How to Stay Sane in the Midst of A Major Kitchen Renovation Project

“How to Stay Sane in the Midst of A Major Kitchen Renovation Project”
by Pam Kuliesis

Kitchen Remodeling in Progress

Let’s face it – while the rewards are great and the idea exciting, the process can be daunting.

At Kitchen Views, where the designers are pros and the “Views” are yours, you will be in great hands as you head down the path toward a brand new kitchen.

Doing a major renovation project is a journey. All great journeys require planning, preparation and a good map. Your kitchen designer will be there to help you draw you the map.

Patience is a virtue – a difficult concept to grasp in this day and age of well choreographed HGTV episodes. Rely on your designer and your installer to give you a realistic time table and know that unexpected problems and unforeseen roadblocks are going to happen. Stay flexible. There are a lot of factors that go into setting a time table. While our professionals can give you a pretty good idea – know that there are a lot of moving targets. Things can change quickly, be prepared for the time “table” to become a time “estimate”.

Along the way minor details may not workout as planned due to issues you can’t control. Don’t get hung up on the little things. Be creative. Work with your designer and your installer to find solutions to whatever pops up that will enhance your beautiful new kitchen.

My husband and I are almost finished with a major renovation that involved 3 rooms – kitchen, pantry and master bath. The excitement, the apprehension, and the fleeting moments of frustration, are still pretty fresh.

Pam's Kitchen Cabinets Being Installed

I say “almost” finished because while the major components – cabinets, counter tops, new appliances and new floors, fresh paint, are all done, there are still a lot of little things left to do – back splashes to be tiled, trim to be painted and put back in place and a bathroom tub surround I still have to decide what to do with. Three months, three rooms, a lot more storage… so much new storage that I can’t figure out what I did with my favorite coffee mug.

You will be without your sink and possibly your range and refrigerator, basically without your kitchen for awhile, possibly for weeks, during the installation. This will be inconvenient. There are ways to get through it.  Think of it as camping… but with better sleeping arrangements.

Here are some of my favorite survival tips:

  • Once your cabinets have arrived and the installation is scheduled, clean out your old cabinets a few days before the tear out.
  • Take your time. Pretend you’re moving – label the boxes meticulously.  It will make unpacking go much quicker.  Also, you may need to find that cork screw or bottle opener – you are probably going to need it.
  • Take this opportunity to clean out the dust collectors – donate the collection of small appliances your aunt has been sending you every birthday that you’ve never even opened and are just taking up space. Toss the ratty 10 year old plastic containers that you can’t find the tops for.  Throw out the accumulation of twist ties that have been working their way to the back of the drawer for years, you will never use them.
  • Find a place for the microwave to hang out and create a “temporary kitchen” around it.
  • Stock up on paper goods.   The less you have to wash dishes in the tub the better.
  • Make sure your collection of take-out menus is up to date and close at hand.
  • Stock a cooler with ice for the perishables. Or do what we did – park the fridge in the foyer.  It took me days to not head out there when I needed something after it was back in place.
  • If you plan to move the cooking outdoors to the grill – make sure you have enough propane for the duration.
  • Check your local supermarket fliers for prepared foods that you can purchase daily and help you prepare healthy meals.

During the installation, keep your designer’s phone number on speed dial and try to stay available to the installer.  There will be unforeseen issues along the way that will need to be dealt with and decisions that will need to be made.  During our granite installation one long wall was found to be bowed.  The installer needed to break through a small section of the sheet rock to get the top flush.  I don’t know what, if anything, would have been done if we hadn’t been there to give permission.  It’s much better to be a part of the decision making, understanding why something needs to be done differently than planned instead of having the decision made (or not made) for you and wondering what happened after everyone is gone.

Keep your eye on the prize – waking up and walking into your beautiful new kitchen.

For me, when all is said and (nearly) done, and I’m humming and cooking, my favorite chili recipe is simmering and the crusty rolls are baking, the journey is a warm memory. The glitches and bumps are long forgotten.

Now, where is that mug…?

Kitchen Remodeling Near Completion

Pam Kuliesis
Kitchen Views at National Lumber
71 Maple St
Mansfield, MA 02048
(508) 339-8020

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