Kitchen Tips

How to Survive a Kitchen Renovation

Kitchen renovations will test your patience. I’m currently in the middle of one right now and it’s been a true test of character. They aren’t easy. It’s messy and chaotic, but I’m trying to be positive and remember the light at the end of the tunnel: a brand new kitchen.

I tried to prepare ahead of time to ease the inconvenience of not having a kitchen for several weeks. I’ve heard horror stories of people who were without a kitchen for months and months. My hat tips to you because it’s not easy!

Today, I’m sharing how to survive a kitchen renovation so you can make the most of this stressful time and not let it disrupt your life…too much!

How to Survive a Kitchen Renovation - Make the most of this stressful time and don't let it disrupt your life...too much!

How to Survive a Kitchen Renovation

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1. Hire a reputable contractor. If you’re hiring out, make sure you do your homework. You’ll want a contractor that will get the job done in a reasonable amount of time and not leave you hanging. I hired an electrician to rewire my house and he took over a year to get the job done. He would come and do a little bit of work and then leave and we wouldn’t see him again for 6 months. You don’t want that to happen when you are doing your kitchen!

If you are doing the job yourself, make sure you order all your items ahead of time before you start the demolition. The cabinets can take 6 to 8 weeks to come in. We started in March with the planning and it wasn’t till end of June that the renovation was finished.

2. Label your boxes. Your label maker is your friend when you are packing up your kitchen. Pack like items together and label everything. This step will make unpacking much easier and if you realize you need something during your renovation, you’ll know where to find it.

3. Designate an area as your temporary kitchen. For us, it was a corner in our living room. I set out dishes, non-perishable food, our toaster, microwave oven and hotplate. It was cramped, but it got the job done.

4. Fire up the grill. If you are renovating during the warmer months of the year, take full advantage of your backyard BBQ. We ate BBQ food almost every night during our renovation.

5. Make meals in your microwave. Frozen dinners are your friend. Buy foods you can prepare in the microwave. It may not be the healthiest, but at least everyone will be fed.

6. Freeze meals ahead of time. If you are thinking ahead, prepare frozen meals and put them in your freezer to use during the renovation. Then you can just pop them in the microwave and dinner is served.

7. Clip takeout coupons. We often get “junk mail” with coupons and menus for local restaurants. Save them and use them during your renovation on the nights you don’t feel like cooking. A little planning ahead can save a few bucks.

8. Buy water bottles. You don’t realize how much you miss your kitchen sink until you don’t have one. My kids weren’t fans of “bathroom water” so I bought some cases of water for them to drink. I know, it’s not the most environmentally friendly tip, but you do what you have to!

9. Use paper plates and disposable cutlery. Our bathroom sink is tiny and we have no storage space in there. It makes doing dishes a nightmare because there is no where to set anything down. Buy paper plates and disposable cutlery to save time during clean up.

My kitchen is almost done. We are currently waiting on the countertop, sink and cooktop to be installed. I can’t wait! It’s been stressful and I’m counting the days until my life can go back to normal.

Do you have any other tips for surviving a kitchen renovation?

Stacie Vaughan

Stacie is the mom of two girls and lives in Ontario, Canada. She enjoys cooking/baking, photography, reading, DIY and is fueled by lots of coffee!

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