As the kids get older and move out on their own the parents are typically left with a spare room. Lucky you! What a great problem to have - who couldn't use more space. Unfortunately, though this leaves many of us with the tough decision of how to make the best use of the space. There are of course lots of ideas that you will find if you google - what to do with the extra bedroom. So why is this so hard for us to figure out? Let's look at what is keeping us from knowing how to use our spare room. Then we will look at some clever ways we can use the space the best way.
First, consider are the kids really gone for good?
Nowadays there are lots of young adults that choose to move out of their parent's house only to find themselves having to move back in later. They do this in an effort to try and stand on their own two feet but this world is not like it use to be. So many of these young adults find themselves moving right back home - even if they really don't want to.
This can leave you as a parent not knowing for sure what to do with the room or how long to wait to see if they return. Well, the truth is that no one can rub a magic lamp and have a genie tell you what will happen with your child's future. You as their parent are the best judge of this as you have monitored their behavior for years. It is a good idea to probably give them a few months to make sure they really are going to "make it" before you totally remodel the room- just in case they need to return. That is unless you are totally opposed to them moving back - in which case you have to do what is best for your family. However, don't let this wait go on too long. After a few months, you should probably begin to consider who will be left to use the spare room.
Second, discuss the spare room with other family members.
Talk to each member of the family that is left behind and discuss what each member might use the space for. Consider or ask what need do they have now that is not being met by other areas in the home. DON'T ASSUME - that you know what others needs are. There could be needs that others have that they have just chosen not to voice publically. Make a list of what each person would like to use the space for or what their most important needs are down to their wants. You really might be surprised at some of the answers you get.
Next, take the list and prioritize the space.
Narrow down the list that you made and prioritize what is the most realistic, or most important. For instance, a spare bedroom might not make a great garden room in the middle of the house. However, it could make a great area for a craft room. See if there are things or tasks that are on the list that might be incorporated into the same room. Such as if mom needs a room for quite reading this room might double as a great place for a child to do homework. Now imagine what if this same room was also a themed room for dad with his favorite movie theme displayed. Trying to incorporate as many needs of everyone involved will always make the best use of the space. Just make sure that you are not putting loud activities together with quiet ones.
Here are a few other ideas for how you can use the spare room:
playroom for siblings
a prayer room
homework /study room
Finally, make a plan to put into action for your spare room.
All spaces come together best when you have a plan in place first. This will take the guesswork out of trying to utilize the space. It will save time buying and returning items that just don't work. Disappointment will be avoided by preplanning the use of the space. It's extra space and you should make sure that you are using it to the full potential. Have fun creating a room that the whole family can use.
If you are not sure how to create a plan for your spare room or you need help trying to incorporate things together in the space I'm here to help. I have design services that are here to walk you through the process of getting the most out of your space. Go here to see which service might help you best or sign up for my VIP email list to get more tips like these.