Maybe you’ve saved up enough to finally get that kitchen of your dreams. Maybe you’re renovating in order to sell and get the most out of your investment. Or maybe you’re just wondering how to make life with kids a little more challenging. Whatever the reason, you’re remodeling your kitchen.
Good gravy, Mama it’s gonna be hard.
There will be dust. Lots of dust. It will take longer than you planned. Much longer. And it will be loud and annoying and trying at times. But the first time you fry an egg on that brand-spanking new gas cooktop, you’ll be so relieved you will weep with joy and it will have all been worthwhile.
Having just gone through this with my 6- and 3-year-old boys, single-momming it to boot, I’ve got some fully tried and tested methods to help you get to the finish line.
Set up a Temporary kitchen. Ours was in the dining room. I emptied drawers from a storage chest and filled them with dishes. I moved a console table in and used it to hold the microwave and toaster, the essential cooking tools during these stove and oven-less times. I took my silverware tray from the drawer, put it on top of the table, and covered it with the drawer it came from, only upside down to keep the dust at bay.
Decide where to do dishes. I used a plastic bin and a bathtub that has a hand shower for washing and rinsing with a dish rack for drying. It isn’t nearly as easy as a dishwasher but it beats using the tiny bathroom sink.
Cook everything you’ve got. I defrosted and baked chicken breasts, boiled bags of pasta and dozens of eggs, browned up ground beef, and steamed ALL the veggies. This was quick and bland style cooking so that I could spice it up for my purposes later. Although the cooked food will only last a short while, it gets you going in this new dynamic until you’re a seasoned pro at serving meals that don’t require any actual cooking.
Use headphones. Remodeling brings with it all kinds of pollutants. For our 3-year-old, the noise was the greatest nuisance of all. We’ve got a pair of noise cancelling headphones that our boys have used at concerts and during construction of one kind or another. These were invaluable to us at every phase of this project.
Cold cereal and Extra LBs. I made a short-lived attempt to continue eating healthily at every meal. Lunch was pretty easy. Making a salad on the kitchen countertop is pretty much the same as making one at the dining room table. But breakfast and dinner became a challenge. After wearing myself out on avocados and boiled eggs, cold cereal became the new normal. So did Torchy’s Tacos and Besa’s Pizza. My scale shows the damage but hey, I’m a mother of two. My standards in that department are already fairly flexible, like my waistline itself.
Let them Help. We discovered that our youngest is super keen on using the Shop Vac. We were more than happy to let him indulge that interest sucking up drywall and sawdust. Our oldest loved using the magnet stick to pick up nails scattered across the floor during the flooring installation. Find a task that involves them and helps you in the process and everybody wins.
Indulge Yourself. Eat dessert. Drink wine every night. Get a sitter and go to the movies. Whatever will get you a little reprieve, do it. Now is not the time to deny yourself small pleasures.
Prepare to Clean. And Clean Again. One of these times, you will wipe down your gorgeous new countertops and not feel grit. I don’t know how long it will take. I’m a week in and still coming up dirty. The good news is, this continuous cleaning process allows you to really get to know your stone and see the beauty in each striation.
Expect a Problem. Something is going to break or not work right or require one. more. visit. from that GC you’ve gotten to know all too well. It’s fine. You’ve already hemorrhaged all your money and energy. One more paper cut isn’t going to put you under.
ENJOY! Crack some eggs, roast some meat, steam some veggies and run that dishwasher. You’ve got a beautiful new kitchen and as they say with childbirth: in time, the pain associated with bringing it into this world will soon fade in the bright beams of your gleaming countertops.