The day has finally arrived! Months of planning and budgeting are finally about to pay off because you’re starting The Great Kitchen Remodel Project. It’s exciting, but it’s also the most difficult part because your kitchen, the heart of your home, is going to be out of action for a couple of weeks or maybe even longer. If you have a young family it’s particularly tough, so how do you get through this bottleneck? It’s easy (ish) if you follow these tips.
Find a kitchen-substitute
You can’t eat out all the time, as this will become tiresome and unbelievably expensive. You also need to prepare snacks, school lunches and maybe even pour the odd glass of wine. Choose a suitable spot – it could be a corner of the garage, or a spare bedroom that doesn’t get much use – and deck it out with folding tables and chairs, a kettle and some storage boxes. Hey, it’s something! This temporary kitchen should be as far away from the construction site as possible; maybe you should order some notices from My Safety Sign to remind everyone that there’s no real floor in there right now…
Park your fancy cooking gear for a while
You’re not going to be making Totoro-themed bento or a crab soufflé while you remodel – it’s just not happening. Think about the utensils that you can’t do without and put everything else away. Yes it hurts, but it’s not forever.
Think about small appliances
If you have a slow cooker, or an electric griddle, you can still get creative. Think about what you can do with your slow cooker and reframe the experience as an adventure.
Invest in a mini-fridge and chest freezer – someone may be able to lend them to you – or look on Craigslist. These scaled-down appliances can go in your temporary kitchen.
Think about how you’ll wash up
You may have to use the bathtub, or a picnic cooler with hot water and dish-soap. You could even press the garden hose into service. A big help is disposable plates and cutlery. As long as they’re biodegradable you shouldn’t feel too guilty.
Use your outdoor grill
Your outdoor grill can do most of the things your oven can; and you’re having an adventure, remember? Get the corncobs on the grill, slap on a few steaks, crack open the shop-bought potato salad and have some fun. Try out some old-fashioned recipes like skillet pies and s’mores.
Disclaimer: this might not work so well in November…
Keep a snack box
Peanut butter and crackers, instant noodles, canned meats and stews, dried fruit – they all fill a gap and if you get home and you can’t face washing up in the paddling pool and firing up the grill again, well, it’s food.
Get out of Dodge
If you’re able to, why not get away for a few days. You could go on holiday, visit relatives, or schedule that business trip. Most people, knowing you’re remodelling, will be glad to treat you with some real home-cooked food.
Get some perspective
It’s a few weeks of chaos and inconvenience for years of kitchen comfort. If you plan ahead – a week of barbecues, then a week at Aunt Ada’s, then a week of slow cooker meals – you can turn it into an adventure and maybe even come up with your new signature dish.