Tips to Keeping a Functional Kitchen During a Remodel

So, you’ve decided to remodel your kitchen. You’ve set a budget, found a designer and contractor, picked out all your finishes and details and have a start date on the calendar. Now you’re probably thinking…’how am I going to eat while all this is going on?’ Being without a full kitchen during the renovation can be the most daunting part of the process so here are a few tips to make it as smooth and painless as possible.

Create A Temporary Kitchen

Find a space in your home where you can set up a temporary kitchen space. Ideally, it would be near a laundry room or bathroom with a sink so you can have running water nearby. Put up a folding table for a countertop/prep space. You can even move some of the small appliances that you use often to this area. Set up your coffee maker, toaster, microwave, or even an electric single burner so you have some limited kitchen functionality still intact. If you don’t have them already, air fryers and toaster ovens are great small appliances that can do just about anything an oven can do and will become your new best friend during this time.

Grab the Essentials

As you are emptying out your kitchen and preparing for the contractor to come in and tear it apart, make sure to set aside the essential utensils, pots, pans, and dinnerware. Think about items that are microwave safe and will fit in the toaster oven. Try to be conservative with how many items you set aside because remember, you won’t have proper storage for these things and will likely be washing them in a smaller sink. Grab a few staple items and put the rest away in storage out of sight so the rest of your home doesn’t become too cluttered. And don’t forget to set aside things like tin foil, plastic wrap, garbage bags, and Tupperware.

Get Some Ready-to-Eat Items

Take a look at your pantry and make sure you’re stocked up on dry and canned goods. Things like cereal, canned and dry soups, canned fruits, and veggies can be quick and easy for a meal or added to a simple recipe. Quick, high protein snacks like crackers, nuts, peanut butter, raisins, and cheese are great to keep on hand for meals on the go or to keep the kids fed and happy in between meals. Store-bought heat-and-serve entrees are a great option and your grocer’s deli can be a good place to find fresher pre-made meals. Lots of grocery stores have fresh salad bars and hot meals like rotisserie chicken, mashed potatoes, and mac and cheese ready to serve and take home.

Freeze Ahead

Before work begins and your kitchen is still available, make a few dinners and throw them in the freezer for a quick homemade meal without the prep and mess. Enchiladas and soups are great for dinners, but you can also freeze things like breakfast sandwiches and burritos. Take advantage of your crockpot for meals too. Pot roast, chili, and soup can be made in the crockpot and is usually more than enough to last a few meals.

Have Grace

Finally, remember this is only temporary. Embrace disposable utensils and dishes during this time to cut down clean up and keep you sane. Think ahead and budget for a few more dinners out or politely invite yourself over to friend’s homes for dinner. Acknowledge that packing a lunch might be a little more difficult during a renovation so allow yourself and the kids the luxury of buying lunch a few days a week. Your diet might be a little boring for a few weeks, but that’s okay. Remember, before you know it, you’ll be cooking delicious, fresh, homemade meals again in your dream kitchen.