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Home DIY Projects for College Students on Summer Break :: Paint, Landscape & Learning


As the second semester for college students comes to a close most will no doubt return home for the long and well deserved summer break. At the same time, this provides an extra set of hands around the house. And can take some pressure off parents.

Just think about it: With the economy still trying to recover and a parent’s schedule being limited getting our young adults involved with home maintenance tasks, and important upkeep, can make a big difference. Depending on the project, doing so cuts down on the expense of hiring someone else. It also provides students with new skills, which they use when dealing with their own living situations elsewhere. It even gives them a real sense of accomplishment.

Either way, persuading our kids to take on a few home DIY projects between now and the fall should be encouraged.

If you are looking for DIY projects for college students on summer break, here are a handful of suggestions:


No matter how much we attempt avoiding clutter certain parts of the home become havens for all kinds of junk. Areas like the attic, basement, and garage usually need an annual (or biannual) campaign to clear it all out.

Sometimes it entails going through old family belongings while on other occasions it’s pretty straightforward with almost everything needing to be trashed.

Whichever situation you find yourself in having the on-break college student join in can push the process ahead faster so it doesn’t drag on any longer than necessary.

Editor’s Note: See the article – “Every Inch Strategies” for our Top Tips on De-Cluttering a Home.


When a house interior is lived in it often gets banged up to the point various touch ups are needed. Most of the time it’s about simple wear and tear but sometimes it may be discoloring from a mold or mildew problem.

Whether its baseboards, doors, window frames, walls, or ceilings, interior painting is an excellent DIY job for college kids. It doesn’t require hiring a professional house painter. It’s easy enough to do without much guidance and doesn’t depend on the weather or reaching dangerous heights like exterior work does.

Furthermore, once a person gets the hang of it, it’s an invaluable skill to know when it comes to remodeling or simply trying to change the feel of a setting on your own.

 – To read more about both interior and exterior painting, please see Painting category, here.


Some neighborhoods are very strict when it comes to curb appeal. Others less so. But it’s the summer which means nature is growing and the yard needs upkeep.

Since homeowners are always trying to find time for mowing the lawn, pruning bushes and weeding, why not delegate these chores to the resident college student. The work is usually pretty straightforward but can be time consuming depending on the size of a property.

Nevertheless, this can also be a great opportunity for students with environmental interests. As they can observe their yard up close, they learn about what does and doesn’t work. They also see how to upgrade its efficiency through various eco-friendly and green-minded methods.

– While we on the topic, please see our recent article – Learning How to Landscape.

Accessing for Other Minor Home Repairs

Finally, if our kids already have summer jobs or are taking classes leaving them with limited time, try a more low-key approach.

For example, send them on a mission around both the interior and exterior of the house detailing any odd spots that need repair. Common problems include a loose shutter, cracks in the foundation, clogged gutters, or empty spots on the roof where shingles blew off. Then compare notes to see if you missed anything.


How does this help? While some things are cosmetic and aren’t a priority, others need immediate attention. This is simply another way of keeping tabs on what’s going on around the house so nothing pressing gets overlooked.

The Bottom Line:

Giving college students a little more responsibility this summer can help them garner a heightened sense of confidence. Vis-à-vis, it also takes care of things around the home. This in turn provides a deeper sense of independence; a positive trait worth strengthening before graduation and entering the real world.


Jakob Barry is a home improvement journalist for He writes about house remodeling for pros across the U.S. For more from us on working with our children, please see our category Remodeling with Kids. And please stick around once the kids go back to school. Our article – “Four (Now That the Kids Are) Back to School Fall Project Ideas” can help. Cheers. ~jb


Photo Credit: College student image via Jakob Barry from PinkSherbet’s photostream >>

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