The Easter holidays are here and, like most families out there, we planned to go away but, once again, this was put on hold due to the Covocalypse. So, what did we do instead you ask? Well for us, we decided to use the time wisely and finally carry out some necessary garden and home renovations. DIY Renovations with young kids thrown into the mix is definitely stressful, as is the mountain of mess my husband can create in the process. For someone who is a machine in his career and a phenomenal DIY guy, his home organisation skills could use some improvement. Sooo… How do you cope? What tips to managing DIY renovations with little kids can I advise? How do you stop them from getting under foot and keep them occupied?

Lower those Stress Levels

First and foremost, I should say that for this 1 week, or however long your renovations last, switch the blinkers off. I am a work in progress when it comes to managing my own stress levels when my house is in chaos but, I am learning to turn off and ‘try’ to turn a blind eye to what is going on around me. Try and stay calm and, if in doubt, drink wine.

For more tips on how to remain calm, click here.

Clean as You Go

It also helps to clean as you go for example, as he was painting the upstairs hall, I was downstairs, keeping the bathroom, kitchen and lounge clean or well, as clean as it could be. No matter what you do, plaster dust spreads. Keep on top of it. He didn’t hoover the stairs straight away and, within 1 day both boys were coughing. It’s a necessity to clean up all plaster dust when managing DIY renovations with little kids about. It also always helps if you can kick them out the house to play in the garden or, help with other smaller outdoor tasks. Involving them in our renovations is definitely a life skills teaching moment, helping to build up confidence and those feelings of self worth.

Involve the Kids

The best time of year for us to carry out renovations will always be from April to August. We live in Scotland with extremely unpredictable weather so, outdoor renovations really need to be when the sun is shining and the temperature is on the up. FYI, it’s still freezing; I wore a pair of woolly gloves inside my gardening gloves and my fingers still felt numb.

When managing DIY renovations with little kids, the best thing to do is to chuck them out the back door to play. If you can involve them in small tasks then do. My 2 helped me to paint the fence and planters that the hubby built although, to be honest, more paint ended up on the grass than on the fence. I can still feel his disapproving glances. Would it have happened if he’d been in charge? Probably, but he will never admit that. 😂

I also took them over to my mum’s one day for a change of scenery and some exercise. David was stripping and re-papering the living room wall and the boys really could not be around during that.

To be honest, he did the majority of the renovation work himself. I helped where I could but he is a tad obsessive when it comes to painting and decorating. Everything has to be to his exceptionally high standard. At least our house will look amazing.

When indoors there was certainly an increase in YouTube, TV and tablet time. We also bought them some Minecraft magazines to help keep them occupied. Between this and their toys they were fairly happy although, Pup is always happier to be outside with us. He pottered about the garden a lot, helping us load up the skip and plant some flowers.

For some mess free activities to keep the kids busy click here.

Keeping Order

Hire a Skip

A skip is definitely a must have during a renovation. We have or rather, we HAD a massive mirror in our lounge. I took great pleasure in putting it in the skip and throwing rocks at it. Is that a tad excessive? Maybe! We have had it going on 10 years and it became an eye sore towards the end of it’s life. Have you ever had an item like that? I think we hired a skip for the sole purpose of disposing of this mirror.

We also made quite a major change to our front garden resulting in A LOT of refuse. The hubby replaced all our grass with chips (stones) and a few shallow planters as well as sprucing up the back garden.

In addition to this we had a lot of rubbish to dispose off so the boys were able to help throw the smaller items into the skip. They had more luck than me. After 10 mins alone with the skip I’d tripped and hit the deck. David said he felt the ground shake. 🙄 This one mum technically shouldn’t be trusted to do something where there is danger of injuring herself. In the past 4 weeks I have hurt my foot kicking a gate, damaged my wrist bashing a banister and now, sprained my ankle hitting the ground. Think I might be a danger to myself. 🤔

If you do decide to hire a skip, watch you don’t trip up, oh and double check the size. We wanted the larger one but what arrived was slightly smaller. This means that we will now need to get another one in a few weeks time which, of course, means more cost.

Once all your renovations and redecorating are complete another useful tool to hire would be a rug doctor.

Hire a Rug Doctor

We hired a rug doctor because life with little kids has left our carpets in some state. The hubby will tell you it’s not the kids. Ok, there may have been a few make up and fake tan stains in almost every room. The important point to make here though is that this machine is a genius. Our carpets came up good as new and now smell so fresh. It even got out the blue tac stains; the boys thought it would be a good idea to see what would happen when you mix blue tac and carpets hairs. FYI, it ain’t good!

If you are carrying out home renovations but not replacing carpets, this handy tool is the next best thing. It is the perfect finishing touch.

Share the Load

Speaking of finishing touches, we still have a fair bit to do. Renovating a home and redecorating is no easy task and takes time. Once the manual labour is done you still have to consider accessorising; cushions, candles, pictures, all those finishing touches. The hubby had 10 days off, most of which was spent on the garden renovations so, we will need to set time aside each weekend to finish the inside. As a team we have it sussed: he does the hard labour, I clean and occupy the kids, helping where I can. If you need to manage DIY renovations with little kids around definitely share the load and, taking a page out of Pup’s book, CHILL!

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