Survive your remodel by setting up a temporary kitchen in another room

Some say that a home without a kitchen is no home at all. And when you’re deep in the throws of a complete kitchen renovation, this truth becomes even more apparent. Dust blanket all over your house? Sink not big enough to wash the dishes? No counter space to prepare the smallest meal? Welcome to the joys of kitchen renovation. It’s a time when you recognise the small things you’ve taken for granted with the luxury of a kitted kitchen.

If you’re planning a kitchen remodel, the truth is, there’s no way to avoid at least some inconveniences. Depending on the scale of your project, it’s going to be a pain to live through. Yet, with a little preparation, the there are ways to survive during this testing time. Enter the temporary kitchen. A super-sub in times of construction war.

If you’re about to embark on a kitchen project of your own, you might want to learn how to set up a temp kitchen in your home:

Step 1: Pack it up

Renovating a kitchen is much like moving house. Yes, it’s inconvenient, but exciting at the same time. It also happens to be an opportune time to declutter. So the first step in setting up your temporary cooking space, is packing up your kitchen. There will be workers going in and out of your space. So move your kitchen contents to the garage or spare room if possible. Now’s the time to set aside your essentials. The stuff that will move to your temporary kitchen. Think about the basic tools you need to prep your daily meals. Assuming you’re not hosting a Christmas dinner during your renovation, the tools required should be the bare essentials. You won’t need those 15 measuring cups and waffle-maker. You will, however, need a trusty coffee machine. Make sure to keep some plastic containers too. Renovations time is leftover eating time. And be sure to stock up on paper plates and cups to minimise the amount of dishes you need to do.

Step 2: Plan your meals

Kitchen renovations are expensive. But there’s one cost that almost always isn’t accounted for – eating out. The convenience of escaping the madness at home and enjoying a meal in a dust-free setting is appealing. Yet, it’s the cost of this convenience that can stretch a kitchen renovation budget to its limit. Rather, opt to cook at home, using one simple principle – keep it simple. Now’s not the time to go gourmet. Plan your meals ahead of time, and think about preparation. Microwave meals aren’t the only way to go. There are hundreds of healthy food recipes out there that need little more than a handful of ingredients and a pan. Preparation is the best cure for anxiety. Make sure your meal gameplay is strong.

Step 3: Set up a prep space

Not having a meal preparation space, is not an option when renovating your kitchen. There are many ways to set up makeshift counter space. The simplest solution? Stack the boxes of kitchen stuff you packed on top of each other. Then simply lay down a scrap board or folding table on top. Kitchen counter – done. You can make your life easier by covering the setup with a plastic table cloth. It’s not only easier on the eye, but will make cleaning super simple. Of course, you can purchase an extra workbench to get the job done. If you’re in a pinch, boxes and board will do just fine.

Step 4: Get the water running

Living without a sink or running water might be the hardest adjustment when remodelling. It’s important to have a space to wash the dishes, and stack dirty ones before they get cleaned. A quick fix is to use a meal tray as your dirty dishes stacking zone. It will make transportation easier and eliminates multiple trips to your wash station. You can set up a washing zone in your bathroom, but many sink won’t be deep enough to get the job done. There’s also very little space to stack things once washed. Consider investing in this nifty idea: the cooler sink. Simply whip out a large drinks cooler, fill it up with water and some dishwashing liquid, and tah-dah, instant kitchen sink. You can use the cooler outside during warmer days, or place it in the bath when the weather turns. The scrap board also makes a great drying station when placed over the bath.

Step 5: Get cooking

Grilling. There are many ways to cook meals while renovating your kitchen. If you’re blessed with an outside kitchen or grill, consider scheduling your kitchen remodel during the summer months. That way, you can easily prepare meals like burgers, steaks and grilled vegetables outside during the reno.
Microwaving. The microwave isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but during kitchen remodel time, it’s likely to be your saviour. Reheat leftovers, make scramble eggs, boil pasta, cook potatoes. The uses for the micro in a makeshift kitchen are endless. Seriously consider getting a second-hand microwave if you don’t have one to repurpose. You’ll thank us later.
Cooking. A simple camping stove can be your best friend. There’s no need to invest in anything huge. A one-plate option with a small gas canister attachment is more than enough to cook most meals.

Step 6: Find your seat

Set up a small table and chair if possible. Not only will this be your new dining space, but the table can double as extra preparation space. If a table isn’t an option, consider moving meals to the living room or even outside.

Final Thought

Create a routine around your new temporary kitchen. Get everyone in the family on the same page by showing them where to place dirty dishes, how to prepare certain meals, and where to store things. Most importantly, prepare for surprises. Renovating is no joke. Things go wrong and plans will change. Make sure you disconnect from the experience every one in a while by getting out of the house. While kitchen renovations are never pleasant, the reward is certainly worth the stress.