The Evolution of our basement: Building passive income—ADHD style.

This July I learned the true meaning of passive income. As a teacher, I’ve sold lesson plans, here and there, for 50 cents to $7 on Teachers Pay Teachers.  But, on July 1st, I made real money!!! How did I do it? Here’s the evolution of our basement:


Guest Room




Our basement has gone through more than a few changes over the years.  In 2009, when we bought our house, it was a guest suite with a mini living room (couch and TV), an “office” for my husband and a lot of storage.  


Tio’s Room




In 2011 our brother, RIP, lived in the basement room for a year.  He met his girlfriend, started bringing her over, then got engaged and “outgrew” the space.  I’m so thankful my eldest connected with his uncle.  B was 3 years-old.  It was an unknown blessing at the time, and now I’m forever grateful for the memories. We love you, Danny.


Netflix and Chill



It became our “adult space” for a few years after that.  My son would go to bed and we would watch Netflix with friends, drink wine and hang out—Late 20’s/Early 30’s style.





Once we had our third child it became clear that Netflix and chill nights were over, for the moment. With 2 babies in 2 years, the basement was heavily gated. The steep stairwell kept it off limits for my littles and any hope of Netflix binging.


Big Bro’s Room




In 2015, we got my last baby out of the nursing crib and into her own room.  My almost 10 year old decided he wanted his own space.  We agreed and moved him to the basement bedroom with his own bath.  


Voice-Over Studio




By the time he turned 11 we realized he could earn some money doing voice over work with my husband. We turned my husband’s office closet into a mini-recording studio with a nice mic and basic equipment.  There were YouTube videos and podcasts to be created. We spent 2 weeks “decluttering,” but the recording closet stayed pretty quiet that summer.  My husband used a shared recording space for his voiceover, anyway.  The recording studio was short-lived.






This spring we realized my eldest was sleeping upstairs in bunks with his little brother most nights.  Although he liked to have friends hang out in his basement room, he lived upstairs. “Maybe this space could be an apartment,” my husband proposed one evening while I donated more outgrown toys that inhabited the abandoned rooms.


Best Roomie




Then, my husband’s childhood friend was looking for a place closer to the city.  We offered the basement, and there was suddenly income to be made!  We built a privacy door and “upgraded” the laundry to a mini-kitchen, plus added windows that open for safety.  We were in business!


And that is the evolution of my basement.  I can’t wait to see what it turns into, next.  Have you reconfigured space to make something new?  


Next Week: The Cons of Sharing your Space

Published by Family ADDventures

Nicole Santiago is a learning specialist, student advocate, and founder of Family ADDventures. As a specialist, she assesses and teaches clients (adults and adolescents) to manage and grow their executive functioning skills which include emotional regulation, task initiation, and time management. As an advocate (IEP coach), she is a member of COPAA and ensures inclusive (special) education students receive the most appropriate educational services possible. She often collaborates with OT's, SLP's and neuropsychologists all in the name of student improvement and success. Her practice is located in San Antonio, TX, and everywhere (virtually). The author grew up an army brat and spends time with her three ND children and husband in Puerto Rico whenever possible. She writes about mental health, parenting, education, and entrepreneurship on her blog:

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