30 Easy and Budget Friendly DIY Renovation Ideas for Busy Moms

Your head is full of all of the remodeling ideas to make your house a home. You’re a fairly confident and competent DIYer. But It seems like you never have the time for anything much less a remodeling project! As a mom who has undertaken three house remodels during all my three kids’ existence, I’ll agree that it’s not easy. ( And I couldn’t do what we’ve done without a majority of the work being done by my husband, I’ll admit that.) But if you consistently take little chunks of work at a time, you can update your home. Here are 30 easy and budget friendly DIY renovation ideas for busy moms.

Finding Time for Projects

When to find the time? for anything as a busy mom is the million dollar question. You know your life and schedule better than I do, but I’ve found that with enough practice, I can usually fit one more thing in (and still have time for resting). 

When I have a remodel project going, my goal is to work on it for an hour every day. But that doesn’t mean I actually work on it for an hour every day. There are kid interruptions; there are days where we are running errands.

Here are my tips for finding time to work on renovation projects as a busy mom:

  • Set the same time aside on your calendar (mine is 4:00 – 5:00 PM each day)
  • Work in small chunks of time (even 15 minutes here and there add up!)
  • Stay consistent
  • Keep your tools picked up but ready to grab and go

Renovating with Kids Alongside

To be honest, when I’m working on a remodel project, I almost always have at least one kid with me, whether it’s a baby in a carrier, a toddler by my side or an older kid who wants to help. I will say, I would much rather send them to grandma’s and knock out a ton of work (which I do on occasion and during really messy projects.) 

But…embrace having kids alongside you while you work. 

Yes. They will slow you down. Yes. They will make messes.

But they are learning. And you might as well enjoy it.

I have a whole blog post on 40 Tips for Home Renovating with Young Kids that you can read HERE. But here are some quick tips:

  • Give them a renovating job to do. (This is the main one! Make a job up. They love it.)
  • Give them their own tools. Read my 75 Kids’ Gifts to Make Helping Fun HERE
  • Give them a “cleaning job.” (A bucket of water and scrub brush will keep some busy for a while.)
  • Have a special box of toys and books only for renovating.

30 Easy and Budget Friendly DIY Renovation Ideas for Busy Moms

Quick Home Updates

1. Installing sticky tile backsplash

I love this home improvement idea as a busy mom because it is simple to do it for 20 minutes and then put away until tomorrow. Little by little, you will have a totally new look in your kitchen living space!

Read my Pros and Cons of Peel and Stick Tile HERE.  

2. Line inside of cabinets with contact paper

If the inside of your cabinets are somewhat gross, good ol’ fashioned contact paper (with updated prints) is an easy way to remedy this with a fresh new look. Yes, you’ll have to be careful to measure and lay, but you can do one shelf at a time without much mess and fit it in 15 minutes every day.

3. Replacing cabinet hardware

There couldn’t be an easier home update than replacing cabinet handles and knobs. Make sure you get handles that have the same distance between the screw holes. After that, it’s a simple task with a screwdriver that you can do all at once or little by little, and it makes such a big difference!

4. Replacing door hardware

This takes a little more time, but you can actually update the look of your home with new door knobs and hinges. Again, it’s not messy and can be done in less than an hour for each door. 

Painting Projects

5. Painting walls and ceiling

Painting projects are big on my list of 30 easy and budget friendly DIY renovation ideas for busy moms. With any painting project, sometimes older (kindergarten and up) kids can actually help on the base coat. Get them some old clothes from the thrift store, lay down plenty of drop cloths and let them feel important with their own brush and paint!

If you’re painting outdoor spaces, give younger kids a bowl of water and a brush and tell them to paint everywhere EXCEPT where you’re painting.

6. Painting trim

This is usually done with the trim laid on sawhorses outside. Simple home projects are a perfect way to watch the kids while they’re playing on the swing set!

7. Painting doors

Sometimes you remove the doors to apply a fresh coat of paint, sometimes you paint them while on the hinges. Either way, this is a great project for small bits of time. You can block off the room with a baby gate and paint for 15 minutes and then leave while that coat dries. 

