Living Without a Kitchen

As our kitchen renovation is getting closer to completion I am looking forward to emptying out all the boxes in the basement and begin to get life organized again.

I am looking forward to start cooking full meals again too! I didn't think it was possible to get sick of takeout or crock pot meals, but it has happened! We've been without a kitchen since the beginning of January, and without a stove for four weeks now (we had an electric and upgraded to a gas, so the stove got disconnected when we had to redo all the wiring). So we've had a lot of sandwiches, cereal, crock pot meals (I packed away my electric frying pan without thinking), microwave meals and lots of takeout. And we've been eating at my parents quite a bit too.

Needless to say, here are some tips that I've learned the hard way for living without a kitchen:

If possible, keep your stove and dishwasher hooked up for as long as possible. Life is so much easier when you have a stove and can still cook full meals. And I'm not a fan of doing dishes by hand so I would have loved to keep my dishwasher attached (it wasn't possible for us).

Keep a sink hooked up in your kitchen. It's not fun to have to go down to the basement, or upstairs to the bathroom every time you need some water.


If you have no dishwasher or sink, invest in a dish bucket and drying rack. We (sorry I) have to do all the dishes in our disgusting laundry sink downstairs in the basement. So I have a dish bucket I place inside the sink and a piece of plywood that I have the drying rack on place this on my washing machine.


Set up a space for all your small appliances. We have an old workbench from the previous owner set up downstairs in the basement with all our "essentials". The microwave, toaster, kettle, Tassimo, waffle maker and crock pot. I would also include an electric frying pan if you have one (I forgot), a griddle, a portable cooktop. And your BBQ would also be helpful in creating meals (ours it at the back of our yard covered under 2 feet of snow!).


Spend a little bit of money on paper plates and bowls and plastic cups. This will cut down greatly on the amount of dishes you have to do. We still use our regular cutlery and all the large bowls and cooking dishes, but it is really nice to just toss the dirty plates into the green bin to be composted and the used cups in the recycling bin. I didn't buy any styrofoam as these go straight into the garbage.

Stock your fridge with fresh fruit and vegetables, cold cuts, drinking boxes and bread. Breakfast and lunch are usually cereal or sandwiches. Lots and lots of sandwiches. Fresh fruit and veggies, cheese and crackers, and cookies are regular snacks. Drinking boxes are a great way to get little ones to drink their juice and cut down on dishes at the same time.

Take advantage of those offers for dinner at your parents! We have eaten a lot of meals at my parents. You can only make so many meals in the microwave and crockpot and it's nice to be able to just pack up the kids and eat a meal that you don't have to prepare. 

Make healthy choices when eating takeout. We definitely haven't followed this rule - it's so much easier to just go through the drive-thru at McDonalds. But it's so much better for you and your kids if you make more healthy choices.

Set up your table and eating area so you can still sit down and eat your meals together, or you have a place to prepare your meals. Our table is set up in the basement, and sometimes we eat there, sometimes we eat in the family room on the couches. I have A's high chair set up downstairs, and it just so happens that he is right at the age where he is starting to eat solid foods. Not a fun time when you don't have a kitchen!

And finally - be organized and try to get the renovation done as quickly as possible. By the time our granite arrives we will have been without a kitchen for 2 months. This is not fun when you have 2 kids under 3, but so far we have managed to make it work. 

My drinking glass as I write this post.
Our cabinets went in this weekend and we ordered our granite today - stay tuned for before and after pictures of our kitchen. I promise you won't be disappointed!



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