Becoming an Empty Nester

Jamie's Diary

We all have projects. Some small, some large. I thought I would share my journey as I tackle some of my home improvement projects. I hope you’ll start sharing yours as well. First up, my adventures in becoming an empty nester.

I’ve been putting it off, but now it’s time. It’s time to convert my oldest daughter’s room into a guest room. And, she’s not happy about it! Even though Ilyssa moved out over two years ago to the other side of the country, she still considers this her room. She even said to me, “You mean you’re just going to cover up my name, right? But it’s still my room.”

Becoming an Empty Nester: Deciding What Stays and What Goes

Besides Ilyssa’s name on the wall, there are only three items that remain from the original room, a nightstand, a dresser, and a mirror. The nightstand and dresser were mine from when I was a kid, so they are about 40 years old. Plus, they’re too heavy to move and don’t come apart. That’s why they didn’t make the move with Ilyssa. The mirror was found at a garage sale. I painted all the pieces white almost 20 years ago. The bed’s headboard, which has been in the basement for years, is finally making its way back upstairs, along with a new mattress we purchased. So often you read about repurposing other items, which I do all the time, and will do here. We wanted to make an inviting room, but we were not looking to buy a whole new bedroom set!

Boxing Up the Kids Stuff

When Ilyssa first moved, many of her items were packed away into plastic bins. What remained in her room were the clothes she left behind, particularly T-shirts, T-shirts, and more T-shirts. She didn’t want to take them, but they couldn’t be thrown away because, “Mom, they are all so sentimental!”

So, those got boxed up as well. Full disclosure, all the stuff we boxed up and took out of her room (including the priceless T-shirt collection) are now in another room with no place to go. I guess that will be our next project!

Until next time, happy painting!


Jamie’s Painting Diary is a series by SureSwatch inventor and president Jamie Peltz. It chronicles her adventures in painting — and in life — from becoming an empty nester to the trials and tribulations of a home improvement painting project.

Find SureSwatch at Home Depot, Walmart, and Ace Hardware.

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