Kitchen Remodel - what items to keep handy during construction
We're starting a major remodel soon - what should I keep out? Toaster, coffeepot, micro, crockpot? We have a grill out back and I have cast iron pans, but should I just buy (biodegradable) flatware and paper products? We'll have the utility sink (and in all fairness it is WAY better than the current kitchen basin). Dishwasher will be out of commission for a while as well.
Hard to believe I once lived with only a toaster, hotplate, and mini fridge....
Aug 08, 2012, 08:44 PM
Florida Farm Girl
Do you have access to a camp stove? That would come in handy. Do you have a side burner on your grill?
Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.
Aug 08, 2012, 09:09 PM
Some of it depends on how long it will be, how much you cook from scratch (making your own broths, breads, etc. vs. buying premade), etc.
If the sink isn't the right height for your back and legs, expect pain. You might end up with disposables for a short while just to preserve your body and do less dishes.
Aug 08, 2012, 10:36 PM
I did a total gut on my kitchen several years ago. I pretty much gave up on cooking, even though I had a husband and 4 kids to feed. We lived on sandwiches, things that could go in the microwave, cold cereal, fruits and veggies, and eating out. I totally used paper goods, as it was just too hard to try to wash dishes in the laundry room sink. No matter how much they tape off rooms, construction dust gets everywhere. Sometimes it was just great to get away from all that dust, and go and eat out, even if it was just at a sandwich shop. Our family approached this as a temporary adventure, and the kids enjoyed it. By the time the work was done, and we got the kitchen back we were all a bit tired of the game of PB&J for dinner! But it did help a lot to have a cheerful attitude.
Aug 08, 2012, 10:48 PM
Cocok, that's what I did--gave up on cooking. Too hard, too energy-consuming. I kept out the micro, coffeemaker, toaster, and nonstick electric skillet. That's it.
Refrig/freezer combo was in the garage, so TV dinners, eggs/potatoes in the skillet (etc.), and eating out were the best we could do.
Very pricey but we knew it was a temporary thing to be reckoned with during the redo as part of the cost.
Good luck with it. We just finished ours. Don't think I could survive another--and ours was relatively minor--4 months.
Aug 08, 2012, 11:31 PM
I would keep the coffeepot, crock pot and microwave out - especially the microwave! And microwavable bowls with lids plus a couple of small pans with a sautee pan for the grill, a few mixing bowls and some containers for leftovers.
Instead of disposables, I would buy an inexpensive eight piece dish set with silverware - like at Target for $29.99 - and then donate them when the work is done! Good luck - hang in there - it will be worth it in the end!
Aug 09, 2012, 03:17 AM
When we redid the kitchen our contractor was very helpful and considerate. We had a portable dishwasher and he left the kitchen sink hanging on until the last possible minute. Otherwise there was nothing in the kitchen. I loaded an antique Hoosier cabinet with kitchen items to serve as my old-fashioned cook center, it was in the living room next to the refrigerator. The range was swung around and in the dining room. So I kept my basic baking ingredients, portable mixer, favorite utensils in a crock, toaster, coffee pot, a few pots & pans, some Tupperware & bakeware and just enough place settings of tableware. I managed to offer the contractors one hot home-cooked meal from scratch everyday.
Aug 09, 2012, 04:03 AM
While boxing up kitchen cabinets contents prior to demo, I placed a few basics in a separate box for easy access. The old frig & microwave were relocated to the dining room. Good thing I planned ahead because the re-do took longer than "we" anticipated! Keep a multi purpose opener handy - wine, not whine...... Because I worked full time, my eating habits changed for the better: a big mid-day meal and healthful snacks in the evening
It's been 15 years; I still like the choices I made... hope you will too .This message has been edited. Last edited by: tessa89,
Aug 09, 2012, 07:31 AM
Originally posted by Indexlady: Cocok, that's what I did--gave up on cooking. Too hard, too energy-consuming. I kept out the micro, coffeemaker, toaster, and nonstick electric skillet. That's it.
Thanks everyone! I'll start packing it up this weekend.
I didn't even consider an electric skillet! That is a good idea and I've been meaning to buy one for ages.
We don't cook large meals - mostly because the cooktop and oven are just not up to snuff - and the kitchen sink is so bad even the plumber laughed.
Aug 09, 2012, 05:55 PM
Aug 13, 2012, 02:31 AM
Originally posted by Lurah: I managed to offer the contractors one hot home-cooked meal from scratch everyday.
Seriously Lurah? You were cooking for the crew? Bet they liked that!
