A kitchen renovation is an exciting project to ponder over – a new kitchen with enhanced functionality and storage. But, how do you get by during the renovation? What can be done in advance to take some of the pressure off? Here are our tips on how to prepare for a kitchen renovation at home.


There is no way to avoid a bit of inconvenience during a kitchen renovation, but planning well ahead of time will make lighter work of the task. Just check out our tips on how to turn a kitchen renovation from project nightmare to project smooth!


Pare back items

The first rule of planning for a kitchen renovation is to pare back. No matter how much of a MasterChef you are, meals that require harder preparation are going to be a challenge during kitchen renovation time. Cooking will be pared back and so will preparation.

Keep things simple and be realistic. You are not going to need every appliance or tool that is stashed away in your kitchen cabinetry. Chose the items you really can’t do without, not those that you ‘like’ to have. Are you really going to need the donut maker or waffle iron?

Cooking ingredients should also be given the kitchen renovation once over.

Keep a good stock of non-perishable items on hand such as tinned veggies. Trail mixes, muesli bars, crackers, dried fruit, nuts and microwave popcorn can help to get you through any hunger pangs between meals. Fresh fruit like bananas, oranges, mandarins and stone fruits that don’t need to be kept in the fridge also prove handy. Leaving these in a fruit bowl means less temptation to go searching for other less-healthy options.


Create a kitchen renovation back-up

As the main food preparation quarters of the home, it’s important to have a back-up catering plan while undertaking a kitchen renovation. As much as it may be a novelty at first, eating out for every main meal is not really a feasible option – it is hard on the hip pocket and often hard on nutrition too. Then, there are lunches to make, breakfast, and snacks in between meals to think about.

So, how do you get by without your main cooking facility during a kitchen renovation? Just create a back-up kitchen! Set up an area out of the way of construction to help you get by without your kitchen during construction.

Here’s a suggestion on how to do it.

During the kitchen renovation you could transform an area in your garage into a portable kitchen. Deck it out with one or two portable tables to use as a bench and food preparation table (fold-up trestle tables work great). Include some seating, storage containers with cooking utensils and cutlery, a container to use for wash-up, and some standalone shelves to house plates and other items.

Remember to include the portable workhorses and appliances you use often in the kitchen (those that made the cull in step one) – a kettle, toaster, sandwich press, slow cooker, microwave and electric frypan perhaps. And, don’t forget the fridge and freezer too!


Create a meal plan

Based on the items you selected to keep on hand during kitchen renovation time, create a meal plan that fits the cooking equipment you have. Think about what catering marvels you can whip up and write those on a list so you are well prepared ahead of time.

Single and family meals that can be prepared in advance and frozen for re-heating in the microwave are a great idea. Stir fry, pasta dishes and meals like shepherd’s pie all reheat perfectly fine. Make it easier by storing them directly in microwave-friendly containers.

Most people will have an outdoor barbeque or grill to use for cooking too. You can usually cook roasts and bake pizzas in barbeques these days. How about channelling your inner scout and cook a neat damper bread too – yum!

* Tip: for a tasty breakfast option perfect for kitchen renovation time, check out our easy breakfast quesadillas recipe here.


Go disposable

A kitchen renovation means your kitchen sink is likely to be out of action so washing up will become more of a chore than usual. To help alleviate some of the washing up stress, stock up on recyclable or biodegradable plates, cups, linen and utensils to use.


Set up some picnic dinner ideas

As an easy, cost-effective catering option during kitchen renovation, arrange a family dinner picnic. You don’t have to travel too far away, just grab a nice piece of turf at home to sit. Throw in some battery operated or solar lights for a little extra ambience. The kids will love it and you will enjoy the ease of creating finger food for dinner.

If the weather turns miserable, just spread the picnic rug inside the house instead. There are no rules to say you can’t picnic on your lounge room floor!

* Tip: for picnic recipe inspiration, check out our Thai corn fritters and our tasty creamy chicken avocado salad

 You can also find some great picnic recipe ideas, including mouth-watering sandwiches, at Taste online here.


Map out a work path

Just prior to the commencement of your kitchen renovation, it is a good idea to map out a path the tradespeople will use to access the area. Lay out some plastic drop sheets or old, thick blankets to protect your carpet and flooring along the work path. Stick the covers down on the edges with heavy duty tape so there are no trip hazards created for anyone.


Any inconveniences occurred during a kitchen renovation will be outweighed by the delight you receive at the end of the project. Our tip is to treat the kitchen renovation process as an adventure not a disruption. Your newly revamped kitchen will well be worth it in the end.


Need some kitchen renovation inspiration or design ideas? Check in with our kitchen experts from Harrington Kitchens. We can help with any style kitchen, big or small. Contact us by calling 1300 662 112, submit an online enquiry or visit us at our Narellan or Bowral showrooms.