5 Tips to Survive Without a Kitchen During a Remodel

A kitchen remodeling job can be challenging, and usually means being without a working kitchen for a few weeks or a few months, depending on the project’s complexity. Given all the Hudson Valley kitchen remodeling projects we’ve done over the years at Affordable Granite & Cabinetry, we offer these five tips to survive without a kitchen during the renovation period.

kitchen remodel plans

1 – Have realistic expectations

Your mindset prior to and during a kitchen remodel is likely your biggest weapon in equipping yourself mentally and surviving “without” for a while.

Our designers often say that a remodel is similar to a camping experience—you’ll be roughing it during the renovation. Therefore, it’s important to go into your project with the understanding that you will have limited (or no) access to cooking appliances, the kitchen sink for washing, or counter space for food prep or storage. You may not have a refrigerator or freezer for part of the time. And everything in your cabinets is now boxed up somewhere. But knowing that this is temporary, with a plan in place for how to deal with these disruptions, will make it that much more manageable.

2 – Set up a temporary countertop, workspace, and storage space

This can be as simple as adding a folding table and some shelves in your dining room, living room, or any area adjacent to the kitchen that is far enough out of the way of workers, tools, and mess, but close enough to make your life as easy as possible. This area will be designated for food preparation and to house essential small appliances and other daily kitchen needs.

Pro tip: Make sure to place your temporary counter as close as possible to electrical outlets for those small appliances. You’ll need them!

In planning for your temporary space, remind yourself that it doesn’t have to be pretty – just functional. There is no need to overspend on this (given the financial investment you are making on your soon-to-be permanent new kitchen). Save money by borrowing from friends or family, buying used items (Facebook Marketplace, thrift stores, or Habitat ReStores are great resources), or checking around the house for items you can repurpose.

Items to consider using in this temporary area include:

  • Mini fridge or cooler
  • Microwave and/or toaster oven
  • Coffee maker
  • Trash/recycling cans
  • Dish drying rack
  • Bins or shelving for pantry items, dishes and cutlery
  • Portable camping sink or wash basins (one for washing, one for rinsing)
  • If you need to use disposable plates and cutlery, stock up on those
  • Bonus appliances if you have enough space include an electric griddle or hot plate (make sure these are set up safely on a sturdy, appropriate surface)

3 – Take advantage of the seasons

If weather permits during the spring, summer or fall, your outdoor grill is a wonderful resource for cooking—and you won’t have to eat out or do takeout for every meal! You may also want to set up a washing station outdoors. If your kitchen remodel is happening during the winter months and temperatures stay cold enough (as is usually the case in the Hudson Valley), placing a few coolers outside or in the garage is a convenient, inexpensive way to bypass the need for your refrigerator.

4 – Get minimal

Remember the camping tip? You wouldn’t pack your entire kitchen to take to the campground, so don’t over-clutter your makeshift space with excessive pots and pans and cooking utensils. You won’t have room for your normal lineup of cooking tools so take an inventory of your must-haves. A bare minimum is key; pack up the rest. Before you do, this is a great time to go through your cabinet contents to see if there are unused items in good condition that you can donate. You’ll have less to put away later.

5 – Store safe and smart

Large bins with tight lids will keep your pantry and cabinet contents safe from dust particles and debris during a renovation. Stackable containers take up less space to fit into your temporarily smaller space. Clear storage bins make it easy to see what you packed if you need to access anything (or label the bins for easy unpacking into your new cabinets later).

The tight lids also go for your trash and recycling, which are now in your living space. Anything with a lid will help keep odors away (and keep the area tidier).

At Affordable Granite & Cabinetry, we know the importance of careful planning for all phases of a home improvement project—from replacing flooring to remodeling a kitchen or bathroom. Our designers will help you plan and design a beautiful new space for your Hudson Valley home. Call us at (845) 564-0500 or fill out our form to make an appointment with our home remodeling experts. And please come visit our Fishkill showroom to see what’s possible!