Aug 13, 2012, 06:03 AM
Funny thing, I'm with Lurah on this one. I, too, spent a few weeks with a construction/painting crew and they were extremely professional to the point that they refused any food I offered and even wouldn't use the existing microwave - instead they brought in their own and asked permission to use the electricity to heat up their lunches.
Best crew I have ever seen - their work was A+++ - and when they left my house, it was perfect - btw, I was successful in bribing them with some cookies and such. Bottom line, how did I end up with such a great team? It started with interviewing the owner of the company and letting him know that I would pay all bills on time, I would not tolerate sloppy work and I expected every person on his team to respect my home - guess we had a meeting of the minds!
Aug 13, 2012, 08:11 AM
We kept the sink to the last minute. Got takeout or ate out for a week. Got disposables since I didn't have much room to dry dishes, pots, etc. Remember you have to wash dry and store the dishes somewhere. Even if you use a makeshift sink elsewhere. You have to dry the dishes and stack them somewhere. I just didn't have room to keep out everything, including the ingredients. The refrigerator was in the family room. We had cereal for a quick breakfast. Sandwiches some nights. Good luck!
Aug 16, 2012, 02:10 AM
Yes, I cooked a meal each day for our family, how could we sit down to eat and not invite the crew. They enjoyed mealtime, we got to know them well and it saved much work time as otherwise they would have gone for fast food.
Aug 20, 2012, 09:00 PM
Our new kitchen took 3 months to complete. During the process we had a microwave oven, a refrigerator, and the BBQ so for dinner, DH would grill chicken or whatever, and I would prepare salads. I made our lunches out of the refrigerator, and breakfast was always cereal or something else simple.
Aug 20, 2012, 10:53 PM
Hope you kept the can opener handy! DH and I moved 8 hours away from the old place. We were going back working on the old place so left miniscule supplies...some canned goods, couple of pots, plates, glasses, etc. As well as a bed and a few chairs. Stepson (grown and out on his own) went back for some business purpose if I remember and stayed at the house. Thank goodness the soup cans had pop tops!
Keep lots of patience out/available!!! I've BTDT and we did the work ourselves...ugh!
Can't wait to see pics
Aug 26, 2012, 08:40 PM
Sort of off topic, but I thought I'd mention this, having gone through a major kitchen reno several years ago. Don't be too hasty to put your kitchen items away after the work is done. Things have a way of "belonging" the first place you put them so give everything some thought before you choose where it will go. And be prepared to attempt to open drawers that are no longer there and to look for your dish towels, etc, where they used to be!!!!
Aug 29, 2012, 06:07 PM
I too am in the real dishes pack but a kitchen remodel is one time when I draw the line. We totally gutted out kitchen a few years ago. We either ate out, got take out or made very simple things in the microwave and yes we used disposable dishes during that time. In the overall scheme of things it is not the end of the world. Dh and I had very long hours and a baby at the time. Our priority was making sure we could get his formula made in a sanitary manner. Everything else food wise was secondary. This stage of my life I am much more selective about where I put my energy. I just couldn't waste my valuable time washing dishes, worrying about food debris getting down the sink, drying them, storing them etc. Too much of a production. For me using disposables some of the time was a compromise I was willing to make. I say give yourself a break this one time given the circumstances.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Sherrywood,
Sep 01, 2012, 02:21 PM
When sil/bil moved into current house (easily 10 years ago), the first thing they did was totally gut the very 60's kitchen. Pretty much all the work was done by friends who were PROS in their field... electrician, plumber, drywall, painting, etc. Since they knew their "client" very well, were being paid UTT, and realized what a hassel it was to be without a kitchen... finished the work as quickly as possible. BUT it was several months before the new kitchen was christened.
All appliances were being replaced, so they moved the old fridge down about 5-6 steps into "utility" room where it was gonna become a spare anyway. SIL had a big laundry sink in that area. She set up 2 big folding tables as her kitchen. Had usual stuff... coffee maker, toaster, microwave, etc. Bought a second crock pot and an electric frying pan. Used their outdoor gas grill a LOT. Used a lot of paper plates, disposable silverware, and Solo cups. Was a PITA but they survived.
Sep 01, 2012, 02:31 PM
Well, they came in to do the final measurement today! We're still a few weeks from destruction, so I'm pulling things out bit by bit and will be dropping any extra foods at the food bank rather than store bags of flour, sugar, etc that I won't be using. I don't cook much in the current kitchen anyway (really, it is that bad), so moving to paper products and the electric skillet shouldn't be too difficult.
I'll give the electric skillet a trial run tonight.