6 ways to use your kid's old bedroom

Get a new kid

You don’t have to live without a child in the house. Just borrow one from another family by taking in a high-school-age foreign exchange student.

Organizations like AFS-USA (formerly the American Field Service) and Academic Year in the U.S.A. let you pick your student after reading about their families, hobbies and why they want to live in the United States.

You get a great excuse to continue any school volunteer work you enjoyed.

If your real child is away at college, he'll likely have to share the room when he comes home. Foreign exchange students typically don’t return home during school holidays. But your "new" child will head home when the high school year ends, opening up the bedroom for your old child during the summer.

Estimated cost: Exchange students have their own spending money for things like school activity fees, but you’ll likely find yourself paying for them when you go places as a family, like out to dinner or the movies.