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10 things to do with your new empty room

Maryalene LaPonsie | Improvement Center Columnist | July 27, 2015

You've either been waiting for this moment or dreading its arrival, but now it's here. Your child has left for college, or maybe just life, and given you the gift of an empty room. If you're staring at that blank space and wondering what to do with it, here are ten suggestions.

1. Create a permanent guest room

The most obvious answer would be to turn your child's old bedroom into a guest room. This is an especially good idea if you have out-of-town friends or relatives who visit regularly. If you're the social type but don't have many friends spending the night, you could use the guest room to host foreign exchange students or rent out the space on websites such as Airbnb or Couchsurfing.com.

2. Make it a man cave

Another option is to move the big screen TV and recliner to the empty room and make it an entertainment zone. If you have a man in the house desperate for his own space, consider decorating it with his favorite movie posters and painting it a great new color to make it a true man cave.

3. Set-up a craft or hobby room

Whether you love sewing, stamp collecting, or jamming on the guitar, you can turn your empty room into a craft or hobby space. All it takes is a little paint, some storage units, and maybe a work table to get the room ready. As a bonus, by moving all the craft and hobby clutter to a central location, you'll likely freshen up the rest of the house as well.

4. Use it as an exercise space

Is your treadmill turning into a collect-all in the living room? Move it to your empty room along with your other exercise equipment to create a dedicated work-out space. Install a full length mirror on one wall so you can perfect your form. You may find you're more likely to get moving if you don't have to unearth your equipment every time the urge to get physical hits you.

5. Turn it into a game room

A game room could take several forms. It could include a TV and video game consoles or it could be where you have billiards or a card table set up. Include some storage, move all the board games into the room, and don't forget to add a space for your in-progress puzzle.

6. Have your own home library

Love reading? Then consider turning that empty room into your very own library. While built-in shelves would be fabulous, they're not necessary. Stores like Ikea sell floor to ceiling shelves that can mimic the look and feel of built-ins. Add a comfy chair and a floor lamp, and you have an instant at-home library.

7. Let younger kids have a playroom

If you still have younger kids at home, turn your older child's bedroom into a playroom. Paint it with some bright colors or maybe even a mural, depending on their ages. You can even put in a loft to serve as a play fort. Best of all, move all the toys from the rest of the house into this room. Then, you can easily close the door and hide the mess. The result? A cleaner house and a hopefully happier family!

8. Set-up a home office

A home office makes sense for anyone who brings home work on a regular basis. Imagine having a quiet place to work away from the rest of the family. It's an even better option for self-employed individuals who may be able to use it for a tax deduction if it meets IRS criteria.

9. Renovate it into a bathroom

This option certainly isn't the cheapest one, and it may not make sense depending on the location of your child's room. However, if you've been living with too little bathroom space, consider turning your new empty room into either a full or half bath. If you go the half bath route, you may be able to split the room and add some closet or storage space too. Of course, this isn't a DIY renovation. Talk to a pro about the feasibility and cost to run plumbing and add necessary ventilation.

10. Wait for Junior to move back in

Finally, you could just leave the room empty and wait for your child to move back. After all, Millennials aren't called the Boomerang Generation for nothing. Of course, that's not much fun is it? So go ahead and makeover that empty space and maybe knowing their old room is gone will be the motivation your adult child needs to move on, not home, when contemplating where life will take them next.

Photo credit to Myryah Shea

About the Author

Maryalene LaPonsie has been writing professionally for more than a decade on topics including education, insurance and personal finance. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from Western Michigan University.

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