Make Preparations and Get Organized
Plan to do the following before demolition begins:
Set Up a Makeshift Kitchenette
- Carve out time to pack up the kitchen properly or arrange for movers since it’s a big task.
- Think about whether some sort of refrigeration will be possible. Perhaps there’s an old fridge in the garage you use for beer or a minifridge elsewhere in the house. It’s worth renting a small one or buying one secondhand. Just be sure there is a place you can plug it in outside the kitchen.
- Include takeout food and restaurant expenses in your overall renovation budget.
- Change your attitude. Tell yourself and anyone who usually listens to you vent that you’re adopting a chic, healthy European lifestyle that involves stopping by the market every day for that night’s supper provisions. Note that these shopping trips will require some time management, but on the plus side, they will get you out of the construction zone.
If possible, set up a mini kitchen in another room. Think about what equipment might come in handy for throwing together meals. Suggestions include:
- Coffee maker
- Electric teakettle
- Toaster or toaster oven
- Slow cooker
- Portable electric grill
- Electric frying pan (if you have a place to clean it)
If your house has a mini kitchen or a wet bar elsewhere, you’re in luck. This is a great spot to set up.
For the rest of us, it’s more of a challenge. The mini kitchen can go just about anywhere in your house, but cleanup is the catch. So think about how you’re going to handle a small-appliance cooking mess before you make it — this may involve the patio, a hose and a dishwashing tub.
I didn’t include measuring cups or mixing bowls among the things to leave out of the packing boxes (see below) because making pancakes or anything else that requires them is not an easily cleaned-up meal — rinsing out a batter bowl in the small sink in your lovely master bathroom is a bad idea. Menu Plan
Now that you know batter and other messy stuff is a no-go, get used to the reality of your new at-home menu. It will consist mostly of food you can toast indoors or grill outdoors, as well as soup, cereal and cold sandwiches. “You’re going to want to buy stuff at the grocery store that you can stick a spoon in,” says Dan Harris, who is living through a kitchen renovation and is my father.Clean Up Immediately
Keep dish detergent, a scrub brush and a dish towel at the sink you’ve designated as your cleanup site. The designated food trash can should have a lid
to contain odors and keep pests away. Scrape dishes into the trash, wash them, dry them and put them back in their designated spots.