For most families, the kitchen is the heart of the home – and coping while it is being remodeled can be a major inconvenience. Hopefully the tips below will help to make the whole experience a bit less stressful.
Tip 1. Pick the right location.
Similar to the perfect campsite, your temporary kitchen should be as far removed from all that remodeling activity going on as possible. You also don’t want it in a high-traffic area. It should, however, be close to a water source. Also take into account that you will need one or more electrical connections. Obvious options here include the dining room, the guest suite if you have one, or otherwise outdoors. The garage is also a possibility, but remember that the remodeling crew might want to use it as their base.
Tip 2. Ask for the contractor’s advice
Hopefully you are using a professional contractor for your kitchen remodeling job. Make use of his/her expertise before you run out and buy anything for the temporary kitchen. Most contractors will also have no problem to help with moving heavy items such as your fridge and getting them reconnected in the temporary location.
Tip 3. Set up workplaces and storage space.
To hold smaller appliances and for a workspace to prepare meals, a folding table or two will do just fine. Don’t use your dining room table, unless you can make sure it’s properly protected. You are also going to need storage space for food, cutlery, crockery etc. Portable drawers or plastic storage bins are perfectly OK, but if you have a rolling cart with drawers that’s even better.
Tip 4. Try to use multi-purpose items
You will probably be without the benefit of a full-size stove so you will have to start thinking out of the box here. The core idea is not to over-pack your temporary kitchen.
A fairly new electric pressure cooker is perfect to roast, saute, warm, and simmer. And you can also use it as a slow cooker
A blender can be used to make both sauces and smoothies
An electric skillet can be used to make everything from pot roast to pancakes
Long-handed tongs can be used to serve salads as well as flip burgers
Tip 5. Keep things easy to clean
Imagine a small temporary kitchen stacked with dirty dishes, pots and pans wherever you look… don’t let it happen to you. Start by stocking it with only one, or maximum two, sets of utensils, drinking glasses, cups, bowls and plates per family member. That way someone will have to do the dishes after every meal or two and it will never become a huge problem. Of course, you can also buy disposable plates, cups and utensils.
Tip 6: Plan your meals
You can take a lot of stress out of the whole situation by planning your meals ahead for the next week. It’s when you start planning that you will realize a particular meal idea is not going to work, given your limited resources. Remember, there are multitudes of healthy food recipes on the web that need little more than a pan and a handful of ingredients. Keep it simple.
Tip 7. Have a routine
The smaller the space, the bigger the need for a routine. Get all family members on the same page by making sure they know where everything they need to make a cup of coffee or a bowl of cereal is stored – and should remain stored. Show them where to put their dirty dishes, and perhaps more importantly, where not to.
A final word
A kitchen renovation might be stressful while it’s underway, but if you picked a professional remodeling contractor, the end result will undoubtedly be worth it. In the meantime, if things get a little hot in the (temporary) kitchen, take a break and go for a drive. Treat the family to a nice, meal at your favorite restaurant, or for a walk on the beach.