July 13, 2022

It’s week 3 of my (Amy Girard) kitchen addition project and this week I’m sharing how we prepped for our remodel including setting up a temporary kitchen. Missed how it began, check out Week 1 and the design in Week 2.

Before hammers start swinging at your project Schloegel holds a Pre-Construction meeting. My remodeling team includes Andy Gower, Don Richeson, Ryan Waters, Joe Meagher, and Nina Schmidt. Andy, Ryan, and Nina came to our home a few weeks before our start date to go over construction details. Here’s the items they covered. They also covered things like our schedule, pets, kids, etc. Basically, parts of our lives that will impact or be impacted by the remodel.

Packing

After our pre-construction meeting Calvin (my husband) and I delved into packing. We went through everything in the kitchen, family room, and dining room. All three rooms would be part of our remodel. It was a great opportunity to go through things we no longer wanted or needed. We made several runs to the donation center. I knew when we moved back in, we wouldn’t want some of our old stuff.

 We packed up nearly our entire kitchen knowing we wouldn’t be hosting anyone or baking over the next several months. Even our everyday China got packed, I didn’t want to risk breaking it. We planned to use our melamine dishes for the remodel.

Setting Up Our Temp Kitchen

Dish Washing

Our basement has a wet bar we planned to utilize for our kitchen. Yes, we’re lucky to have it however you may change your opinion once you see it! As I mentioned we only kept out a set of 8 outdoor dishes. We kept a few cups, coffee mugs, and wine glasses. You’ll see these stored in the uppers on the left. We already had a dish drying mat and rack which we placed to the left of the sink.

Don't have a sink? An awesome solution  is a fish cleaning table. You simply plug it into a water source and place a bucket under it for a drain. This may be a better option than a plastic tub. It offers a solution for access to water and space for dishes.

Meal Prep

The basement bar didn’t offer much counter space so we knew we’d need a bit more. We were able to use our previous kitchen table for our little electric cooktop and utensils.


If you don’t have a table a folding table is a great option. They’re affordable, easy to clean, and you can use them after the remodel.

I purchased an electric hot plate which has worked great! It takes a little bit to warm up but has sufficiently cooked a lot of meals.

This multi-function air fryer SAVED us. In addition to air frying it can bake, broil, toast, etc. We use it every day and found it fit a full 9x13 disposable pan. So, we could cook casseroles, desserts, you name this thing can do it!

Another awesome appliance was our electric griddle. We’ve been easily able to make breakfasts, sauté veggies or even cook meat on it. Here’s the one we purchased.

We also brought our dining room table down to both eat at and for extra prep space. I wanted to protect it and used a cloth tablecloth, I quickly learned I needed a wipeable version and found one at Target, similar to this one.


Food Storage

We then took advantage of some of our miscellaneous basement furniture for additional storage including a bookshelf and hutch. We use the hutch as a pantry, Calvin wanted to make sure were able to close off the majority of our food, just in case. On the bookshelf is our knife block, cutting boards, small appliances, and food. I store my coffee maker on the bookshelf and move it to the counter when I actually make it. Coffee is key in a remodel, you perhaps need that little, luxurious habit more than ever. It’s a small sense of sanity.

 Our awesome remodeling team managed to move our fridge to the basement. This has been HUGE. It allows us to prepare meals without constantly going out to our garage. Seems trivial but a big change for us was lack of ice since our fridge was no longer hooked up to water. Remember ice trays? I hadn’t used one for years but they work just like they always have!

A few other tips

Even with a temporary kitchen we’ve carried out food…. a lot. To the point where you get sick of it. I found Social Suppers in Prairie Village as a great alternative. The food is all pre-prepared and ready to cook. Their disposable containers fit into our air fryer.


Our basement doesn’t offer a ton of ventilation. When we cook really stinky items i.e., bacon in our air fryer we carry it to our garage.


Packing tip, something I didn’t fully think about was our utility room under our kitchen and how much debris would fall down. If I, had it to do over, I’d have moved the majority of those items too.


Finally, living through a remodel isn’t always easy. Your home will get dirty, everywhere. As a co-worker told me, "Embrace the dirt." Your stuff may seem like it's everywhere and less organized. Your daily schedule may shift a little bit. Our team is unparalleled and they do everything to alleviate pain points but some of this is inevitable so try to stay positive and know it WILL BE WORTH IT in the end. I’ve 
never gone into a client’s home where they talked about how awful the process was, how long it took, or that they regret doing it. The resounding thing I hear is, "why didn’t we do this sooner?!" I myself can’t be ready for that retrospective. 😊