Empty nest life means a lot of things: more time, a chance to refocus on yourself, and finally reclaiming your home. Put the drum set in storage! Take down the music posters! You are now queen of the castle and can strategize some new ways to create a spare room you’ll actually use.
If you don’t have a guest room, look around for any spaces that don’t get a lot of use. Is it time to stop preserving your adult child’s bedroom? Do you use your home office anymore? If you don’t entertain much, you might even be able to use your dining room for a better purpose. This is your home, and it’s time to customize it to your lifestyle.
Are movies your favorite method of relaxation? Are you tired of squinting at your phone while you’re lying in bed, only to have the phone fall on your face as you drift off mid-movie? Change the narrative. All you really need is a good-sized screen on the wall and the perfect sofa, although you can be as elaborate with the theme as you want. You don’t have to just watch black and white classics, either. You can still binge your favorite Netflix series—you just won’t need your glasses anymore.
It’s a cliché that Mom waits for her kids to head off to college so she can convert their old rooms into a sewing space. Well, why not? With all the time spent at home recently, you’ve probably picked up a new favorite pastime. Rather than have your interests clutter up the rest of your house, you can convert the extra room into:
- An artist’s studio
- A puzzle room
- A craft room for the grandkids
- An embroidery corner
- A gift-wrapping room
Over the years, you’ve probably accumulated more books than you intended to. Well, now’s the perfect time to give them a proper home. If you’re a big reader, create a quiet corner in the room for a reading nook and buy some shelves to showcase your collection. Add a table for hors d’oeuvres and some more seating and start a book club with your friends. It can have an erudite theme or trashy—read what you want to read. Lend out some books if you want to, as well.
It’s okay to shake things up with some out-of-the-box ways to create a spare room you’ll actually use. This is your time and your space. Enjoy it!