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Staying Sane During A Kitchen Remodel

Remodeling is an exciting endeavor which many of us dream of for months or sometimes years ahead of time. We have a good idea what we like and can imagine how great it will be to spend time in our dream kitchen, but most people have no idea what to expect on the journey to transforming the old to new. Remodeling can lead to all sorts of constraints. Staying sane basically all boils down to good preparation and planning of your design from start to finish.

First of all, be realistic with your time expectations. Remember that estimates are just guesses based on the best available information after all and subject to change once things get started. Even the most experienced designer doesn’t really know what to expect until the demolition is done. Be prepared to face and have to rethink your target date over hidden unknowns such as termite and water damage, framing and architectural problems. If you have a designer, try to follow his or her advice, but stay in the decision making loop. Be available and stay in touch with your designer and work crew foreman, so you can help make decisions quickly and avoid unnecessary delays.

The following is a list of helpful tips to save your sanity and make the duration of your project more comfortable:

  • Prepare to be without a sink, range, refrigerator and entire kitchen for awhile, weeks even.

  • Clean out cabinets a few days ahead of the start date so you have time to label boxes and put them in a convenient location. This will make locating needed items easier and be a great help when unpacking.

  • Think of this as an opportunity to get rid of items you never use, like old Tupperware with missing lids, or things in the junk drawer you haven’t seen since the Y2K.

  • Create a temporary kitchen location with a small microwave or toaster oven, and move the refrigerator into a convenient hallway or the garage. Just try to put it where you won’t have to walk through the work area to access it for safety reasons and to avoid the mess.

  • Stock up on paper and plastic products like plates, napkins, paper towels, forks, spoons, knives and utensils. These will come in handy and cut down on your need to wash dishes in the bathtub or outside.

  • Get out your cooler and fill it up with ice if it is inconvenient to use your refrigerator. Grill outside when the weather is nice. Remember to stock up on enough propane to last throughout your project.

  • Update your take out menus and keep them close at hand for convenient meal options.

  • Revamp your shopping list to include healthy pre-prepared vegetables or meal options. Some local grocery stores cater to working families with fresh meals already prepared to pop into the toaster oven or crock pot.

  • Expect a lot of dust. If you don’t see any dust barriers in place ask the work crew to erect them if possible to save yourself the added aggravation of finding dust particles all over your house later. Keep your air conditioner off if possible to avoid getting dust into the ductwork and air intake.

Above all try to remain positive, think of remodeling as an excuse to spend more time with the family cooking out, or camping inside. Always keep your eyes on the prize. All of this trouble will soon be worth the inconvenience when you step into your new dream kitchen which you will enjoy for years to come.

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