So, you’re ready to upgrade to that kitchen you’ve always wanted.  It’s exciting, but if you’re feeling a little daunted too, you’re not alone.  Likely there will be times in this process when you think to yourself, those old cupboards could not have been that bad! I could have lived with the stove and the sink being so far apart — at least I was getting my exercise!  And those old counters — well, at least I had counters.  It’s hard to do without a kitchen for any length of time.  Depending upon the extent of your renovations (and the unexpected things that come up along the way), you may be without your usual appliances and workspace for a couple weeks, or several months.  There will probably be times when you have to do without electricity, plumbing, gas, or all of the above.

Ask people about their experiences with kitchen remodelling projects, and you’ll likely hear some tales of stressful times, but some people will also have fond memories of absurd challenges and the creative ways they dealt with them.  Perhaps any experience seems rosier as time passes, but still, there are some things that can help your household survive times like these with minimal stress.

Like so many things, the outcome — and the enjoyment of the process — really comes down to planning.  Make as many decisions as you can before you start. Changing your mind once the remodel has begun can be costly, and can lengthen the time that your home is in turmoil.

Here are some tips for getting organized before your kitchen remodel:

  • Look at your timeline.  Taking into account your start date and estimated time for the remodel, make a list of stuff you want to plan around.  Will there be any holidays, birthdays, or other special occasions during that time frame? Are your household members okay with breaking traditions if needed? Are there any that you feel you must strive to maintain? How will you do that?  Thinking (and talking) through the possibilities ahead of time can help head off stress later on.
  • Know thy household!  Thinking through your daily routines, your household’s basic needs, and the amount of time you expect your kitchen to be out of commission can go a long way to making this transition smoother and less stressful.
  • Pack away as much as you can.  Pairing down to just the essentials is key to surviving when you’re not fully operational.  You’d be surprised how many meals you can make with just an Instant Pot and a toaster oven! An electric griddle, sous vid, or steamer can add even more versatility.  When you’ve settled on which cooking methods you’ll have available, identify what utensils will be needed for use with them, along with appropriate food prep items (cutting board -one or 2 not all 5, knives, mixing bowl, measuring cups/spoons, peeler, grater, spatula, etc.)  Add one set of table service for each person (plate, bowl, flatware, glassware), plus one or two extra. Virtually everything else can be packed away.


Here are 3 tips for packing up before a kitchen remodel:

  • Don’t pack appliances before giving them a careful look over for food bits. Blenders and toasters especially! No one wants to attract critters in storage areas.
  • Make inventories for each box. This way you know exactly which box you’re looking for if you unexpectedly need something.
  • Check dates on food and spices before packing them up. Seal any opened items in airtight containers to prevent spillage and creepy crawlies.

Most importantly, take a deep breath and relax!  No matter how well you plan, remodeling a space as central as a kitchen means you’re going to have to a little,  adventure for a while. Adjust expectations accordingly, and enjoy the ride!

Looking for tips on staying organized during your kitchen remodel?  Stay tuned for Parts 2 of this 3 part series. Part 3 will bring ideas for organizing your new kitchen for maximum enjoyment and efficiency.