Anyone who has gone though a kitchen remodel recently will tell you that surviving such a home improvement project, especially if you do not plan ahead, can be a real challenge. Think about it – no stove or microwave for cooking, no refrigerator to keep items cold and frozen, no sink nor dishwasher for cleaning, and no cupboards for storing. Given that most kitchen remodeling projects can last, on average, anywhere from four to eight weeks, advance planning for how you and your family are going to eat is required. Planning goes a long way to alleviating stress for everyone. Here are several real-world tips for surviving a kitchen remodeling project.
Getting take-out meals every night while your kitchen is being remodeled sounds glamorous, but can become expensive and tiring very fast. If you are able to, find a location in your home, such as a dining room or an area of your living room, where you can set-up a temporary kitchen.
Refrigerators are heavy, so if you are unable to move your refrigerator out of your kitchen, consider getting a small fridge similar to the one you might find in a college dorm, so that you can keep items (e.g., milk, eggs, etc.) cold. Small fridges may not have a large enough freezer, so you may need to forgo frozen foods for a while. If you really need a freezer, many homeowners will have a large freezer in their basement or garage.
In addition, you can put a microwave in this area. If you have a built-in microwave that cannot be moved, consider purchasing an inexpensive microwave to heat up food. You can also add a small coffee maker, a hot water carafe or pot to heat water, a toaster, even a crockpot and a toaster oven where you can cook as well as heat up meals. You may end up going to the grocery store more often to purchase fresh food items, but this will be much less expensive than eating out every night. And, if the weather is pleasant, consider grilling outside!
You will also need a place to store cooking utensils, pots, pans, etc. A sideboard works well as does a clean dresser or bureau moved into your temporary kitchen. Stock-up on such food items as non-perishable foods and snacks. Remember, this is just temporary until your new kitchen is completed.
Washing dishes, utensils, pots, and pans is also essential even when you do not have access to your kitchen. Invest in plastic and paper plates, cups, forks, spoons, and knives. Easy to use and easy to throw away or recycle. When you absolutely need to wash dishes, utensils, etc., using your bathroom sink and bathtub is possible in a pinch. A better way to wash is to fill up a large cooler or brand new clean plastic tub with soap and warm water, and a second cooler or tub with clean water for rinsing. When you are finished, simply dump the water outside. Remember that plates, pots, and pans need to be cleaned off of all food prior to washing because you may not have access to a garbage disposal.
Store Before You Start
Before your remodel begins, take time to empty out all of the kitchen cupboards. This is a good time to get rid of any items that you have accumulated over time that you no longer use, need, or want. Next, take items that you know you will not need during the remodel and pack them away. This way, when your kitchen remodel is finished, you can unpack and restock your cupboards quickly.
Keeping It All Clean
Remodeling = dust, dirt, and grime. You need to be prepared to live with a bit of dirt while construction is going on. There are some strategies that you can do to reduce the amount of dust and dirt you’ll live with. Cover all of your furniture and belongings with drop cloths. Ask your contractor to seal off your kitchen (if at all possible) by hanging plastic cloths over the entrances to your kitchen. Keep dust cloths and other cleaning items handy so that you can do a quick cleaning every day. This way you can keep the dust and dirt at bay, reducing the amount of grime that is carried through the house.