You’ve been dreaming of a walk-in pantry, sliding cabinet shelves, and a pot filler, and the day your dream kitchen comes to life is almost here!
But know that renovation to reach that dream throws your home into chaos, which in turn throws everything and everyone out of sync.
Once you have a start date for your kitchen remodel, it’s time to get serious about preparing your home and yourself for what is involved in not having a kitchen for weeks on end. Any modern kitchen remodel of significance can take four-to-six weeks to complete, so you need a plan to cope with the chaos.
Let’s take a look at what you can do to prepare for feeding your family without a kitchen while your dream becomes reality.
Before you take even one thing out of a cabinet, figure out what and how you’re going to eat for the next six weeks. Knowing what you plan to cook will help when it comes time to decide what gets packed away and what gets kept out for use.
Start by considering what your options are in terms of small appliances and other cooking tools. These could be a slow cooker, microwave, electric skillet, or toaster oven. Don’t forget the blender or grill either when you begin setting a meal plan.
Once you know how you can cook without a kitchen, you can start planning meals around the foods that work. This could be salmon and asparagus on the grill or frozen pizzas in the microwave.
Prepping in advance can help you keep your meal plan healthy. Putting together freezer meals or meal ingredients means less stress with finding space to cut and chop. Take advantage of pre-prepped ingredients you can just grab at the grocery store as well for salads and side dishes.
You won’t be able to prep enough food for the entire project timeline unless you have a deep freezer in the garage. A close friend or nearby family member can be a lifesaver if they’ll loan you their kitchen for a few hours every couple of weeks or so.
Once you have your meal plan, you have a better grasp of what needs to be packed up and what can be put in storage. Start with all the appliances you’ve decided you can’t live without for the next six weeks along with whatever utensils you’ll need with them.
Anything seasonal or overly specialized can probably be boxed up at this point in your remodeling preparation. This includes special serving dishes like holiday plates and deviled egg trays, along with appliances like the ice cream maker and fondue pot. Tools you find difficult to clean now should definitely go into storage as they won’t be easier to clean in a tiny bathroom sink or under the backyard hose.
If you’re keeping your meal plan simple, you can also pack away anything you normally would only use in the oven like cake pans and cookie sheets. That said, you can bake a cake on the grill if you think you can’t live without it!
As a rule, it’s better to pack away your breakable dishes and glasses and come up with a different plan. This could be disposables, or you could keep out the plastic dishes you use for camping or by the pool. They’ll be much easier to wash when you have limited sink space.
Don’t forget to keep out essential tools like the can opener, scissors, and oven mitts.
Spend a little time thinking about cleaning and organizing as well. You’ll want to keep out dish towels and rags along with plastic containers for leftovers.
Keeping your sanity in a temporary kitchen is about staying organized. That means figuring out a place for everything. Wherever you’ve decided to set up, try to clear out as much of what normally lives there as possible so you’ll have room for what you need.
The big thing you’ll need to find room for is the fridge. Once you have that in place, work on finding places for the rest of your appliances to live. You might discover you need to adjust your meal plan a bit because there isn’t room for the toaster and the toaster oven.
A long worktable or card table can serve as a prep station. Even if you prep as much food as possible in advance, you’ll still want a place to make lunches and organize the meal.
Washing up will be one of the bigger challenges you face in this kind of home improvement project. Depending on the time of year, you might be able to set up outside with a temporary utility sink. In a pinch, a bathroom sink or bathtub can serve but are far less convenient for doing dishes.
If you have some extra bookcases or other shelving, these come in handy as pantry and storage space. And don’t forget to leave some room in the space for the trash can.
The excitement of getting a new kitchen can quickly turn into frustration and despair if you aren’t properly prepared for the process. You can make everything much easier on yourself and your family during the kitchen remodel if you plan well. Meal plans, food prep, and a good temporary kitchen setup can make your home renovations feel less stressful.
If you’ve been considering a home addition or remodel project, contact us to talk it through and get an estimate. Our team can share insights and tips based on our home remodel experience that can help you with planning and execution.