remodeling your kitchen, Thyme & Place Design, Sharon L. ShermanI understand how it is. You’re tired of your outdated appliances, of your old cabinets and your worn-out floors. You’ve put off remodeling your kitchen for years and now you’re finally ready. But you’re not sure how you’re going to survive and maintain your sanity when you can’t use your kitchen for weeks. Take a deep breath. By planning ahead you can get through the disruption without losing your mind.

I’ve been a kitchen designer for over 25 years and survived my own remodels. When I sit down to work with clients, I hand them my tried and true list of kitchen remodeling tips. Thinking ahead has saved tons of frustration, time and even money.

Here’s my handy list of planning tips when remodeling your kitchen.

It’s the same one that I give to my clients at the beginning of each project. I think you’ll find them helpful:

  1. Dust – Floors and stairs should be covered with protective materials but dust is inevitable. You might want to schedule your cleaning crew more often.
  2. Get Ready To Eat Out – A Lot! – In the weeks before the work begins, compile a list of all those restaurants you’ve wanted to try. Don’t forget that list of your favorites too. Remodeling your kitchen gives you the perfect excuse to eat out or just dine in every night. Think of it as time off from cooking! No clean up!
  3. Stock The Fridge – If you can move your refrigerator into another room, stock it with easy to eat and/or microwavable meals. Stock up on your family’s favorites and put them in the freezer. If the fridge can’t be moved consider a second small one for milk, juice and other needs, especially if you have children. A future dorm fridge!
  4. Be Flexible with Your Schedule – Remodeling starts early in the morning so plan to be ready for the crew between 8:00 am and 8:30 am. Adapt your schedule so you (and your family) are dressed and out of the way before they arrive. Crews usually work until 4:30.
  5. The Bathroom Issue – The crew will need to use the facilities while on the job. Designate one bathroom for their use and stock it with plenty of paper towels, soap, etc. Port-A-Johns are usually provided only for very large projects.
  6. Storage – The crew needs a place to store their tools. Large items sometimes are staged to arrive before the crew needs them. Work with your designer or contractor to find an easily accessible spot. The garage is a great place.
  7. Packing Up – Don’t wait until the last minute to pack up the kitchen. Label each box with an inventory of what’s inside. This will save you tons of time when your new kitchen is ready and it gives you a chance to “spring clean” at the same time. (Fragile items should be marked accordingly and stored far away from the construction.)
  8. Temporary Kitchen – Find a location away from the construction to act as your temporary kitchen. A dining room works well, especially if your powder room is close by. Here’s what you will need for your temporary kitchen:
    • Microwave
    • Coffee Maker (filters and coffee too!)
    • Disposable plates, bowls, utensils, cups (hot & cold) and napkins
    • Serving bowls and containers
    • Utility utensils such as a can opener, bottle/wine opener, sharp knives
    • Toaster or toaster oven
    • Slow Cooker (A life saver)
    • Tons of paper towels
  9. Pets – Is there an area in your home to keep them safely away from construction? If not, this is perfect time for your pet to go on vacation at the kennel or at a friend or family member’s home.
  10. Electronics – If there is a fish tank, computers or sound system in close proximity to the work – keep them well covered and safe from dust.

I am sure you will agree a bit of planning will help keep your life relatively normal while remodeling your kitchen. These tips will help the process go smoother. My clients thank me for my planning tips as much as they thank me for their wonderful new kitchens.

Do you have a tip you that I didn’t think of?

Thanks for reading!


Thyme & Place Design has been creating award winning kitchens and baths for 25 years. Combining interior design with kitchen and bath expertise, we help clients achieve their dream space. View our gallery of designs.

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