Last updated on February 9, 2023

Have you decided to take the leap and start a kitchen renovation while still living in your home? Opting to remain in your home during the kitchen remodeling process can help cut down your overall costs and save money during renovations. Although an affordable route, it can also cause quite a headache for even the most prepared or experienced homeowners, leaving many wondering how to survive a kitchen remodel.

With your kitchen transformed into an active construction area, you’ll lose access to one of your home’s most essential spaces. This can seem like a difficult situation to deal with for many homeowners, especially those with set work or schoolday routines and families to feed.

However challenging all of this might seem, surviving kitchen remodels isn’t as hard as it sounds. We’ve supplied a detailed list of the best tips for making it through your kitchen renovation while remaining safe and sane below.

how to survive a kitchen remodel halfway point in renovation project unfinished kitchen


Preparing for the Live-in Remodeling Process

Even before you set up your temporary kitchen and get started on the kitchen reno itself, there are several things to get straight around the house to help yourself stay stress-free during this project.

Between the constant sounds of power tools running, teams of contractors, or a kitchen remodeling crew traipsing through your home, and what seems like several layers of drywall dust coating every crevice of your house, it’s easy to get overwhelmed during a live-in kitchen reno. But don’t worry; there are several ways to mitigate the stress of construction before it even starts, so you can continue looking forward to your beautiful new kitchen.

Prioritize Organization

One of the most important aspects of ensuring a smooth and painless kitchen remodeling process is organization. If you’re not already a “Type A” kind of person, getting yourself organized before a kitchen reno can seem daunting, but again, don’t worry. There are plenty of ways to pack and straighten things up before the project starts to set yourself up for a more enjoyable live-in home remodel.

Start with the essentials; think about the cooking utensils and small appliances you’ll use and how you’ll store food. Put aside the kitchen supplies you know you’ll need in your makeshift kitchenette before packing up the items you’ll be less likely to require.

On top of plates and other vital kitchen utensils, remember that you’ll also need the right items to prepare and cook food and wash dirty dishes during the remodel. Leave everything you’ll think you might need to maintain some semblance of normalcy out or in other rooms to ensure you’re ready to kiss your old kitchen goodbye.

how to survive a kitchen remodel colorful organized kitchen pantry storage plates cups jars

Carefully Track Your Expenses

Another important thing to keep in mind as you try to survive a kitchen remodel is the additional cost of living you might incur during the process. Cooking meals with small appliances in a makeshift kitchen might prove easy a few times at first, but it can become frustrating. Without regular access to your oven and stove, you might rely on frequent trips to grocery stores or eat out more than average.

Tired homeowners will typically ditch the tools of a temporary kitchenette like a microwave to eat take out or even go out to eat at restaurants multiple times a week. While these options might fit into some people’s budgets, it’s often cheapest to eat meals at home, especially when you’re already stretching yourself thin to afford a beautiful new kitchen.

Before committing to new kitchen construction, discuss the expectations surrounding added expenses with your family to avoid any financial problems.

Keep a Positive Attitude!

As you might expect, it’s easy to become stressed out or even enraged during a kitchen renovation. When things as simple as boiling water become a time-consuming activity, getting angry with your situation is not uncommon.

Adjusting your attitude and perspective before the project starts is crucial to staying sane during a kitchen remodel. Just keep in mind that the current sacrifices you’re making are worth it since you’ll have a gorgeous, updated kitchen space in no time.

how to survive a kitchen remodel before and after kitchen renovations

How to Survive a Kitchen Remodel: 11 Top Tips for Homeowners

Are you worried about how to survive a kitchen remodel? The first week can be challenging, but we promise you’ll make it through. Take a deep breath and dive into this extensive list of tips for homeowners to put your mind at ease:

1. Prioritize Your Packing List

As we talked about above, creating a concise packing list before your kitchen remodel is crucial. This helps ensure you have everything on hand to cook healthy meals with minimal access to your typical utensils.

Clear your cabinets and grab everything you usually utilize while cooking and eating. Go through this list with another family member to guarantee you do not forget an item someone else might need.

2. Prep a Temporary Kitchen

Since you won’t have access to your oven, stove, fridge, and other typical items during a kitchen remodel, creating a temporary kitchen and dining room for your family is critical.

