How to remodel your kitchen without ending up in goblin mode

I guess this is our life now

Remodeling a kitchen is a thrilling adventure for the whole family.

Okay, not really. Actually, it’s a bit of a nightmare.

You don’t realize how much the kitchen is the heart of your house until that heart has been ripped out.

And then there’s the expense of it all. Oy!

That said though, the experience isn’t all bad. Choosing new cabinets, fixtures, countertops, paint colors and backsplash tile is the stuff of every homeowner’s dreams – especially if you’re someone who loves watching HGTV.

Imagining our new perfect, sparkling kitchen – and wondering how it will mesh with the rest of our house, which hasn’t been updated – is my new favorite pastime.

There is a dark side to every kitchen remodel, however.

During the days, weeks – or, God forbid, even months – that you are without a working kitchen, there’s a strong tendency to devolve into #goblinmode.

I know this because it happened to us!

Here are some sure signs your kitchen remodel has fast-tracked you to goblin mode:

  • Ordering pizza multiple times a week
  • Eating every meal on the couch in front of the TV
  • Dining off paper plates, drinking out of disposable cups and using only plasticware
  • Washing dishes (the few non-disposable things you do use) – in the bathroom sink
  • Drinking water from the bathroom sink
  • Preparing food for your family in the bathroom
  • Barely leaving the house, showering or changing out of PJs

Since I didn’t prepare well before our kitchen was demolished, I’m writing this blog post to help those who are considering a kitchen remodel. Please learn from our mistakes and do a better job preparing so your household won’t have to survive on a diet of nonstop take-out food.

Here are some pro tips I gathered from friends and family only AFTER we had already demolished our kitchen and begun our remodel. I wish I had known all this sooner, but hindsight is always 20/20. At least you can benefit from my hard-learned lessons!

Before embarking on your kitchen remodeling project, be sure to…

  • Prepare all of your family’s favorite meals in advance and freeze them so you’ll have plenty of dinners ready to go when all you have left is a microwave
  • Line up a neighbor, nearby friend or family member whose kitchen you can borrow from time to time to boil pasta, make rice or cook a meal for your family
  • Plan your kitchen project for the summer months so you can grill out lots
  • Set up a table/workstation where you can safely keep and operate a microwave, toaster oven and perhaps an air fryer. Borrow an electric skillet or hot plate if you can.

Here’s one other, non-food-related tip that may be of help: prepare for a ton of noise. I had not realized that I’d be here working from home while World War III was going on in the kitchen. Both demolition and renovation work are LOUD! Plan to work at a Starbucks or other local co-working space during the worst of it.

There’s also a ton of dust. Even if the workers clean up after themselves – and they should – there will still be construction dust everywhere. Cover vents in the vicinity if you can, and plan to sweep and dust every night to keep the mess to a minimum.

I simply cannot believe how much I miss having a kitchen. I miss having horizontal surfaces, a working stove and oven, and more. I miss cooking and baking – even though I’ve never done either super often, it just feels weird not to be able to do those things.

It feels like the heart of our home really is gone for now. The good news is that soon it will be back and better than ever. I know it will all be worth it.

Do you have other kitchen remodeling survival tips and tricks? I’d love to hear them in the comments below or over on Instagram or Facebook!

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About the author

Proud and loving midlife mama. Lucky and devoted wife. Dog, cat and snake mom. Travel nut. Natural born writer. PR and social media pro by day - tattoo doula by night.
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