Back in the olden times, parents dreaded the day when their children left home, leaving them to putter around in a lonely and quiet empty nest. But these days, parents have a vastly different outlook: excited to have a spare bedroom, moms and dads can often be found going up to their children and asking, "Are you 18 yet?" After all, a child's old bedroom allows for a plethora of opportunities.
You may take the conservative route, and leave the room just as it is, figuring your child can resume their old ways over the summer and holiday breaks. You may take the business route, and turn the room into an office, somewhere you can work in quiet. You may take the typical route, and turn the room into a nice guest room, complete with a flower-patterned bedspread and brand new guest towels. Or, you may take the creative route and do something entirely different:
Put in a Home Gym: We all intend to work out, intending to go to the gym every morning or on the way home from work. But life often gets in the way and we put off exercising. One way to avoid putting off this putting off is to stop trying to go to the gym, and bring the gym to you. Fill your spare room with weights, a treadmill, an elliptical machine or an exercise bike (don't forget a television and stereo system). Make working out easy and fun: exercise at home, watch television as you sweat, and, when your kids come over, charge them a membership fee.
Put in a Playroom for Your Grandkids: If you have grandkids, or some on the way, you can help assure they will visit by putting in a playroom. A room that is fairly easy to decorate, with brightly colored walls, a few dressers, toys, games, and stuffed animals, a playroom is a great way to keep your grandkids, and their mess, in one area of your house. This not only makes it easier for you to baby sit, but it also appeases the children. And, of course, it is the first step in making sure you are winning the title of favorite grandparent.