What Should You Do With Your Spare Room?

Ever since Mr. Tumnus asked Lucy about the magical land of Spare Oom, we’ve all secretly hoped that our own spare rooms contained some magic. Granted, it’s hard to come by a wardrobe that leads you to Narnia in these economic times, but we at RealtyHive are here to tell you that your spare room still holds value.

We’ve covered backyards, security systems, and basement finishing across several “Is It Worth It” blogs. This post on spare rooms is slightly different but still under the same umbrella. What should you do with your spare room, and how can you maximize its value?

Spare Room Ideas

Filling up your spare room with boxes of stuff or general clutter isn’t only disorganized, it’s not granting you the space you deserve. There are countless purposes that your spare room could fill that also improve your ROI. A messy room filled with stuff will turn future buyers away; an intentional space will pique their interest (and potentially get you a better offer).

Home Office

More and more people are working remotely than ever before. If you’re tired of hunching over your laptop on the couch or taking Zoom calls in the kitchen during lunchtime, a home office is a great use of a spare room.

But home office benefits aren’t just for your work performance and productivity. Adding an office has anywhere from 60 to 72% ROI and increases your home’s value.

Guest Bedroom

Even if you don’t have frequent guests, a guest bedroom is still a good use of the space. Most people turn their spare rooms into guest rooms because it’s an easy way to repurpose the space. It’s also convenient for the times when someone does end up rolling through town or needing a place to crash.

Guest rooms are also handy when life likes to surprise us. If your parents or in-laws suddenly need additional support, they’ll have somewhere to stay. If you end up expecting another child or your 14-year-old is desperate for their own space, it’s an easy fix.

Home Gym

Driving to the gym is a chore, it’s somewhat inflexible (if you like to workout late or want to workout on a holiday), and it might not offer you the privacy you’re looking for. Turning your spare room into a gym has a pretty hefty upfront cost (just in terms of buying equipment) but could be a great investment for your health. 

Depending on how often you use your home gym and the type of equipment you get, this spare room idea might pay for itself. People spend close to $700 a year on their gym membership, not including gas money. In just a few years, your home gym could make up for the costs that would otherwise be spent at a public gym.


When the mountain of toys from Aunt Jessica continues to grow (despite you telling her they have enough, but that’s another story), it’s a huge relief to have a designated area for the kids’ stuff to go. Playrooms offer a bit more safety and structure as well — you won’t have to worry about your 3-year-old bonking their head on the fireplace in the living room.

Anything Else

A space for you to make candles? A room full of beanbag chairs for ultimate naps? A comfy movie room with a projector? There’s no limit to unique spare room ideas. You can even tear down the wall and add space to an existing room if you like.

Spare Room Things to Keep in Mind

There are a few questions to ask yourself when considering different spare room ideas:

  • What are my main priorities?
    One spare room can’t do it all. If you’re desperate for a home office but worry about where to put guests, you’ll have to figure out which need is more important. But good news: you can always combine an office and guest room.
  • What are the neighbors doing?
    If you’re the only 2-bedroom house in a neighborhood of 4-beds, this will hurt you when it’s time to sell. At the same time, if everyone else has 3-beds and you have 5, you should probably convert one of those rooms into something else. Following neighborhood norms helps when it’s time to sell.
  • Are there any legal requirements?
    We doubt you want to turn your spare room into an upstairs kitchen, but if so there are lots of permit laws and codes that require researching. A common example: bedrooms must have an egress window (and in some states, a closet as well) in order to be legal.
  • Are there any tax incentives?
    If you’re a full-time, remote, self-employed worker, turning a room into a designated office can mean a tax break. In some states, acting as a caregiver can do the same (or provide other financial reimbursement).

A spare room with intentional purpose and design can add tremendous value to your home. It can keep you on par with the neighbors, provide extra space for your family, and even increase your potential for higher offers when you’re ready to sell.

If you’re reading this wistfully, wishing you had a spare room to play around with, don’t be discouraged. You can look through the RealtyHive listings to see which houses are for sale. Place your offer and list your existing home with RH for great results (and spare room success).