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What To Do With Your Child's Room When They Move Out

Coldwell Banker Rizzo Mattson, RealtorsWhen your son or daughter moves out leaving you an empty-nester, what do you do with the now extra space? Repurpose it of course.

With just a few changes, such as fresh paint or wallpaper and new or rearranged furniture, you can easily create a new room.  Below are four ideas for your new space.

Remember to first measure the room and use your imagination to map your plans on paper.

1. Leave the bedroom "as is." -- If your son or daughter eventually plans to return home (as they often do), you may want to leave the bedroom "as is".  Allow your child to remove their private items, clean the room and add photos and mementos to create long lasting childhood memories when and if they return.

Later when the child buys a house and has a family of their own you can continue to keep the room in memory of their childhood.

2. Make a guest room -- Think of things you'd find in a fine hotel room.  If your child hasn't left some of them behind, add these items to make it a home away from home:

  • an alarm clock
  • a calendar
  • a DVD or a CD player
  • a TV
  • a bureau
  • a desk
  • a lamp
  • paper, pens, and pencils
  • a night stand
  • a phone
  • an upholstered chair
  • a luggage rack
  • magazines, books, and newspapers; local maps
  • a new bedspread and linen set
  • a new mattress or box spring or a mattress topper on an existing mattress

3. Create a home office -- Whether you work at home, or plan to pay bills and maintain a household budget, a home office is a great place to work on those tasks.  Things to add to your home office include:

  • a swivel chair
  • a laptop or a desktop PC
  • a printer, a fax, a copier, and a scanner or a multifunction unit
  • a desk with a lamp
  • shelving
  • a phone
  • pens, pencils, and paper
  • file boxes or portable filing cases
  • a whiteboard
  • a bulletin board
  • a paper shredder

4. Design a hobby room -- If you want a workshop or a space to make art (paintings, drawings, pottery, sculptures) or crafts (clothes, quilts, scrapbooks, etc.), these things can help you work more efficiently:

  • cabinets
  • shelving
  • a bulletin board for swatches and patterns
  • a peg board for tools
  • an easel, a chalkboard, or a whiteboard
  • counter space
  • lamps
  • storage boxes
  • a chair or a stool

Whether you choose to make a few changes or to create a new room, you can turn an empty nest into a refreshing retreat.


Circle of Moms.  How Long Should You Wait When Your Children Move Out, To Convert Their Rooms?

eHow: How to Make a Hobby Room

Little, Chris.  Real Estate Negotiations: What to do with your child's room (and her stuff) after she heads to college.

Mommy's Memorandum: What to Do with your Child's Room after they Leave for College. 

Nafie, Coral. Interior Decorating.  Put Together a Perfect Guest Room: Pay Attention to the Details. 

Steinbach, Diane. eHow: How to Make a Home Office in a Small Space.


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