7 tips for surviving a kitchen renovation

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Having your kitchen renovated can improve the look and function of your home. It can make everything from baking to entertaining more enjoyable and easier. However, while your new countertops and cabinets are being installed, it can be inconvenient. 

From cooking a meal to eating dinner, living without a kitchen is worth it in the long run but tough in the short term. Here are a few tips that can make surviving a kitchen remodeling project a little more pleasant. 

1. Use a few small appliances 
When your kitchen is being renovated, you'll lose access to your oven and stovetop. However, this is a great time to make meals and dishes around the appliances you do have. Keep a few appliances handy and out of the way of the construction, such as a slow cooker or roasting oven, an electric griddle and a microwave. 

You can then create meals designed around the appliances you have. For example, the number of dishes you can prepare in a slow cooker or roaster oven may surprise you. They can do many of the tasks that a full range does and without taking up much space at all. All they need are power outlets. 

Think of using these small appliances, including toaster ovens and blenders, as a chance to get creative rather than an inconvenience. 

Consider using a slow cooker.
Consider using a slow cooker.

2. Create a mini-kitchen 
To go along with your small appliances, it's a good idea to construct a small, temporary kitchen. Some people prefer to convert a nearby dining room to maintain the flow of the house and save on moving, while others use the garage or basement where there's a spare sink. 

Your temporary, mini-kitchen should have some space to store plates and cups, a small amount of food preparation space and your refrigerator. A coffee maker is also a good idea. Ask your kitchen remodeling experts to help you move the refrigerator to still have access. They'll usually be able to help depending on the space. 

If you can't make your small kitchen space near the sink, consider using a bussing tray in the interim. Although having a small kitchen can be annoying, it'll only make you that much happier when your renovation is complete. 

3. Freeze meals ahead of time 
If you have access to your refrigerator or a large freezer in the basement or garage, try making meals before construction on your kitchen begins. Freeze these meals and while your renovation is underway, all you have to do is thaw out your food to enjoy a home-cooked meal. You can use a slow cooker, microwave or other small appliances to reheat the food. Soups work particularly well. 

Prepare some frozen food before the construction begins.
Prepare some frozen food before the construction begins.

4. Eat and cook outside 
If it's warm enough outside during your renovation, it's a great excuse to use your yard. Focus on cooking on the grill and eating on the deck or patio. Not only can you prepare a number of delicious foods on the grill, but eating outdoors can help you avoid the congested feel of a house being renovated.  

5. Adjust your shopping 
Living for a few weeks without a kitchen means you'll have to adjust how you shop and think about your groceries. You may want to get fewer groceries with each trip to cut down on how much you need to store as well as focus on getting food that's less perishable and easier to cook without an oven. Many people get take-out or go out to eat more often during a renovation, but you can still cook at home if you prepare and rethink your shopping. 

"With a makeshift kitchen in a small space, messes can quickly get out of control."

6. Visit friends 
When your kitchen is being done, it's a great time to go see your close friends and family. In return for their hospitality, bring over some fresh foods to make them a meal in their fully functional kitchen. Just be sure to have them over when your kitchen is finished. 

7. Keep everything tidy 
With a makeshift kitchen in a small space, messes can quickly get out of control. One of the biggest keys to surviving a kitchen remodeling is to keep your new cooking area spotless. Clean up messes as they happen and minimize waste. Wash plates as quickly as you can and avoid clutter. 

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