A “kitchen reno”? Good luck with that

At our house, if you want a glass of ice water, you have to go to the living room to fetch the glass.  Then you walk to the family room for the ice, because that’s where the fridge is.  Then you have to go to the bathroom for the water.

You guessed it:  We’re doing a “kitchen reno.”

When we decided to redo our kitchen, no one prepared us for the 6 to 8 weeks of upheaval, when our dishes, pots and pans, silverware and cooking utensils — not to mention canned goods — would be spread out over the other rooms while the kitchen was gutted.  No sink. No dishwasher.  No stove. No useable cupboards or drawers.

When you first start meeting with your contractor, you spend hours planning all the fun details and envisioning what your new kitchen is going to look like.  You should also spend some time discussing how you’re going to survive the renovation period.

It’s an understatement to say that ordinary life is disrupted.  Normal routine functions suddenly become projects that have to be well thought out first.  And, they take twice as long as they used to take.  

Like, washing the dishes.  This is now done in our bathtub, on our knees.  The dishes must then be dried and individually put away because no one wants to look at dishes drying while they’re on the crapper.  Ew. There isn’t any room in the bathroom for them, anyway.

If someone is looking to start a new business, I have an idea for them:  “Kitchen renovation survival nightmare prevention consultant.”  It’s a long title for someone who would simply come to your house before you start the project and help you plan out your temporary kitchen for the next two months.

The consultant would likely tell you to buy paper plates, paper bowls, plastic dining ware and paper cups by the boatload, and also give you tips on how to best prepare meals by using just a microwave or the grill outside.  They could research good deals on dining out at local restaurants, and maybe even make connections to get you some “kitchen reno survival” specials.  

The consultant would also work with your contractor to make sure you don’t blow fuses trying to plug in a microwave or fridge where they have no business being plugged in, in the first place. 

I will say that our microwave oven has served us very well.  It’s on the fireplace mantle in the living room. So has our “K-cup” coffeemaker, also in the living room.  

And we got used to ordering take-out during the worst parts of the pandemic last year, so that’s not a totally new thing.  

If you go online looking for advice, they’ll tell you to stock up on foods that can be easily stored, prepared and consumed:  Nuts, peanut butter, bread, crackers, chips, cereal, yogurt, etc.  That at least takes care of breakfast and maybe lunch.  But dinner usually becomes a little more complicated.

Or, you can just think of it as camping out in your own home — and enjoy the adventure.

Honey, where are the forks?