8. Painting cabinets

Painting kitchen cabinets is a great way to give your kitchen area a fresh look without spending a lot of money. It is a huge process though, so just prepare yourself for not using your kitchen for a while. You can definitely prep the cabinets for paint with kids helping you. For the actual painting though, it’s a good idea to send the kids to grandma’s or another family member for the day.

9. Painting the floor

Seems like an odd project, but an ugly cement porch floor or bad condition wooden floors or even plywood subfloor can look amazing with a coat of paint! It is a very farmhouse look. Prep with kids. Paint without kids though as you need to do the whole floor without interruptions. See a step-by-step guide for how we painted our bungalow porch floor HERE

**Tip: if you can’t send your kids away, you might need to fix a big ol’ pot of coffee and enjoy a late, late night of painting! Yes, you’ll be tired the next several days, but your DIY home renovations will get done.

10. Painting furniture

This is a classic way to update your home without spending lots of money. It’s great because you can put the small project in the garage or basement and shut it off when it’s drying. Since it needs several coats, small bits of time everyday are perfect.

11. Painting Laminate Countertops

Are you on a low budget for DIY home projects but hate your chipping or ugly laminate countertops? I painted our mobile home kitchen counters with good success (though you need to have the kids spend several hours somewhere else). Read Pros and Cons of Painting Laminate Countertops HERE

Big Impact But Easy Updates

12. Hanging pictures and wall decor

Hanging pictures and wall decor are such simple DIY home improvement projects that you can do little bits at a time by yourself. (Even when you’re watching Netflix!) When you don’t have extra hands to hold something up and look at it, cut out the size item from butcher paper and on the wall to get an idea or the arrangement. Or you can do my favorite method of just using command strips to test out if I like the arrangement and location of a frame. Yes, I go through a lot of command strips, but it is better than putting a whole bunch of nail holes in the gallery wall!

13. Wallpaper a room

Wallpapering is not necessarily an easy DIY project, but it is a wonderful way busy moms can give a room a whole new look without a ton of mess (like paint). You can actually hang just one strip of paper at a time if you’re super busy. If you keep at it, the whole room will be done one step at a time. 

14. Installing new lights

Installing new light fixtures is not all that hard, and these make a huge impact in your home makeover. Look up a good tutorial to get started and swap out those outdated light fixtures!

15. Hanging curtain rods and curtains

New, updated curtain rods and curtains can be just the thing to give your room a new look. This easy makeover idea can make everything look updated. TIP: Hanging curtain rods high and wide is the best way to make small windows look big.

Major Renovation Jobs

16. Tearing out sheetrock

In any major house renovation, you will most likely be removing walls. What a great job for a busy mom with tag-along kids! First, you can do it in small chunks of time. Second, this is a great job for young kids to help with. Just give them a hammer and they will be in heaven. (Just make sure you test the material for asbestos and lead before you let kids help.)

Read more about removing lath and plaster walls in my post HERE

17. Pulling nails from wall studs

When you remove walls like lath and plaster or sheetrock, you will have lots of nails left in the studs. Again, this is one of the easier DIY projects you can pick up for 15 minutes at a time. And hand a crowbar to your kids so they can help pull!

18. Putting up insulation

Installing insulation is oh so simple and something you can do in little bits of time. If you’re doing a huge house renovation, claim this task as yours, busy mom. All you need is a stapler, a ladder, work gloves and a roll of insulation.

19. Caulking around windows and trim

Caulking is a tedious task, but it is easy to do. And it doesn’t require a lot of tools to clean. Once your trim is up or your windows are in, take 20 minutes to an hour each day to knock out the task little chunks at a time.

20. Replacing electrical outlets and switches

Replacing outlets and switches with another color seems intimidating, but it’s actually a pretty easy process. This is not a tutorial on how to do it, but look it up for detailed instructions. (Just make sure to turn off the electricity!)

