How to fit a home renovation into a busy life
Being a mum is a full time job in itself – and with many mums now also working to earn some cash too, there are a lot of demands on a new mother’s time. Some jobs at home can easily be left to slide: you can get away with not doing the ironing every day, for example, and the sofa covers can always wait until next week to be washed. But there’s one job that can’t be left for a long time, and that’s renovations. Nobody wants to live in an outdated home, and it can seriously affect the value of the property. Here are some top tips for even the busiest of mums on how to get a home renovation sorted in a quick and easy way.
As every mum already knows, efficiency is the name of the game when it comes to working out how to manage everything from getting the kids’ lunches ready to being sure you’ve got enough clean work clothes for the next day. The time management skills you use in your daily life can easily be replicated when you’re renovating.
When it comes to decorating, the biggest time factor is often the decision-making process. You can easily spend days or weeks debating the best paint colour, for example, and this can grind you down. It’s best to instead focus on getting a clear and simple decision made, as then you’ll feel confident enough to press ahead with action. It’s also wise to break the project down into chunks, and to time each one. Once you know that it will only take you five Saturday mornings to finish the living room, you’ll feel so much better about yourself and the project, and it won’t seem quite so endless.
And if you’re simply not good at decorating and can’t tell your cheap paintbrushes from your colour palettes, you could even consider the ultimate efficiency tool: a division of labour. If you have a mate who’s handy with decorating, why not offer them some of your time if they agree to help you out? In return for a day of wallpapering from them, for example, you could offer them an evening or two of babysitting.
Choose easy decor
Another way to slash the time costs of a renovation is to select decor items which don’t need hours and hours to install. Some “peel and stick” wallpapers, for example, are designed to be very easy to add to the walls, and that kind of item could be a godsend when it comes to saving time. Some of your other decor items might be less easy to install in a heartbeat though, so don’t get complacent. Your window coverings will usually require a bit of concerted effort, although DIY shutters are particularly handy because they’re often quicker to put up than blinds or curtains.
Outsource the work
For many working mums, DIY is the only realistic option when it comes to getting all of your renovation jobs done. After all, the cost of hiring a skilled tradesperson for every single job can soon mount up, especially if you’re getting more than one room done. Many people can often afford to outsource a little bit of work though, so it makes sense to do this strategically.
Painting and wallpapering are certainly skills that a tradesman can provide, but it’s also something that most people can learn to do. If you have some budget for a tradesperson, then, why not consider hiring someone for a job that is particularly tough? If you need your bathroom re-tiled, say, it’s often worth leaving this to a professional – as the results if you do it yourself can be a little dicey.
As a mum, working hard and barely having five seconds to yourself is something you’re likely to find yourself experiencing every single day. But leading the busy lifestyle of a working mum doesn’t mean you can’t make space in your schedule for time-intensive jobs such as home renovations. In fact, it’s possible to make it simple and easy provided you plan in advance! Whether you choose to go for easily-installed decor, decide to outsource some of the work or simply use your well-established busy mum tricks to get your renovation jobs done and dusted, there are plenty of ways that you can achieve your home decor goals.
Founder and editor of www.motherswhowork.co.uk, a mother of two wonderful children, wife, entrepreneur (check out www.geekschool.co.uk) and journalist.