How to Live Through a Kitchen Renovation


Having the opportunity to renovate and transform a space into your dream kitchen is both exciting and stressful. There are financial commitments, endless decisions to make, and plenty of inconveniences to contend with along the way. Especially if you plan to live in the home while the remodel is underway. Below are some simple tips to help you prepare yourself and your space for a successful, more relaxed renovation!

Take Photos

Before you start demolition, take some photos. You’ll be glad to have those before and after shots later on! And after the project is complete, the photos may also help you to remember where things are and where they go as you put the house back together.

Clean Out

Before you move out of the old kitchen – do yourself a favor and clean it out! Don’t pack things you never use and don’t love. Give away items that you won’t be happy to see when you settle in to your fresh new kitchen.

Pack Up

After you’ve cleaned out, it’s time to pack up and clear the space for demolition. You’ll need: boxes, newspapers, packing materials, packing tape, plastic storage bags and markers. Ask your local grocery store for produce boxes. They’ll typically hand them over for free and these boxes often have convenient handles and lids. Label boxes carefully and keep like items together as much as possible. Find somewhere out of the way to store things that you won’t need access to during the project. Set aside in an accessible area items that you will continue to use every day such as a coffee maker, toaster, pots, microwave, skillets, mixing bowls, can opener, vegetable peeler, cooking utensils, storage containers for leftovers, and cleaning supplies.

Plan A Temporary Kitchen

Designate a place to plug in a refrigerator, an area to prep food, and a place to eat. Consider a guest room, office, family room, back patio, or a space in the garage. A bathroom or laundry sink and an outdoor hose will serve as a dish washing station. One of the biggest challenges is not having convenient access to water and being able to rinse food down the drain. So plan meals with little to no prep and cleanup. A panini press, a hot plate to boil pasta, microwave meals, prepared foods and take out are all good options! If the weather cooperates, your grill can do almost anything your oven can! Stock up on paper dinnerware, cups, bottled water, crock pot liners and napkins. Have plenty of nonperishable snacks on hand, especially if you have children.

Secure the Construction Area

To help contain the mess, ask your contractor about putting up zip walls. These are durable sheets of plastic fitted with zippers to allow access to the construction zone but also keep it sealed off from the rest of the home. Remove all valuables and any fragile or precious items that you don’t want to get dusty or broken during construction. Evaluate all of the available storage space in your home and consider renting a storage pod if you don’t have room for larger items, including displaced furniture. If you have pets, designate a safe secure area for them to remain away from the construction area.

Mental and Emotional Prep

Remodeling fatigue is a real thing! You will grow tired of dust, noise, disorder and strangers in your home. Expect unexpected challenges. It almost always costs more and takes longer than the original plan and it’s less painful if you plan for it. To alleviate some stress, allow for 10-20 percent above your contracted budget for contingencies. Then just roll with it and keep your eye on the prize! No one said it would be easy. But everyone says the finished product is worth it!

Are there any survival tips we missed? Please share below!

By Amy Malloy