9/26/14

5 Tips For Tackling Weekend Projects With Kids Around #DIY

Very early in our renovations of the 1920's fixer-upper, I learned that getting anything done with a toddler around was damn near impossible a challenge. Between my toddler needing his usual undivided attention, and wanting to help, I found myself constantly stopping and starting then stopping again.  After a bit of trial and error, I finally figured out a way to entertain the kid and complete my projects.  Below are five things I do before beginning any project to ensure, shit gets
done...



1. Hire someone.
2. Hire someone.
3. Hire someone.
4. Hire someone.
5. Hire someone.

KIDDING.

Although... It would TOTALLY work!

Seriously, here are 5 Tips For Tackling Weekend Projects With Kids Around:


1. Plan ahead and plan for the worst. Have a clear idea of what the project is going to take to be completed, and any and all possible issues that may arise, then make a list of the tools and supplies needed. If you are paining, make sure you add spackle and sandpaper to the list. Nothing sucks more than being in the middle of the project, and running into an issue. Plan for the issue, so you will will have the tools you need on hand to fix it.

2. DO NOT take the kid(s) shopping for supplies. If you've never taken a kid to a hardware or craft store, consider yourself lucky and MUCH saner than me. You need to have time to look at colors, touch things, price match and ask questions, all of which are not possible with a kid in tow, especially a toddler!

3. Create kid activities. Before starting any project, I make sure I have a list of things for Ollie to do. During the planning phase of the project, I look for little activities Ollie can do to "help" me. If I'm working in the yard I will give him a bucket and ask him to fill it with sticks or leaves, sometimes it's as easy as giving him his little toy lawn mower and asking him to mow the lawn for me.  If we are working inside, I will set up a table close by with his own little craft projects with crayons, stickers and games to play.  If the kid is not busy, then neither am I!


Ollie's project while inside.  When we are outside, he is collecting sticks and leaves for an art project, then sorting them by size and color.  I expect all projects to buy me about 30 minutes!  Ahhh the attention span of a toddler.

4. Prep the night before. If possible, start prepping the night before. I tape, move furniture, get the supplies ready, set up Ollie's play area. The point is to spend your project time actually doing the project.

5. Have a realistic timeline. Probably one of the biggest lessons I have learned during the renovations is that each project takes FOREVER! If I think something should take an hour, it's really going to take three. If you plan to have the project finished in one day, make sure you have a backup plan if it takes two. No weekend project can be completed if you have only a short window.  Make sure you have plenty of time to complete the project, because when kids, unforeseen variables and awesome impromptu weekend events are thrown in to the mix, nothing really goes as planned.

So what's my weekend project?  Besides putting the finishing touches on the living/dining rooms! (Before/after photos/post coming next week!)

I'll be refinishing my childhood coffee table!

I have this coffee table that I REFUSE to let go. My mother bought it right after I was born, and because it's solid wood, it has survived the test of time. There's even crayon under it from my brother and I when we were Ollie's age. The table has also served as the base of many forts for my brother and I, and now for my son.

Here's the thing though, the center is MDF! It's the craziest thing, the middle of the table is this crap fiberboard with a thin layer of wood on top. After years of kids climbing all over it, water and food being spilled and everyday life, it's chipping and becoming a safety hazard. It's time to fix that.

I was able to pull the top layer of that MDF off in one long strip!  YUCK! 

Being that this table is super special to me, before writing it off, I want to chip and sand away the center and see what I am left with.  I have grand dreams of doing a mosaic in the center, but with the table being so heavily used, I'm afraid that's not going to be the best base. The plan is to sand the table down to smooth, and paint it, so it will be safe to use again, then go from there... Knowing me, I will have to find a way to add some flair.

I'm searching for inspiration... Have any ideas???

Follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to see how the project goes...


In addition to being the founder of First Time Mom and Dad, April is an award-winning published writer. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com

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