Kitchen Remodeling Survival Guide
Kitchen Remodeling | My contractor husband, Alan, and I love to cook, but the kitchen in our 1950s ranch could barely fit two people. When we finally decided to remodel, Alan told me I’d be without the space for three months, tops. Was that wishful thinking! The renovation took triple the time. Even so, we rarely ate frozen meals—and we only went out for dinner a few times. Here’s what I learned along the way.
Make the Most of the Space You Have
So little room forced me to think creatively. I turned our dining room into a kitchen, hooking up the old fridge and using the dining table and a dresser as countertops. Dry goods were kept in a plastic storage bin. We used the bathroom sink to wash dishes. If that was too small for the job at hand, we cleaned them in a big pot of water.
Learn to Love the Slow Cooker
Though I didn’t whip up elaborate meals, most were home-cooked. A Crock-Pot let me fix dishes like pot roast, chili, and chicken alfredo, and made it possible to keep out only a few pots and pans. I also had a toaster oven, microwave, and electric skillet. We ate a lot of salad and fresh fruit because they were easy to prepare.
Going to the Grocery? Plan Ahead
Constantly having to think about what I could cook with limited equipment was tough. Even making spaghetti posed a challenge since I couldn’t boil a pot of water. I tried it a few nights, but it took ages heating up the water in the microwave a little at a time. So I wrote shopping lists of foods that worked best for us, like rotisserie chicken, and bought them often.
Create a Routine and Stick to It
Most mornings, I would start dinner before leaving for work. And many weekends, I would make pancakes or bacon and eggs on the electric skillet. Creating that kind of schedule made the time go by much quicker.
Take Time to Have Fun
Believe it or not, we had friends over for dinner and to play cards numerous times. It wasn’t fancy and took a lot of energy, but I was amazed that we entertained at all. Spending time with people we cared about helped us forget the awful chaos in the kitchen. Looking back, I also would have made time to go on a vacation once the renovation was complete. I sure needed it! – This Old House