Do It Yourself
It's easy to dread household projects that build up during the workweek, especially when you're trying to save money by taking the DIY route. With the right attitude, however, these projects can be great opportunities for fun family time.
First, learn about your task. Check out a few books on painting from that library we talked about earlier, or consult your local hardware store for tips. No time for an in-person tutorial? Many hardware stores have online how-to pages with quick and easy tutorials on basic skills.
Second, get excited! It's easy to make what could be solitary labor a family activity by getting your kids involved. Instead of worrying about how to entertain them while you're working, let them take ownership of a set of tasks. Try setting goals or having contests to see who can peel the tape off the painted wall the best (note: not the fastest), or ask their opinion on where new decorations should be placed. They might offer some fresh ideas that you hadn't thought of before.
DIY projects are also a great opportunity to give younger family members an opportunity to break the rules -- in a safe, supervised way. If you're tearing out cabinets, give kids a pack of markers and let them draw all over them first. Allowing kids this license for controlled chaos automatically makes the task seem less like work -- and, let's face it, they'll think you're a lot cooler.