When you have babies matters such as look and style of your home become low priorities in favour of sleeping, eating and attempting to sit down for more than one minute.
But eventually when you emerge from the haze of the newborn weeks and see how your baby has transformed your home with all of their stuff and the chaos they can cause, you may decide that your house is in desperate need of a bit of love.
But with kids ruling the roost in your home it can be difficult to imagine getting stuck in to any ambitious DIY projects.
I would love to make a few cosmetic changes here and there in my own house. I have big ideas in mind to modernise certain rooms, add shelves for practical and decorative reasons and maybe even a new bathroom floor.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll spend hours trawling stunning pictures on Pinterest and looking at how people have transformed seemingly ordinary, and frankly tiny, spaces into something beautiful.
So when you decide it’s time to give your home some love and a bit of a facelift, how do you tackle projects with kids at your feet? There is a way to get those DIY projects you think you can only dream about done and create a home to be proud of.
Here are my top tips for stress-free DIY:
1. Plan distractions
If you have children who are easily distracted by Disney movies than grab a couple of their favourites and stick them in front of the telly.
Let go of the mummy guilt here, because sometimes you just have to get things done! Your kids will be happy for a couple of hours and you can get on with concentrating on the task at hand.
2. Meal plan
You don’t want to spend a whole afternoon working on a project and then get to 5pm only to be met with angry faces and complaints of “we’re hungry” hurled in your direction.
If you know you’re going to be spending the day doing DIY, plan ahead and get something out of the freezer such as a shepherd’s pie or lasagne or buy something in that is super easy and quick to make. You want something that takes minutes to warm up, just in case you’re late getting round to preparing it.
3. Create ways for them to “help”
If you’re painting a room, chances are you will have to cover the floor with dust sheets and newspaper anyway. Why not pop your child in the middle of the room, give them a piece of paper and some kid-friendly paints and let them do some painting of their own.
Tell them that whatever they create can be framed and hung on the newly painted wall when it’s done!
If you’re tiling a bathroom, you could get your child’s handprints on a special tile (many ceramic painting cafes do this) and then add this to the tiles in your bathroom. A lovely way to put your own stamp on your home.
4. Do not rush it
You need to accept that this project may take several days or even weeks to do. It could be you can only manage an hour a day. That’s fine. You need to plan the time in and not get stressed about how long it is taking.
Having the right tools in place, such as these from SGS Engineering, is crucial to not rushing. Have everything ready to go when you have your free hour to do some work.
Remember that slow and steady wins the race!
5. Double check your child-proofing
You have probably already child-proofed your entire home, but when you add tools, ladders and paint into the mix this can create a whole new raft of hazards.
Have a think about where your tools and other dangerous items will be going. Make sure they are somewhere high that your child cannot reach and cannot pull down on top of themselves.
When it comes to ladders, try to only have them out when absolutely necessary. The rest of the time, have these stored in the garage or outside.
Consider using a stairgate to block off the doorway to the room where you are working.
Do you have any tips for stress-free DIY at home? I would love to hear from you!