Kitchen Remodeling Tips: How To Survive a Renovation...Without Going Hungry

Kitchen Remodeling Tips: How To Survive a Renovation...Without Going Hungry

Janel Laban
May 11, 2011

As anyone who has ever lived through a full kitchen renovation can attest to, it's hard to stay happy, healthy and well fed throughout. Certainly many of our readers have survived with style - want some tips from the trenches? Here they are, thanks to the Apartment Therapy comment brain trust:

We are almost done with our kitchen remodel, which we started over Labor Day weekend. We moved the refrigerator, butcher block island, cafe set from the breakfast nook, and all the essential cooking tools into the dining room. I cooked on a two-burner hot plate or on the grill, and we washed dishes in the camp sink in the (clean) bathtub. Good luck! - Maria Joy
1. Set up a "kitchen" area somewhere else, with a toaster oven, coffee maker, tea kettle, microwave. 2. Grill, baby, grill. 3. Expect it to last much longer than 2-3 weeks. - Wally3
We had no kitchen for nine (9!) weeks while ours was ripped out, dehumidified and replaced. We got through this by freezing a lot of meals beforehand (mainly stew, chilli and bolognaise sauce) that we could heat up easily with rice, pasta and veg (this saved a lot of money and kept us in healthy food); we BBQ'd occasionally even though it was February (we even managed roast potatoes once); we borrowed a double gas camping burner and kept our microwave which we set up in the living room with a big table, a fridge and shelves for the stuff we needed.
It was a good idea to not just survive but prepare and think about what we needed so it was a nice place to prepare food. We used a washing up bowl to wash dishes (which we limited in use!). We also made sure we covered the floor so the carpet didn't get wrecked. We didn't eat curry or fish (too smelly in the living room) and we kept to simple food! By the end of it we were craving grilled food, baked goods, and spicy stuff but we survived without resorting to take-away too often. - JMD
We were without our kitchen for 3 months. It was no big deal, really! We had available to us: our refrigerator, microwave, and bathroom sink. How we coped with this: Take out, eating out, microwave "meals". We did each 2 or 3 times per week. In addition, we had to make our child a lunch to take to school each day. We got through it, ok. Now we have a nice kitchen and an album showing our remodel as it progressed. - aaakid
It's chaos here.....chaos taking place on horrible grey "stone tile" laminate that was unearthed when I took of the floating floor. Wost food, cereal, and sandwiches for 3 days now! Best bit.......moving the coffee maker into my bedroom!! WHAT A SLICE OF HEAVEN in the morning! - marcspice
We ran into so many unexpected hurdles in our house renovation that we ran out of money for the kitchen, which we had gutted. To make it work for now, we bought a 9-foot stainless steel work table with integrated sink from a restaurant supply warehouse for about $300. Then we bought two hot plates from Target. (We had bought a fancy Dacor gas range off of Craigslist for cheap, but it isn't working; long story.) An extra large toaster oven works well for heating things up, and thankfully we do have a new fridge. Our trusty old butcher block island on wheels gives us more prep space. - mergirl
Set up a mini kitchen in the bathroom. Minimal dishes, coffee maker, microwave and a cabinet for supplies. We ate lots of toast, cereal, sandwiches, trader joe's microwave, etc. Honestly, it isn't that bad. We treated it sort of like camping for a few weeks. - acaj08
Another mini kitchen: * move the fridge out * dining room table instead of counters * coffee maker, hot plate and electric griddle instead of stove * toaster oven and crock pot instead of oven * wash dishes in bathroom
You can probably borrow various small appliances from friends to make your life more interesting. Most people have lots of single purpose items they received as gifts and don't use such as hot dog cooker, fondue pot, bread maker, sandwich maker, and waffle iron. - GrainSmasher
BF has been w/out a kitchen for several months now. He set up a faux kit in the foyer w/ a full size fridge, microwave, toaster oven, and hot plate! Toaster oven is the lifesaver! - hishouseherhelp
Going on 4 months without a kitchen! And since most of the house is under renovation, it doesn't sound too tempting trying to create a mini functional kitchen. We just bought a refrigerator (yay, cereal in the mornings) but other than that.... it's just been A LOT of eating out. It will still be another couple months before we have our dream kitchen and my biggest fear is that I'll walk into it and think "What, I have to cook and do dishes now?? Let's just order out." - mszia
The grill, paper plates, the garden hose, and takeaway! After a weekend of 16-hour days, my husband and I are nearly done with our partial remodel, which included rewiring, re-plumbing, modifying the vintage cabinets for a larger cooktop and a dishwasher, building a new countertop, and building a new plywood cement subfloor. I'm grouting the counter today, and on Friday we install the floor tile. We did not set up a makeshift kitchen in hopes that we would work faster from annoyance, and it worked (caveat: no kids or dog). You will get there, too, even if you have some setbacks! - montoni
We lived without a kitchen for over a year thanks to severly underestimating our home's remodel, which ended up being a complete gut/rehab. As a result, I gained 13 lbs. from eating out, I can't look at a microwave meal without wincing, and I know every restaurant delivery guy by name within a 5 mile radius of our home. Next time...who am I kidding? There won't BE a next time. : ) - modtramp

Please keep the good intel going by adding your own advice and ideas to the comments…

Image: Bethany Nauert / Brooke & Sam's Skyscraper Loft House Tour

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