyryn and Skylyr, who are unexpectedly and thankfully at the same University. The boys suffered my emotion, though I did get hugs and even a brief, near airbrush of the lips.

My baby is at University. My wee one.

I’m sure he’s anxious, sharing a room with a stranger and facing new people every moment; a challenge for an extreme introvert and homebody.

Getting Ready For All The Newness

Not to belittle the fears and anxieties Skylyr is surely feeling, but he is ready to leave the nest.

I know because he called me the next morning, less than 24 hours after I left him…..Of His Own Accord. 

Major shock! I purposely did not mention communication with me. I thought I’d give him space, and let him come to me.

Meaning I envisioned not hearing from him for weeks, months…all year? Surely eventually he would need something – reassurance (money), and text at the very least?

The  phone “conversation” consists of me asking all those mother questions about *how he’s faring with the new roommate? Did he find the dining hall? Did he eat?

Had he walked around the huge campus to map out where his classes would be for when school starts next week? Did he realize that I would send his boots (forgotten at his Papa’s).

*Note: There’s a reason these are not open ended questions…that would be answered with silence.

Skye, answering in that male monosyllabic communication, “No. Yeah. Fine, Ok.”

Was he sure he did not want any care packages from me?

No Care Packages

**But don’t you worry mama—I got you covered with a powerful care package:

Download your own Top 10 Empty Nest Decluttering Tips + Top 10 Mama Mantras


Then the tears in my voice as I tell him I love him, I miss him, call anytime..and he replies, “Can I go now, Mother?”


“Mother.” My new moniker. I was always “Mama” or the very American “Mom” with the drawn out ‘ahh’ sound.

Finding One’s Way: Organizing and Decluttering


We tend to think of decluttering “stuff.” Empty Nesters: declutter one’s mindset first.


Top Ten Empty Nest Decluttering Tips To Organize Your Way To Happiness

  1. Know that your college-age children know everything. Accept it. (Even though it’s not true).
  2. Buy Duct Tape. Cut a piece about 3-4 inches long. Tape it over your mouth. (This will serve you very well as you move from Mama to Mama Sort Of Laid Off).
  3. You brought your children up with your values. Trust those values are in there…somewhere. Hope they practice safe sex. With someone he or she loves and loves him or her. (Or in the case of a very shy child, hope some day he or she experiences the joys of sex. With someone he or she loves and loves him or her).
  4. Focus on you. Have sex. With someone you love and loves you. (Or at least is kind, caring, a great lover and HOT).
  5. Let them call or text you most of the time. (Pretend you buy into the random idea that 18 means you’re an adult).
  6. Glory in the realization you might only do laundry once every two weeks, that your food bill will be significantly less, and when you clean a room, it will stay tidy. (Ignore the fact that if said room does not stay tidy, it may be due to you).
  7. If you are single, get that profile up on a dating site. (It’s always fun to shock your girlfriends who have been hounding you for two years to do so).
  8. Remember to eat. (This helps to avoid, around 2PM, your stomach urging you to realize you’re famished, having forgotten to eat as there was no one else to feed).
  9. Mother yourself. Be kind, caring and patient with yourself. (It’s painful to lose a job you were not ready to give up because you love it so, and it’s your most precious work).
  10. As you know absolutely zilch, as per your children’s eye rolling, commit to learning new things and attracting happiness. This is your time, so keep taking the next step. And the next step.

Download your own Top 10 Empty Nest Decluttering Tips + Top 10 Mama Mantras to organize your home and mindset to easily manifest your dream life.

Just don’t walk off the ledge.

Not to sound like your mother.

Sorry, old habits die hard…

Other mothers further along on this track tell me the kids circle back. I look forward to that. For now I take it one day at a time reframing this nest as empty of my boys, but still full of love.

It’s not really an empty nest, just an opportunity to reorganize and declutter the nest.

Your turn

Any of my clan of mothers going through the empty nest transition? Even if you are not there yet, I love your support and hearing how I can return the love!

Hey there, I’m Jul’s Arthur. I’d love to help you go from chaos to FREEDOM.

What I do: I help women professionals & entrepreneurs STOP endlessly spinning their wheels stuck in anxiety and overwhelm with the chaos and clutter in their home, and instead START SIMPLIFYING, so everything has a place, they gain FREEDOM, CLARITY and easily manifest their DREAM LIFE. I’m also the author of the book 25 Days of Holiday Organizing!