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January 12, 2011

Surviving a Kitchen Renovation: 5 Things to Include in Your Temporary Kitchen

Although most major home renovations create some form of family upheaval, nothing quite compares to the drama and trauma of ripping apart the very heart of your home: the kitchen. And while you've probably spent countless hours making decisions about how your new kitchen will look, it's just as important to plan for how your family will cope in a temporary kitchen during the weeks (and often months) your dream kitchen is becoming a reality.

To maintain your family's sanity and keep frustration to a minimum, you'll want your temporary kitchen to include:

A Refrigerator
Whether it's big or small, a refrigerator is an absolute must. Even if it's just for a few staples like milk, eggs, fruits and vegetables.

A Toaster Oven and/or Hot Plate
While a microwave will suffice for cooking and reheating some items, you'll need a hot plate--or if you have room, your own full-sized oven--to fry eggs or whip up a batch of pancakes. At the very least, a toaster oven will help you brown meats and, well...make toast. If your temporary kitchen isn't big enough to house your regular oven (or your new one!), a hot plate doesn't take up much room and will give you some added options when you can't face another night of take-out.

A Sink
Don't fool yourself into believing you can wash your dishes in the powder room sink or clean them in the laundry basin. Space in those areas is probably tight as it is and carrying dishes to and from your food prep area will get old very fast. If at all possible, try to set up a sink in your temporary kitchen. You won't realize how much you use it until it's not there!

A Microwave
If you only use your microwave to make popcorn and reheat your morning coffee, now's the time to explore what it can do! For some culinary inspiration, click here, here or here.

The Essentials
Utensils, glasses, cups, plates, bowls, serviettes...being able to find the basics will keep you sane on the craziest days. Don't forget to keep a corkscrew (or a bottle of Tylenol or Advil) on hand, too. Sometimes a glass of wine goes a long way...