How to Not Lose Your Cool During a Kitchen Renovation

Just kidding. I have no idea. IT FREAKING SUCKS.


But seriously, there were a few things that we did to “lessen” the impact of the renovations. Namely, I took the baby and got out of town for two weeks to visit family. The house was absolutely destroyed when we came back (I definitely had to throw away at least two bowls that had some sort of moldy rotten food caked on–ewww), but getting our little one out of the way for demo and cabinets was the best thing we could have done.

I need a new kitchen, stat!

We cooked and froze meals that would be easy to reheat without a kitchen. Burgers and spaghetti sauce were handy to have (we cook the spaghetti sauce in bulk, then freeze flat in 2- or 3-cup portions). Other recipes that froze well ahead of time included these Banh mi bowls (just separate the ingredients before freezing), this goulash, chili and/or “taco soup,” and Pat’s butternut squash soup, which he makes without a recipe, but is similar to this recipe. We did also have a few pans of enchiladas and lasagna, which we were able to use after the oven was installed but before the countertops/sink were finished. Not gonna lie though – there was a fair amount of “emergency” chicken (anyone else use that term for grocery store rotisserie chicken?), pizza delivery, and drive-thru dinners. We bought plastic cutlery and paper plates because bringing loads of dishes downstairs to the slop sink was a royal pain – made even more difficult by a wild, crawling baby!

But what’s wroooong with this 1970s oven???

Pat making us a glamorous dinner.

Thinking through the temporary kitchen is definitely a key part of any kitchen reno. We ordered this camping stove and used the microwave from our last house in our dining room setup. The wine rack I’ve had since college became a pot rack with addition of these S-hooks. Thankfully we still had the Ikea kitchen cart to use as a coffee bar, and our old Hemnes china cabinet stored more than just china for a few months. The gallery shelf became quite useful to store most-used spices.

After Pat and Drew installed the floors, we hired out the refinishing. Then we moved into our BFFs house for a week (they were visiting family in Chicago so we housesat and it was perfect). It was sooo nice to have a real kitchen for making Thanksgiving dinner!

This fridge is delicious.

In general, we tried to keep our eyes on the prize and just do our best every day. It was hard because we were so physically tired from renovating [with a baby who did not sleep through the night], but looking back it was totally worth it. What about you? What tips do you have from getting through your kitchen renovations? Any other recipe tips? I think I need to buy one of those “I Survived…” shirt.

1 thought on “How to Not Lose Your Cool During a Kitchen Renovation

  1. […] has frequent sales, so we just waited a few weeks for the next one to happen. Then we called our credit card company (because whoa big purchase!) and took the plunge! All we had to do then was wait six weeks for the delivery, while we continued to do more research. Before we knew it, our living room was full of boxes. That was my cue to get out of town! […]

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