We’re moving into a transitional season – high school and college grads are prepping for final exams, and for moving into their next life phase. Moms and dads everywhere are getting ready for a lot of firsts. One of the firsts that tends to get overlooked is the first empty nest – when the last child leaves home to start their life adventure. For some, this is a bittersweet experience – the quiet can be unnerving. For others, it’s a chance to re-imagine your life and your home. For me, it was a chance to finally have the space to add more of my personality to a home that had been full of sports gear, kids’ clothes and electronics for 25 years. Our first new space was my home office. When my third child left, I decided to start my own consulting business. We turned one of the spare bedrooms into a dedicated work space. It’s separate from our day-to-day home life, and perfect for writing, thinking and privacy. The next space we redid was for my husband – I call it the ultimate man cave. Our second living space in the basement at one time had a foosball table, poker table, exercise equipment, board games and a lifetime of boxes. We kept the poker table and got rid of everything else. We added some comfy lounge chairs and a TVLiftCabinet complete with a huge flatscreen television. When we have friends over, it’s a perfect place to relax. When the big game comes on, a simple push of the button, and the TV is front and center. It’s perfect. So next time you hear someone grumbling about having an empty nest, remind them that there are a lot of perks to having some extra space. It’s the perfect time to turn your home into your new normal.