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Originally published Friday, March 22, 2013 at 8:00 PM

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Ease the pain of a kitchen remodel | HomeWork

The best way to prepare for such a major disruption in your family’s life is to create a temporary kitchen.

Special to The Seattle Times

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HomeWork

Q. What is the best way to prepare for a kitchen remodel?

A. Most families embarking on a kitchen remodel do not have the luxury of moving out of their homes. Everything in the kitchen must be moved out. So what do you do? The best way to prepare for such a major disruption is to create a temporary kitchen.

Pack the dishes and move any food items to a good storage location, keeping in mind that you will have to get into them at times during the remodel. Decide which items you will likely need to unpack and keep those items near the top of your boxes. It’s a good idea to label your boxes to make it easier to find these frequently used items. Packing kitchen items in clearly labeled boxes will also making restocking cabinets easier when your remodel is complete.

Set up a temporary mini-kitchen with a small table for eating. The dining room or a large laundry room often works well. You will want an area to set up your small appliances and try to be close to a sink or water source if possible. If the weather is nice enough, you can plan on using your patio grill for much of your cooking.

No matter how you set things up, you will face many culinary conundrums. But while a temporary kitchen is not ideal, you can weather the construction storm and eat out less frequently with the following tips:

• Move your old refrigerator or a small mini-fridge to a convenient space close to a water source. Add a table to set your microwave on, placing a trash can underneath and you’ve got a good beginning for your temporary kitchen.

• Keep essential items handy such as: microwave-safe dishes and cooking utensils, a tub for dishwashing if a sink is not handy, paper plates, plastic utensils and cups, a can opener, a cutting board, knives, paper towels, napkins, kitchen towels and rags, a disinfectant cleanser and garbage cans and bags.

• Make a list of items and food stores you use daily such as coffee and a coffee pot, cereal, nonperishables and canned items. Don’t forget to include the condiments and spices you use frequently.

• Cook some meals in advance and freeze them.

• You will be without water in the kitchen for some time so plan to do dishes in another sink or even the bathtub if need be. Even if you use disposable plates and cups there will be some things that will need to be washed.

• Pack up or move fragile items that are in the kitchen and on the walls adjacent to the kitchen. Construction-induced vibrations during the remodeling could cause them to become damaged.

During your remodel small appliances like microwaves, toasters, toaster ovens, hot plates and small electric grills can prove indispensable. Just remember that your makeshift kitchen might not be able to support multiple appliances running at the same time and you may have only one device plugged in at a time to prevent blown fuses.

As any friend or family member who has been through a kitchen remodel will tell you, no amount of preparation will entirely erase the challenges and inconvenience of being without a full kitchen. Just remember that when it is complete, you will have a new living space that will serve your family beautifully for many years to come.

Melissa Irons of Irons Brothers Construction, Inc. is a member of the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties’ Remodelers Council and provided the information contained in this article. If you would like more information or have questions about home improvement send them to homework@mbaks.com. Sorry, no personal replies. Always consult local codes and contractors.


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