A kitchen is more than just a room in your house—it's where you cook for your family, entertain guests, and make your morning coffee. It can be hard to fathom surviving without a kitchen for any length of time, but it's a necessary part of the remodeling process.
Some people choose to plan their vacation around their remodel, but just because your kitchen is out of commission doesn't mean the rest of your house is. The best way to deal with remodeling your kitchen is to set up a temporary kitchen in your home. Although this might seem overwhelming at first, preparation is key. If you take simple steps to plan ahead, your temporary kitchen will be sufficient throughout the entire kitchen remodel.
How to Prepare Before You Begin
Ensuring a successful transition to your temporary kitchen space means making a plan. No matter the size of your kitchen remodeling project, you may be inconvenienced from time to time. But setting up a temporary kitchen can alleviate some of the inconveniences. When making your plan, the sooner you start, the better.
If you have to pack everything up or plan meals at the last minute, it will be hard to use your temporary kitchen space successfully. That said, proactive planning might look different for everyone, but there are some basic tasks most people need to get done.
One of the first steps to planning ahead will be to think through what supplies you might need. Then, pack everything you don't need away. It will be easier to figure out what you need after you create a meal plan. It doesn't have to be perfect, but having a general idea of what you'll be eating will allow you to effectively prep your kitchen space.
Trying to think of recipes to prepare after the work on your kitchen has already started can be problematic. Proactive planning can make the most of what you have. For example, if you know you're going to have access to a grill, you can add some grilling recipes to your meal plan. But if you only have indoor appliances, you want to ensure your meal plan reflects that.
Decide Which Appliances You Will Use
The reality is you aren't going to be able to survive long without any appliances. But if you're missing your major appliances, there are some great ways to cook meals with smaller appliances that are delicious and completely portable.
If you're setting up a temporary kitchen, here are some of the best small appliances to use in your temporary kitchen:
- Instant Pot
- Crock Pot
- Air Fryer
- Blender/Food Processor
Wisely choosing your appliances is the key to success in your temporary kitchen space. You don't want to take up too much space and leave no room for prep. So it may be best to choose one or two best-suited appliances for your needs during the kitchen remodel.
If you have room for one, it's not a bad idea to choose a microwave as one of your appliances. When using an appliance like a Crock Pot for cooking dinner, you're bound to have a lot of leftovers. But you'll be eating a lot of cold leftovers without a microwave.
Setting Up Your Temporary Space
When you begin setting up your temporary kitchen, you will need some appliances, utensils, and other necessities that you use every day. There are certainly some things you'll have to do without, typically due to space constraints. But if you're intentional about what you will use in your temporary space, you'll have plenty of room to continue cooking for your family.
Here are some additional things you don't want to leave out of your temporary kitchen:
You will need a place to prepare meals since you won't have the kitchen counter space you previously had. Regardless of what appliances you're using, even the slow cooker will require a place for you to prep your recipes or plate your meals. Designate an area in your temporary kitchen as the prep space, and be sure to have items such as a cutting board or measuring cups handy.
Place To Sit
Preparing meals can make standing for a long time difficult, especially if you're trying to prepare many meals simultaneously. Even if you don't usually sit while you're cooking or prepping, remember that during the kitchen remodel, you may create a batch of meals for the week or prepping lunches for several days.
Paper Or Plastic
You'll likely want to avoid dirty dishes to make your life easier during this time. Dirty dishes may be inevitable at times, but stocking up on paper plates and plastic utensils will make your life a lot easier. Sometimes you can even avoid a mess by buying liners for appliances like the Crock Pot, which makes cleaning up simple.
You might view the kitchen remodel as an inconvenience because, let's face it, living without a full kitchen is a challenge! But to make the process easier, you might also view the remodel as an opportunity to be creative and think outside the box. One way to make the experience fun would be to consider how you can use the available supplies and space to do something you wouldn't normally do.
For example, let's say you have a patio or deck you hardly ever use. You can make your temporary space your own by extending it outdoors. If you have a place for a grill, this can be a great way to cook that doesn't take up any extra space in your home.
Here are some of the easiest grilling recipes for your outdoor space:
- Greek Chicken Souvlaki Skewers
- Steak and Potato Kabobs
- Baby Back Ribs
- Margarita Chicken
- Grilled Sausage Peppers and Potatoes
If you do have an outdoor space you can utilize, you can also invest in a camping stove. It doesn't have to be industrial size or the most expensive model, just something you'll be able to cook a few meals on.
Tips On Surviving With a Temporary Kitchen
Many people question whether you can stay in your house during a kitchen remodel. It may be challenging to work around, but you can continue the rest of your routine during this time. Here are some tips for surviving and thriving during the kitchen remodel:
One way to benefit your home during the remodel is to use this as an excuse to declutter. As you go through your kitchen supplies, get rid of old things you don't need anymore.
Pack Up Your Stuff
Regarding everything you won't be using, take the time before the remodel starts to pack it up. If you try to move everything to your temporary kitchen space instead of only the items you need, you'll spend a lot of time sifting through boxes.
Don't Forget The Coffee
If you're a coffee drinker, keep your coffee maker of choice out and set up a small coffee station. When you're a week into the kitchen remodel and can easily access your coffee anytime you need it; you'll be glad you did.
Give Yourself a Break
Just because you're trying to avoid eating out every night doesn't mean you shouldn't give yourself a break every once in a while. If you choose, you can do a pizza or sushi night once a week. If it's intentional as a treat, you'll feel better about it than if you are doing it because you didn't plan well.
Settle for easy
If cooking is something you love to do and you can still manage to make great meals for your family in your temporary kitchen, there's no reason to stop. However, if cooking isn't your thing, don't worry about getting fancy during the kitchen remodeling project. Instead, once your dream kitchen is complete, practice those newfound cooking skills so you can start creating the culinary meals of your dreams.
There's no shame in eating out during a kitchen remodel, but it can quickly get old. Instead of subjecting yourself to delivery every day for several weeks, set up a temporary kitchen in your house to ensure you can still cook meals efficiently at home.
A kitchen remodel signals a fresh start, regardless of your kitchen setup. As you wait patiently for the completion of your dream kitchen, use that time to renew your kitchen space, tools, and more.