August 27th, 2015
Your child has gone off to college and you have a mostly empty room in your house. Except for their bed and desk. And probably a few boxes of books, treasures and mementos. So what can you do with it? You’ve probably been thinking about your options for a little while.
First, figure out if your student intends to come home at breaks and over the summer. If so, you’ll want to keep a bed for them to sleep in. You could look into a convertible couch or a murphy bed or a fold out futon couch to provide a place to sleep without using up much of the space.
Secondly, talk with your young adult. They probably consider that room to be theirs since they grew up in it. Reassure them that it’s still their home. You just want to better use the space in the house and don’t want to leave a room empty for most of the year. This may also help you with empty nest syndrome if you don’t leave the room as a shrine.
You could re-do the room as a spare bedroom and remove most of the personal stuff and repaint in a neutral color. Then you could rent it out using an online service such as Air BnB and block out the dates when your student will be home visiting. This could provide some much needed income to pay for the college books.
Another idea is to turn it into a home office. Perhaps your company would consider telecommuting a few days a week. That would also save you on gasoline, wear and tear on your car, and dry cleaning those suits. Or perhaps it’s time to look into starting a small business on the side to bring in additional income to go towards your retirement. A small part time business also can provide security if you’re concerned about the stability of your job.
The next idea is to turn it into a hobby room. Remove the carpeting and put in bamboo flooring. Then buy some long desks from IKEA and you have the perfect space for sewing, scrapbooking, model building or whatever you want. If the bedroom has an attached bathroom, you could add in blackout drapes and have your own photography studio.
Our last idea is to turn it into an exercise room. A bamboo floor would also provide a nice springiness for doing power yoga. Use that room as a place to set up home workouts with a TV, yoga mats, dumbbells, kettle balls, resistance bands, etc.
Spend some time thinking and planning, and then build your special room.