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Kitchen Remodel Prep 101: How to Set Up a Temporary Kitchen

Kitchen Remodel Prep 101: How to Set Up a Temporary Kitchen

Starting a Kitchen Remodel? Here are some timeless tips for setting up a temporary kitchen.

There will be a period of time between your old kitchen and your new one when you won’t have a sink, full-size oven or dishwasher at your disposal. Which reminds us, you won’t have a garbage disposal either. It’s an unavoidable part of the remodeling process.

If the thought of going a few weeks without a full kitchen makes you anxious, don’t worry. With some basic preplanning and a little bit of improvisation, you’ll make it through.

Minimizing the disruption starts with setting up a functional temporary kitchen. Here are a few things you can do, starting right now, to make yours a success:


FIND A GOOD SPOT

Look for space and water. An ideal temporary kitchen is far away from the remodeling activity and close to a supply of water. Look around. An in-law suite, a basement rec room with a wet bar or a laundry with a utility tub would work well.

Consider an indoor-outdoor arrangement. If the weather during your remodel allows, move your refrigerator and prep area to the garage and take advantage of easy, in-and-out access to the grill and patio table just outside.

Don’t forget about safety. Make sure any place you consider has plenty of accessible electrical outlets, adequate ventilation and a working smoke detector nearby.


ORGANIZE YOUR TEMPORARY KITCHEN STARTER KIT

Make a list of the essentials that you’ll need to keep close at hand. Everyone has different needs, but here are common things you’ll likely want to set aside for your temporary kitchen:

  • two dishes, a set of flatware and a plastic cup for every family member 
  • your favorite pot and a must-have pan 
  • basic cooking utensils, like a can/bottle opener, knives, a cutting board, meat thermometer, measuring cup and calender 
  • lots of food storage containers 
  • a plastic tray or bin to carry your dirty dishes to the sink 
  • a large folding table to use as your prep station

You might consider stocking up on disposable paper products to minimize the amount of cleanup you’ll have to do. If you do, join us in our commitment to the environment and choose biodegradable options.


PLAN FOR SMALL APPLIANCE COOKING

As easy as it is to pick up prepared foods from the grocery store and as convenient as it may seem to just call for restaurant takeout or delivery, it gets pricey and tiresome to outsource all of your meals during your remodel.

Gather portable appliances, like your countertop microwave, slow cooker, electric griddle, toaster oven and coffee maker. Scour your cookbooks and bookmark online recipe sites for simple, one-pot dishes you can prepare using these compact cooking workhorses.

If you can’t move your existing refrigerator to your temporary kitchen location, buy or borrow a college dorm fridge too.


SURVIVAL TIPS

  • In the weeks before your old kitchen is out of commission, prepare several big meals, put individual portions into airtight storage and load up your freezer 
  • After demo is underway, ask a friend or neighbor if you can use their kitchen once a week for a marathon meal prep session – all you’ll need to do is reheat those meals or finish cooking in your temporary setup 
  • If your bath vanity sink is too small for washing pots and pans, use your bathtub or fill a hard-sided beverage cooler with water and dish soap to use as a makeshift sink 
  • Stay positive – any inconveniences you’ll suffer through will be brief, and your new kitchen will make all your sacrifices worth it
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