Survive Your Kitchen Renovation

by Jane VanOsdol on March 14, 2011

Maybe you’ve dreamed and planned for a kitchen remodel for years, and it’s finally time to get started. You’ve been immersed in paint chips, cupboard brochures, and countertop and flooring samples. Making all these decisions can be a fun and scary proposition. One area that some people forget to plan for is how they will survive several weeks or months without a kitchen. Spending some time planning ahead for this inconvenience will help you survive your kitchen remodel with your sanity intact.

Once your kitchen is gutted, you begin to realize how much time you REALLY spend in the kitchen. At least in my family, it’s a lot! Let’s look at some tips that will help you make do without your kitchen during your kitchen remodel.

1.     Set up a makeshift kitchen in another room of your home.  If your refrigerator is now parked in your family room or living room, it makes sense to use this room. You can generally eat breakfast and lunch without needing your stove, so set up a cupboard or small island on wheels to hold non-perishable food. If you have enough room, add a few of your everyday plates, bowls and glasses. Make sure these are kept in a cupboard with doors or a plastic tote with a lid to protect from construction dirt and dust.

2.     Stock up on food supplies like cereal, bread, oatmeal, energy bars, granola, chips, peanut butter and such that is easy to make into a quick meal or snack.

3.     Dinner is a trickier proposition. There’s no way around it that on some days you’ll just have to eat out—especially if drywall dust is blowing around the house. Not having a stove or oven can make it difficult to prepare meals. It’s not, however, impossible. Consider the following suggestions. Use your Crockpot. You can make several Crockpot meals very easily without a functioning kitchen. Purchase a roast of beef or chicken and add potatoes, carrots, seasoning and a little liquid, and you’ll have a tasty meal. Haul out your turkey roaster from Thanksgiving. If your roaster has a thermostat knob on it, it’s actually an oven and you can bake in it. So, anything that will fit into the oven can be baked. You can set it up in the garage if you like, and let it bake away out there. (Hint:  I actually use mine in the garage in the summer if I want to bake banana bread or brownies so that I don’t heat up the house.) You can also use your microwave for frozen meals and to heat up leftovers.

4.     Stock up on paper plates, bowls, cups and plastic cutlery. This will drastically cut down on the amount of dishes you have to wash. Remember, for a while you will have to do without your kitchen sink and dishwasher.

5.     Decide where you’ll wash dishes:  bathroom sink, utility sink, or a bathtub are all possibilities. Just pretend you’re camping! Purchase two dishwashing basins or tubs. Wipe off all the food scraps from your dishes with paper towels before you wash them. You don’t want to be clogging up your sinks. Wash the dishes in the first bin, rinse the dishes under the faucet, and then stack the now clean dishes in the second bin for drying.

Having a plan in place for everyday meal preparation can help your survive the kitchen remodeling project with your sanity intact. Remember, it’s only for a short time, and this home improvement will be worth any inconvenience you’re suffering now!

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