Remodeling your kitchen is exciting. In the end, you’ll have the kitchen of your dreams. But surviving the remodeling process can be stressful. The average kitchen remodel takes about four to eight weeks. During the remodeling process, your kitchen may be partially or completely unusable.
If you’re comfortable with the remodeling work being performed without being present on a daily basis, consider scheduling your remodeling project at a time with you can take a vacation or at least stay in a hotel or with relatives without causing major disruptions to your routine. If relocating elsewhere isn’t an option, there are a variety of things you can do to minimize the stress of your kitchen remodel.
Eating out every meal isn’t practical, and it certainly wouldn’t do your budget or your waistline any favors. To allow you to prepare at least some of your meals at home, you’ll need to set up a temporary kitchen in your home. Choose a room that will be easily accessible during construction. Tables can be used as prep space. If you can’t move your fridge into your temporary kitchen, consider buying a small, inexpensive dorm fridge.
Even with your temporary kitchen, preparing meals will still pose a challenge. If you know you’ll have access to a freezer and a microwave, make some meals before construction begins and freeze them in single-serve portions. This will allow you to defrost and reheat the portions in the microwave as needed. You will also want to make sure to stock your temporary kitchen with plenty of non-perishable foods and snacks. If your pantry will be off-limits, create some temporary shelving or use see-through plastic bins that are easily accessible for storing your food.
Stocking your temporary kitchen with small appliances, such as a microwave, slow cooker, electric skillet or griddle, toaster, or toaster oven will allow you to prepare some hot meals. If you’re remodeling during warmer months, take advantage of your outdoor grill. You can cook almost anything on the grill that you can cook in your oven or on your stovetop.
Dealing with dirty dishes is another challenge you’ll need to plan for. The easy solution is to stock up disposable plates, cups, and utensils so you can simply toss your dirty dishes. But even using disposable dishes, you may still have some cookware to wash. If you have a utility sink in your laundry room or garage, it will work great for washing dishes. If you don’t have a utility sink, you can use a bathroom sink or bathtub for washing dishes, although the thought of doing dishes in the bathroom isn’t pleasant for many people. Another option is to fill a large cooler with warm, soapy water. If the weather is warm, you can locate the cooler outside to wash your dishes and simply pull the plug on the bottom of the cooler to drain the water when you’re done. If you’re using your cooler indoors, place it in the bathtub and pull the plug for easy draining. Be sure to thoroughly scrap all of your dishes first since you won’t have a garbage disposal.
You’ll need to remove everything from your kitchen before the remodeling begins. Pack items that you won’t be using into boxes or plastic storage containers and label them so you know where to find everything. This is a great time to prune your kitchen contents. Eliminate any items you no longer need or want or that are damaged. This will leave you with fewer items to pack and fewer items to put away once your remodel is complete. If you can, store these boxes in a spare room or even in the garage to keep your usable living space as uncluttered as possible.
Remodeling creates dust. There’s no way around it. Hang plastic sheets over the doorways to help contain the dust. Even taking this step won’t completely keep the dust from the rest of your home. Use drop cloths to cover your belongings and be prepared to dust and vacuum your usable living spaces frequently. You should also change the filter on your HVAC system more frequently during the time, changing it at least monthly.
When the chaos starts getting to you, remind yourself of the beautiful new kitchen that you will be rewarded with at the end of the project.