A child going away to college may be a sad time, but you can lift your spirits by turning your empty nest into a dream room!
Empty nest syndrome can be quite depressing for parents who have kids going off to school for the first time. But melancholy moms and dads can now rejoice. When your child leaves for college, you can renovate his/her room and turn it into your own private sanctuary or workshop.
It's not as drastic as it sounds. No, you won't actually kick them out of their room permanently, but you will free up a good deal of space to use while your children are away.
Before you begin, discuss your plans with your children. Ask them what they want to keep. Obviously, their bed will need to stay for when they are home on weekends and holidays. A chest of drawers will most likely also stay for storing some of their clothes. But use this time as a sort of spring-cleaning to get rid of meaningless junk that has accumulated in closets or under beds over the last 18 years. Allow your child to keep whatever s/he feels important and then donate the rest to charity, if possible.
Now comes the fun part... to make a room of your own. Where a desk used to be, a new sewing table can be placed. Where the Game Boy and DVD were stored can now become a mini-library. The beanbag chair can be replaced with a comfortable wing chair. The possibilities are endless.
If you want a home office, look into self-contained office units like those from IKEA, West Elm, Levenger or Hold Everything. They can lend a great deal of flexibility without taking up a lot of floor space, and options are endless for any budget.
Colors are often one of the touchy points. What decorations go on the walls is another. Here, it is important to come to an agreement with your post-teen. You will see, after freshman year, that the attachment to the old posters will fade. Maybe you can each choose walls and decorate them in the ways that you like. Just position your writing desk or sewing machine so that your back is toward the walls your child has decorated.
With a little work and some creativity, you can make good use of the otherwise empty space left behind by college-bound kids. Then you can immerse yourself in your newfound playroom - and freedom - to help lift your spirits.
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