How to Survive a Kitchen Remodel

The Temporary Kitchen - How to Survive a Kitchen Remodel

-contributed by claire_de_luna on August 10th, 2007

Collect take-out menus from places 10-15 minutes from home.
Designate a corner of your home, garage or basement for a temporary kitchen.
Prepackaging meals you have prepared before your remodel begins is always good planning.
Appliances could include: Refrigerator, microwave, electric skillet (nonstick), coffeepot, electric grill, electric kettle, toaster, toaster oven, crockpot, rice cooker, campstove, gas or charcoal barbecue grill. If you are someone who needs their morning smoothie, pack the counter top blender and invest in an immersion or stick blender. Think about what’s easy for you to clean, since water is a precious resource and not always readily available while remodeling. Doing dishes in the bathroom gets old very quickly.
Items you will need:
Work surface for preparing food
Shelving for pantry items (anything that works for you like bookshelves, old cabinets, crates, etc.)
Paper products: Cups (cold drinks and coffee), plates, bowls, paper towels
Plastic wraps and bags (to use for mixing ingredients together, as well as storage)
Aluminum foil
Utensils, for eating and cooking (preferably non-stick)
Dishpans (2) and dish soap, for washing up
Microwave dishes (like a large glass measuring bowl with handle)
Trivet for hot foods, potholders and dishtowels
Wine or martini glasses; cocktail shaker; corkscrew; bottle opener
Spices (Pack the cardamon, and keep the salt and pepper)
Large trash receptacle
Optional items might include:
Adjustable mesh strainer (good for placing over a dishpan, rinsing and air-drying dishes)
Inexpensive, light dishware like Corian or Melamine. Some people have easier access to running water for dishwashing and prefer not to use paper products.
Paper towels, toilet paper and hand soap are items you will want to stock up on. Unless you are providing a ”Johnny On The Spot”, you will have contractors who need to use your bathroom.
Convenience rules. If there is ever a time when Less is More, this is it. You’re in survival mode so you’ll want to:
Keep dishwashing to a minimum. Non-stick cookware or utensils that can be wiped clean with a paper towel are ideal. There will be dust everywhere, so keep as many items under cover as you can. Some people will have access to a sink; others may not. Two large dishpans for washing and rinsing are helpful for those who won’t have a sink or readily available running water. (The type used to bus dishes in a restaurant are excellent.) Additionally, two large pots/pitchers/pans/pails for carrying cooking and waste water is preferable.
It’s perfectly fine to use prepackaged and convenience foods at this time like: bagged salad, frozen entrees. Fresh fruit is already portion controlled and easy to eat out of hand. Simple foods, easily prepared are best. Stock up on your favorite comfort foods, like Chocolate. Stress during remodeling is inevitable. Some people adapt well to the challenges of cooking without a kitchen, others need to use every resource available.
Eat your fiber and plenty of it! Dust does count, but is not known to have any nutritional value. This will go a long way to help keep stress to a minimum and a smile on your face.
Packing your old Kitchen:
Now is the time to purge any items that have seen better days. Be ruthless. If you didn’t love or need it before, you won’t want to give those items a place of importance in your new kitchen. Put the things you’re not sure about in a separate category and mark the box. Chances are excellent you won’t be putting them back into your new space, and you’ll wonder ”What was I thinking?” This is the ideal time to replace or upgrade kitchen tools or dishware that kept better company with your old kitchen. New potholders and fresh dishtowels are a natural part of the remodeling experience!