21. Cleaning up after a major project

Home renovation creates a lot of mess, and someone has to clean it up! It may seem menial, but it is an important part of the project. And it is a great task that kids can help with.

22. Taking over meals and other household and outdoor chores so your husband can work on the renovation

When I was pregnant last year and since he has been born, I didn’t work on the farmhouse reno as much as I wanted. Meanwhile, Caleb was working on it like crazy and getting tons done. I felt bad for not doing my part but then realized that life still has to happen. If I take over more daily tasks (which I CAN do with kids), that frees him up to focus on the house. It’s a partnership.

23. Ripping up carpet

If you have carpet that you don’t want (and especially if you have original hardwood floors under that carpet) then ripping up the carpet and pad is a pretty easy project. Check to make sure there’s no mold. (Learned THAT the hard way.) But this is a pretty easy project to do with kids.

24. Laying carpet pad

Laying carpet is not so easy by yourself, but laying the carpet pad is pretty simple. A tape measure, utility knife and staple gun are pretty much all you need.

25. Installing trim

I am not a trim person…my mind just doesn’t work in angles and numbers. But if you’re good with details and can work a saw, then installing trim is a great task for a busy mom. You can work on the project in small chunks of time if necessary.

Online and Office Work

26. Researching Pinterest for ideas

Most people don’t think of allllllll the research it takes for home renovations. HGTV shows us neatly laid out drawings and computer walk-throughs that are complete and seemingly effortless. Let me tell you, every project takes hours of research and planning. This is something busy moms can do in the small spaces of time throughout the day. Make a Pinterest board for your project and start planning.

27. Drawing up layout plans

So much of home renovation actually has nothing to do with renovation projects. Much of it is planning. You need to measure where the sinks go, what size of cabinets, the layout of the room, how many rooms in addition and so much more. Get some graph paper, a tape measure and a pencil with a good eraser and start drawing up your layout for your home update.

28. Calling contractors

Calling contractors, lining up workers, making sure payments are on time… all these things are tedious but need to be done in a home renovation if you hire any work out. Even if it’s not totally DIY, hiring a home renovation still takes a lot of effort and time!

29. Online shopping for home renovation items

Again, the television shows don’t show the process of buying all the materials like doors, windows, paint…everything you need for your renovation project! Once you research the look, you have to find the items (and if you’re doing a DIY renovation on a budget, this takes time to find THE look at the right price).

30. Selling salvaged building materials on Facebook Marketplace

I’m a big proponent of selling salvaged building materials from our demolition. This saves us money from having to throw it in the dumpster rental, keeps more junk out of the landfill, makes us money to put back into the house renovation budget and it’s the epitome of a vintage lifestyle… use what you have.

So if you’re a busy mom, don’t despair of breathing new life into your home or tackling renovation projects. Set aside a little time each day, even if it’s just 15 minutes to work on your DIY endeavors. Pick up your tools but keep them handy so you don’t spend all the time searching for what you need. And involve your kids in the process to keep them occupied while you’re working. These 30 easy and budget friendly DIY renovation ideas for busy moms are all things that I have done when I have had kids from newborn to 6 years old. Is it hard? Often, yes. But the feeling of satisfaction you get after accomplishing a remodel project (however small or big) will make it all worth it!

Read more about home renovating with kids below.

40 Tips for DIY Home Renovating with Young Kids

75 Kids’ Gifts to Make Helping Fun (Renovation and Homestead)

How to Mix Kids and Vintage Decor

How to Decorate Your House – Finding Time

Vintage Farmhouse Decor That’s Kid Proof

Pin for later 30 easy and budget friendly DIY renovation ideas for busy moms


Our Vintage Bungalow

Howdy! I’m Tammy, and I’ve lived most of my life stretching a low decorating budget through garage sales and DIY renovation.

I am going to give you quick and easy tips on the beauty of reusing older items instead of spending tons of money on new. I’ll show you how I add vintage style that makes a your house feel like a cozy home (even with young kids, a practical husband and a big dog in tow). 

Read more about our journey HERE

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