Set Temporary Kitchen During Remodeling

Remodeling your kitchen and bath can be an exciting project, but it also means your existing space will be out of commission for a while. Setting up a temporary kitchen allows you to still prepare meals during the renovation process. Even with limited space, you can still set temporary kitchen to handle essential cooking tasks. With some planning and essential supplies, creating a functional temporary kitchen is possible even in limited space.

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Assessing Your Needs

When deciding what you need for your remodeling project temporary kitchen, assess how you currently use your kitchen and what tasks are essential during the remodel. Consider the following:

  • How often do you cook full meals versus quick snacks or takeout?
  • What appliances do you use regularly (stove, oven, microwave, coffee maker etc.)?
  • How much counter space do you need?
  • Do you need a place to wash dishes?

Prioritizing your needs helps determine the right temporary setup. Those who mostly eat out can get by with just a microwave and coffee maker. Frequent cooks will want items like a hot plate, toaster oven, electric kettle, plus ample counter space and sink access.

Must-Have Temporary Kitchen Supplies

While you may not be able to replicate your entire kitchen, having these basic supplies will help you cook meals:

  • Countertop appliances – A microwave, coffee maker, toaster oven, electric grill, or hot plate enable you to prepare simple foods.
  • Sink alternative – A utility sink, bathroom sink, or plastic tub with a drain tray works to wash dishes. Consider paper plates to reduce dirty dishes.
  • Food storage – A mini-fridge or cooler keeps perishable items cold if your refrigerator is not accessible.
  • Counter space – Whether a table or temporary shelving, you need areas for food prep and appliances.
  • Cutting boards and utensils – Knives, cutting boards, pots, pans, can openers, and other essential tools.
  • Trash and recycling bins – Convenient places to discard waste while you cook.

Recommended Spaces for a Temporary Kitchen

According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), when setting up a temporary kitchen during a remodel, it’s crucial to consider what cooking appliances and fixtures you rely on daily or weekly when deciding what to include.

If your kitchen remodel allows, set up a very temporary kitchen sink or one in these convenient areas:

  • Laundry room – Often has sink, storage cabinets, and counter space.
  • Garage – Large space that likely has a utility sink already.
  • Outdoor patio – Existing kitchenettes or grills make good cooking stations. Consider weather.
  • Dining room – Near outlets and plumbing; clear tables serve as countertops.
  • Living room, family room, spare bedroom – Usually centrally located if less ideal.
  • Bathroom – The sink provides water access although space is very limited.

Wherever you set up, look for areas near electrical outlets and plumbing to power appliances and wash dishes. Bathrooms and laundry rooms tend to work well given their existing fixtures. Garages or patios provide the luxury of mess containment too. Even less conventional areas of the house like bedrooms and living spaces can serve as your makeshift kitchen with some creativity.

Essential Tips for Surviving a Kitchen Remodel

Between managing contractors, dust and debris, and having your home under construction, kitchen remodeling brings chaos. Having a functional temporary kitchen helps restore a sense of normalcy so you can eat home-cooked meals during the process. Keep these practical tips in mind:

  • Communicate about access – Discuss which areas of your home will be blocked off and when so you can plan accordingly.
  • Label everything – Use sticky notes or tags to designate what appliances, food, and tools belong to your makeshift kitchen so they don’t get misplaced in the shuffle.
  • Contain messes – Whether plastic tablecloths or designated bins keep temporary kitchen items neatly in one functional area.
  • Take regular breaks – Order takeout or dine out occasionally to keep your stress low when your home is in disarray.
  • Stock up on key supplies – Keep backstock of paper plates, plastic utensils, paper towels, and shelf-stable items like snacks and frozen veggies.
  • Stay organized – As best you can, tidy and sanitize your temporary kitchen daily so you have a functional space to cook meals.

While giving up your regular kitchen presents challenges, you can eat home-cooked comfort foods with the right temporary setup until your brand-new kitchen is complete! The short-term inconvenience pays off when you have your dream kitchen renovation finished.

Products to Help Set Up a Temporary Kitchen

Specialized products available help you maximize functionality in a limited temporary kitchen space during remodeling projects:

Portable Kitchen Islands

Islands on casters provide extra storage kitchen table, and counter space, and often feature sinks, dish racks, and even electrical outlets. Easy to wheel into place and relocate.

Collapsible Kitchen Sinks

Flexible plastic sinks fold up but become spacious tubs when unfolded. Drain trays attach to divert water runoff. Great for tight spaces.

Multi-Use Toaster Ovens

All-in-one toaster ovens bake, broil, slow cook, and grill in addition to toasting. Useful alternative for ovenless kitchens. Top brands like Breville, Cuisinart, and Hamilton Beach.

Counter Freestanding Sinks

Available in a range of sizes, these sinks require no installation or plumbing. Large units have dual basins great for washing dishes.

Induction Cooktops

Portable, electric burners heat pans using magnetic induction quickly. Safer and more precise temperature control than traditional portable stoves.

Microwave Carts

Feature bottom storage plus a top platform for your microwave. Include locking casters for easy mobility. Some have additional counter space.

Investing in one or more such products helps establish a fully functioning temporary kitchen during remodeling projects. They transform spaces like garages and laundry rooms into suitable cooking areas in a pinch.

Make the Most of Your Limited Temporary Kitchen

While setting up a temporary kitchen has its frustrations, looking at the situation positively makes the process easier to handle. A few mindset shifts can help:

See it as an adventure – Having an unusual or makeshift kitchen can add a fun element of camping at home. Get creative in how you adapt rooms not usually used for cooking.

Focus on the end reward – Imagining how gorgeous your new kitchen will look and all the features it will have makes the hassle worthwhile.

Take advantage of the flexibility – Not having a permanent kitchen allows you to take out and experiment with mobile setups. See which placement works best before committing the layout when you rebuild.

Practice simplicity – Simplify cooking with one-pot meals, foil packet entrees, sandwiches, and salads. Embrace paper goods to minimize dish duty.

Enjoy the break – Order in or dine out more often without feeling guilty. Support local restaurants while avoiding extra cleanup at home.


While giving up your normal kitchen during a remodel brings major inconvenience, looking at setting up a temporary kitchen as an adventure can positively shift your mindset. Remember, this disruption is temporary even though it doesn’t feel like it when your home is mid-construction. Focus on the excitement of soon having your dream kitchen!


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