This article will take you through the steps you should follow to prepare for your kitchen to be remodeled. By following this guidance you will greatly reduce the stress of having work done, and make life easier for yourself, your family and your builder too. For major works it might still be easier to move out for a period of time, but where that isn't practical or affordable, these tips should help.
These principles apply whether you are just decorating your kitchen or having a whole new room built. You can just modify the extent to which you go, depending on how long you need to be out of your kitchen.
Things You Will Need
First of all, well in advance of the work commencing, gather together some cardboard boxes to store all the things currently in your cupboards. Also, get hold of some plastic boxes, the sort with the close fitting lids. Put these out of the way somewhere so you have them when you need to move out of your kitchen.
If you have a microwave, camping stove and toaster then make sure they are working and clean. A beer fridge is a handy size for storing milk and other perishables for short periods, but be aware that they are often warmer than a normal refridgerator, so things won't keep so well.
Review your current use and needs
When planning for your time without your usual cooking and food preparation space, it is useful to know what you actually can do without for a while, and what you will find it essential to replace temporarily. For a few weeks, think about how you use your current kitchen. Do you prepare fresh food everyday, or do you reheat food for quick midweek dinners? Do you need to prepare snacks and lunchboxes or is it just your evening meal? What equipment do you use - hob, microwave, oven or grill? Understanding these factors will ensure you don't spend unnecessary time and money on your temporary arrangements.
Review your current storage requirements
How many of the items stored in your cabinets do you use regularly? Are you someone who uses many ingredients in a dish, or do you prefer to use simple combinations? Are most things kept in the refridgerator or do you use a cupboard? How much of your food is tinned rather than in packets? Considering these aspects will show you how you will need to store your groceries while the work is being done.
If you have access to a freezer then you can cook family meals ahead of time, and eliminate much of the effort and equipment required.
Try to have a good sort out and de-clutter ahead of the work, so that you can store less, and better appreciate what you have that is needing to be kept safe. Thrift and charity shops will welcome kitchen goods, as will students and people setting up home for the first time.
Review your eating habits
Are you able to eat out or bring food home while the work is being done? This will reduce the inconvenience but will cost you a lot more. It is only for a short while, so consider your options locally. Can you eat at friends' or relatives' homes for a few nights? Can the family eat a main meal at school or in the workplace? If you only need to prepare a light supper, then you can reduce your effort considerably. A casserole put in a neighbour's oven will be another option for an easy meal.
Plan with your builder when you will be without power or water supplies, so that you can make allowances for this. A good contractor should be able to ensure you have essential utilities at the end of each day.
The alternative space
Do you have another space in your home where you can ideally access running water, electricity and have ventilation? It should be able to be kept clean, and out of the way of animals and small children. Depending on the climate this could even be out of doors. This will be your temporary kitchen. Set up your alternative cooking arrangements in good time so that you can be ready for your real kitchen to be out of use.
Be careful to consider safety and prevent accidents by not overcrowding a space with small appliances or hot kettles. Similarly, do not overload extension leads or multiway power outlets. Do not use a barbeque indoors.
The Big Event
When you pack away your crockery, cutlery and tools such as knives, keep the minimum number to one side in a box, ready to have in your temporary location. Remember to keep out sufficient in case washing up is difficult. For food storage, put any opened packets in the plastic boxes to prevent any spoilage by dust, insects or even rodents finding food in a new location. Clear plastic makes it easier to see what's inside. Otherwise, make a note of what is in each box. Try not to stack items on top of one another as this is very frustrating if you are constantly having to move between boxes.
Tell all your friends about your project, and most will offer you help with your cooking needs. Take them up on their kindness, and you can return it when your work is complete.