You can almost picture it- the beautiful new kitchen you’ll have after the renovations are complete. You imagine the meals you’ll make and the gatherings you’ll host. In between you and that dream is a lot of work…and a lot of dust. The remodeling project may seem daunting, but that doesn’t mean it has to be miserable. In fact, our Birmingham Kitchen Renovations team does everything possible to make it a quick, hassle-free process. Even still, you’ll need to prepare for (and adjust to) not having a functioning kitchen for a few weeks, so we have some survival tips:
Set up a temporary kitchen
“Where am I supposed to prepare meals?” You may be thinking “a better question would be ‘where are we supposed to eat our fast food?’”. Good point, but keep in mind that you can’t have fast food for every meal for a few weeks, so you’ll need a workspace and a way to clean up afterwards. The optimal place is far from the current kitchen reno and near a source of water- maybe a guest room with attached bathroom, basement, or even outside (weather permitting). Make sure to cover any food prep or work surfaces so you can prevent any stains or damage. Here is good list of things you will probably need:
- A sink or tub
If you have a deep sink in your mudroom, that could be the perfect substitute. A bathroom sink or bathtub would work as well.
- Small appliances
Think microwave, blender, Crockpot, Instant pot, and/or toaster. Not all at once, but they can all help with meals and make them easier. It’s critical to make sure the electrical outlets you use can handle these appliances.
- Access to enough electricity
- Drain screen
If you’re using a sink or tub as a temporary setup, you won’t want leftover food particles clogging it up. Use a drain screen (like you probably already use in your kitchen sink) to catch any food.
- Trash can
Make sure you have a big enough trash can available. It’s probably just best to transfer your kitchen trash can to your temporary kitchen. Have extra trash bags ready since you might be using more paper products than normal.
- Plastic shelving
These will serve as your kitchen drawers for now. Organization can make almost any situation less stressful, so this is a good way to keep your utensils and supplies organized and keep you sane in the process.
- Basic kitchen utensils and supplies
Make sure to have everything you usually use when preparing dinner. Have enough utensils for a meal or two, but don’t load yourself up with dishes to do. Don’t forget a can opener!
- 1-2 plates, cups, bowls, and silverware sets per person
Give everyone their assigned dishes and if your children are old enough, have them wash theirs themselves. Don’t try to bring your whole set of dishes and silverware or else you’ll just be creating more dishes to wash and less room to store them.
Store anything you don’t need
Whatever you won’t need (some pots, pans, casserole dishes, etc) should be stored away in boxes. Label everything possible in order to keep you and your temporary kitchen organized.
It’s tempting to use only paper products the whole time since you’ll be without a dishwasher and don’t want the added task of handwashing everything in a bathtub. But we encourage you to allot dishes and silverware to each family member to be eco-friendly. If you want to go the disposable route, consider something biodegradable.
Take advantage of nice weather
Grill out or cook over a fire pit whenever the weather is nice enough to do so. This not only adds a nice change to the menu, but also gets you outdoors away from the potentially chaotic remodeling situation.
Ask to commandeer a family member’s or friend’s kitchen
If you and your family are really itching for a favorite home cooked meal, see if a neighbor, family member, or friend wouldn’t mind y’all taking over their kitchen one night. Offer to make enough for them, or invite them over for dinner once your new kitchen is ready.
Cut restaurant coupons and/or download rewards apps
A kitchen renovation project is a big investment and you want to keep to your budget as much as possible. Be careful with eating out too much during the project, or it could tack on several hundred more dollars with hardly any warning. If you take a little extra time on the front end, you can eat out without worrying too much about the budget. Look for restaurant coupons or download the rewards apps for your favorite restaurants (if you haven’t already) to save a little bit on each meal.
Hey guess what?? At the end of this adventure is the beautifully stunning, new kitchen you’ve been dreaming of. This renovation time will fly by faster than you’ll think, and the days of washing dishes in your bathtub will be behind you. Hang in there and enjoy the process! Your award-winning Birmingham kitchen renovations team at DF Hughes is honored to be a part of your project.
Tips for Surviving a Kitchen Remodeling Project