The 5 Best Home Improvement Projects for Work-at-Home Moms
I know what you’re thinking: between having two jobs (your paying gig, as well as the full-time job of motherhood) and managing a household, you barely have time to sleep or slap on some lipstick, much less take on home improvement projects. Unfortunately, those hinges are not going to un-squeak themselves and the horror show that you call a kitchen will still look like the ’70s threw up all over it tomorrow if you don’t start planning some upgrades today. And yet, you probably don’t have a ton of extra money in your monthly budget to devote to a major renovation; you certainly don’t have the time. So if you’re considering a few home improvement projects that will make your space more functional and beautiful, here are some that come with less expense and/or time commitment. There are plenty of projects that even the busy work-at-home mom can undertake.
- Kitchen upgrades. Kitchen spaces can quickly become outdated, and if the original builder was trying to cut costs, yours may not be very functional, either. But you probably don’t want to live through weeks of renovation (during which you’ll have no place to cook meals) and take on the huge expense associated with gutting your kitchen and starting from scratch. So think about tackling smaller tasks like painting cabinets and updating the hardware, adding storage solutions, and replacing plumbing and lighting fixtures. You might even install a tile backsplash. Believe it or not, you can manage these DIY projects with little expense and some online tutorials and transform your kitchen in the process.
- Bathroom upgrades. Like the kitchen, gutting the bathroom bears no small expense. But you could save some money by replacing the linoleum with tile on your own, putting in a new, prefab cabinet-countertop-sink combo, or simply upgrading plumbing and lighting fixtures. And don’t underestimate the impact of a fresh coat of paint and new window treatments to improve and update the look of your bathrooms.
- Home office. While there is no real payoff in terms of ROI for building out an office space, the functionality you’ll gain will no doubt be priceless. Many work-at-home moms struggle to separate living and working space. A home office outfitted with a proper desk, storage, and so on will allow you to leave your work behind at the end of the day instead of seeing it everywhere you look (the kitchen table, the couch, etc.). You could even add a craft area for kids to keep an eye on them during the day and contain their supplies to one area of the house. Plus, for those times when you need peace and quiet to work, you can simply hand the kids off to your spouse, shut the office door, and power through your projects.
- Open-concept. Truth be told, this is neither easy nor inexpensive. But for any mom trying to keep an eye on her kids while working during the day, having an open-concept floor plan is one project that can make a home eminently more functional. And unlike cosmetic fixes, it can also add value to your property, enticing a wide range of buyers and potentially showing some return on investment when you sell. In the meantime, knocking out a few walls will give you clear sight lines throughout the main floor so that you can watch the kids playing even when you’re working or making them lunch.
- New appliances. This upgrade may be a bit pricy, but it’s a relatively easy home improvement since whomever you buy from will install your new items. In truth, you can save some money on dishwasher, fridge, and even furnace buying when you opt for products that bear the Energy Star logo. These appliances meet set standards for efficiency that ensure your utility bills will decline, saving you money over time.
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