Discover appliances and tools to help feed your family, tips on sharing temporary living spaces and mindful exercises on how to live through a kitchen remodel.
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While I know everyone wants to see the full before and after photos of our kitchen remodel, I wanted to first share a few tips on how to live through a kitchen remodel. It can be stressful to eat and live in the now, while planning and working towards a future but I just lived it and wanted to share some tips!
- First off, come to terms with the mess, the noise and the company. There’s NO way to do a remodel without those things happening, so just let it happen. If your contractor doesn’t put up plastic sheeting with zip openings to block some dust from escaping the confines of the construction area, ask them if they can. This helped block off any dirt from invading our temporary space and also helped lower the noise creeping upstairs.
- Tip: designate shoes just for walk throughs. Place a pair of sandals for each person who has to walk through this space near the opening to the demo area and leave them there. When you walk through, the bottoms of your shoes will be dusty and then you track it all through the house.
- Just say yes! Whenever our contractor asked if his team could come in odd hours (like starting a project after 3pm or come on a Sunday) we always said yes! Can they be at your house while you’re on vacation and use a lock box to enter? YES! You’re only holding up your own timeline by saying no. If a friend invites you over for dinner where they will feed your family, say yes! If a friend offers to let you bake cupcakes at their house for your kids birthday party, say yes!
- Pre-make crock pot friendly or convention oven friendly meals ahead of your remodel! I made 2 batches of stuffed shells when I was able to boil water to cook the noodles before the remodel, and then we cooked them in our convention oven. See what other meals you can precook/preplan and just heat up during construction time!
- Set up a temporary kitchen space and dining space. We put our old dining room table in our front sitting room as a cooking area and dining spot.
- Collect all your electric kitchen appliances, like a microwave, convention oven, crock pot or insta pot for cooking opportunities. I HIGHLY recommend this Presto 22 inch electric griddle, which we used for anything from pancakes and french toast (which could be a dinner as easily as a breakfast!) or grilled quesadillas, as seen in progress above.
- 2 plastic tubs were used for kitchen cooking utensils and spatulas. One was for inside cooking accessories and the other included grilling accessories so it could easily be picked up and brought outside.
- An old sideboard cabinet was used as a temporary pantry and we only kept the necessities inside! If we needed more of something, it was all in our basement, labeled in boxes.
- Use disposable products. I am usually NOT one for suggesting this option as it’s obviously not environmentally friendly, but it’s necessary with a family of 4 who mostly works at home with lots of meals being consumed at home. There would just be too much to keep up with to keep clean! Use paper plates and disposable utensils to lessen what you have to clean.
- Tip: Grab up clearance tableware! If your remodel is near a holiday (any holiday) look for clearance deals on seasonal plates and napkins after the holiday is over! You can use a Halloween plate year round!
- Designate a plastic tub to collect dishes and utensils to clean. We cleaned everything in our second bathroom tub, which wasn’t used by the girls during this time since they used our bathroom. We opted to collect any cooking dishes or utensils all day and only clean at night by placing them in a plastic tub at the bottom of our stairs.
- Meal plan and consider at home meal alternatives. Even with a working kitchen, I try my best to meal plan at least SOME of the meals during the week so we weren’t eating out every day. Plans helped to properly defrost meat for grilling, throw items in a crock pot or be smart on ways to use leftovers.
- Tip: Research gift card deals. I knew our remodel would be taking place in mid summer so I purchased a few of those “buy $50 in gift cards and get $10 back” type deals that tend to happen around Father’s Day and Graduation time. They also happen during the holidays so keep your eyes peeled!
- Tip: Google kids eat free discount days. Many chain or local restaurants have kids eat free or kids eat at a discount type days. For example: Moes = Sunday.
- Tip: Eat breakfast and lunch at home as much as possible. In my opinion those are the easiest meals to make at home as they often don’t include cooked items.
- Bring your fabric furniture items away from the dust! I did NOT want our nice living room couches in our unfinished basement (ahh bugs!) and I didn’t want them to just tarp it and leave them in the space since they would no doubt be covered in dust. Instead we squeezed some pieces of our sectional upstairs and it quickly became a big game of the floor is lava in our bedroom. Derek and I both worked side by side with lots of seating, as shown with our love seat in our bedroom.
- Make space for their materials. We have a shed and an unfinished basement so we were luckily able to move out anything from our 2 car garage and allow my contractor to keep all the supplies in this space during the remodel. We also had all the materials PRIOR to the remodel starting, which is probably why it ended up being less than 2 months time.
Stay tuned for an upcoming post with the full reveal of this space!