Put aside some basic cooking appliances, dishes, and preparation necessities for your temporary kitchen, such as:

  • Knives, forks, spoons, and cooking utensils
  • Folding table or salad bar for food prep
  • Griddles, frying pans, and other pots
  • Cups, bowls, and plates
  • Food storage items
  • Cutting boards, strainers, etc.
  • Other favorite appliances

3. Make a Menu Plan

While you might feel lost without your oven and stove, there are still plenty of other meals you can prepare in your temporary kitchen. Take time to create a plan consisting of several meals to keep yourself and your family happy. Here are a few examples broken down by cooking appliances:

  • Instant pot: Rice, sauces, pasta, chicken
  • Slow cooker: Pot roast, chili, stew, pulled meat, soup
  • Hot plate: Pasta, eggs, soup
  • Electric griddle: Pancakes, bacon, quesadillas
  • Microwave: Frozen microwave meals, steamed vegetables, instant rice, leftovers

You can use all of these cooking appliances to craft delicious meals in your makeshift kitchen, with many recipes made specifically for freezing in an old fridge in the garage or eating as leftovers later. That means less cooking for you during your kitchen remodel!

4. Take Advantage of the Toaster Oven

As we mentioned above, there are many ways to spice up the food on your dining table during a kitchen remodel. Don’t be afraid to get familiar with your toaster oven and other cooking appliances because you can create some unforgettable meals, even in a temporary kitchen. This way, you can cook meals inside even if your kitchen remodel occurs during colder months.

Other cooking appliances to consider adding to your temporary kitchen setup might include:

  • Microwave
  • Coffee maker or tea kettle
  • Slow cooker
  • Hot plate
  • Electric kettle or pan
  • Toaster
  • Portable griddle
  • Instant pot
  • Mini fridge

5. Get Grilling

If working with an instant pot, toaster oven, or hot plate isn’t your thing, you can also try grilling. If your kitchen remodel takes place during warmer months, there are many things you can prepare on a grill to give your family a good, healthy meal, including:

  • Grilled meat (steak, chicken, shrimp, etc.)
  • Roasted vegetables
  • Flatbread pizzas
  • Baked beans
  • Kebabs

Find other great grilling ideas online at places like Pinterest.

6. Designate a Dining Room Space

You won’t have typical access to your kitchen cabinets and cooking space, so if that’s where meals normally take place, it’s important to designate a dining room too. Whether sitting on the couch at a folding table or setting up a temporary dining table, you’ll want to pick a spot away from any drywall dust.

how to survive a kitchen remodel washing dishes in the sink

7. Be Ready to Wash Dishes in the Bathroom Sink

Once again, you won’t be able to enter your kitchen, so washing your dishes in the kitchen sink after cooking is impossible. Instead, look around your house for alternative places to do dishes, like a:

  • Laundry sink
  • Bathroom sink
  • Garage sink
  • Basement bathroom
  • Wet bar
  • Outdoor sink
  • Patio hose

Don’t forget to put aside or purchase additional dish detergent to ensure your plates, pots, and utensils are properly cleaned.

8. Or Embrace Easy Clean-up

Consider an easier option if using a small bathroom sink or other areas as your kitchen sink to do dishes becomes too problematic – either for you or your plumbing system. Things like paper plates and disposable kitchen utensils can come in handy until your kitchen reno is over. Stock up on the following items for a quick clean-up after your meals:

  • Disposable plates and bowls
  • Napkins or paper towels
  • Plastic cutlery
  • Plastic wrap
  • Tinfoil
  • Plastic bags (press seal, freezer, garbage, etc.)
  • Food storage containers

9. Keep One Room Construction Zone-Free

With minimal kitchen access and a lot of mess, it’s important to create a construction-free area in your home. This can be a place where you go to escape the noise, dust, and other disturbances during the day. Make this location as comfortable as possible, and complete it with all of the items you might need during the kitchen remodel.

10. Don’t Stop Downsizing

While you’re working through a kitchen remodel, don’t forget to continue parting ways with non-essential items simply taking up space. Whether it’s old appliances or outdated decor, downsizing is always okay. As Marie Kondo would say, donate or dump it if it doesn’t spark joy.

11. Remember to Relax

As we touched on earlier, it’s easy to get stressed during home remodeling projects. Don’t feel bad about spending time outside your home throughout this time, either alone or with your family. Whether you want to take a solo spa day or a family trip to the park, it’s important to prioritize your mental health throughout this process.

Choose a Top-Notch Renovation Team

Still not sure if you’re ready for a live-in kitchen reno? Read this helpful guide to consider if it’s the correct choice for you right now.

At the end of the day, a smooth kitchen renovation comes down to the contracting team you choose. At Homeworx, we’ve been executing smooth kitchen remodeling processes for years. Contact us today to learn more!