If you are planning a kitchen remodel, then you are probably wondering how to live without a kitchen during renovation. Like preparing a hot meal on an impromptu stove set in your living room, or transforming the guest room into a makeshift pantry. It’s like camping in a way, but right at home. 

Every bit of countertop is precious real estate when you don’t have access to your regular cooking area, which can lead to modifications like peeling potatoes over the bathroom sink and boiling water for coffee in a corner of the dining space. 

Below, we’ll share tips about creating temporary kitchens that actually work! We’ll explore how small appliances can be lifesavers and why paper plates might become your best friends. Hang tight as we dive into this adventure together!

Setting Up a Temporary Kitchen During Renovation

Living without your kitchen for over a month can be tough. But with the right planning and selection of essential appliances, you can create an efficient temporary cooking space.

Your toaster oven, microwave, kettle, blender, and electric cooktop will become your best friends during this period. They are versatile enough to let you prepare various meals despite the limited resources.

You’ll also need to think about counter space for food prep work and where to place these appliances. An ideal location could be in your dining room or living room – somewhere easily accessible but out of the way from construction dust and debris.

Choosing Essential Appliances for Your Temporary Kitchen

To start off on good footing with setting up a functional temporary kitchen layout, consider which small appliances would give you the most flexibility when it comes to meal preparation.

A hot plate is handy as it allows boiling water for pasta or making scrambled eggs on demand while still being portable enough that it doesn’t take up much room.

Meal Preparation and Storage Solutions

Living without a kitchen during renovation can be challenging, but with some smart planning, meal prep becomes easier. One strategy is to rely on meals that don’t need much preparation like pre-made home-cooked food stored in the freezer. For instance, black bean quesadillas or sourdough English muffins are both tasty options.

Paper plates become your best friend to avoid dirty dishes piling up while you’re washing others. Plastic containers work great for storing pantry food items within easy reach and also double as storage for clean dishes.

To tackle dishwashing sans kitchen sink, set up a drying rack near your utility sink or bathroom basin after cleaning them there. Stack dirty ones aside till you get time for washing – remember this will be temporary.

Efficient Dishwashing in a Temporary Kitchen

A small sink or utility sink becomes the heart of dish cleaning. Add an easy-to-use dish soap pump and you’re ready to tackle those dirty dishes.

Your drying rack plays double duty: it dries clean dishes and provides extra storage space for utensils. Remember to wash, rinse, and then stack dirty items on one side before moving them over as they’re cleaned. Here’s a handy guide for effective hand-washing of dishes if you need help with that.

Besides washing up after meals, regular maintenance helps keep things tidy. A trash/recycling bin within reach keeps clutter at bay while making recycling easier too. This temporary cooking space may not feel like your usual kitchen but keeping it spick-and-span will make this transition period more bearable.

Making the Most of Limited Space

When living without this traditional space during kitchen remodeling, making efficient use of limited space is crucial. One practical tip is to transform your dining table into a multipurpose hub for food preparation and eating.

Maximizing the potential of a space that would otherwise be left unused, this strategy enables you to establish an effective kitchen. With careful organization, even small tables can provide enough counter and workspace for meal prep activities. A simple tablecloth will protect your dining surface from potential spills or knife nicks.

A built-in buffet or similar furniture piece can also prove useful as storage for dishes, bowls, mugs, cups, and glassware – essentially replicating some features of your kitchen cabinets in another room. Remember to keep items you frequently use easily accessible.

Creative Cooking Without a Kitchen

When your kitchen is undergoing renovation, creativity becomes your best friend. Don’t fret; you can still prepare delectable meals with limited resources.

Easy One-Pot Meals

No need to have a plethora of cookware for whipping up an appetizing meal. For instance, one-pot pasta dishes are perfect for cooking on a hot plate or camping stove. All it takes is boiling water in the same pot where you cook your pasta and add-ins.

A rotisserie chicken from the local store also offers multiple meal options without needing much prep space. 

Using Small Appliances for Cooking

Microwave meals get a bad rap but trust us when we say they can be lifesavers during renovations. A simple scrambled egg made in the microwave might just become your go-to breakfast staple.

The slow cooker too can work wonders – try making enchiladas, soups, or other slow-cooker meals. Or if freezer meals are more up your alley, use toaster ovens to heat them efficiently.

Ask Your Contractor for Temporary Kitchen Tips

You can also ask your trusted kitchen remodeling contractor for tips and strategies that work within their construction timeline. 

If you are in the VA, MD, and DC area — that trusted contractor is H&C Construction, and you can contact their experts for everything from design, construction, and temporary kitchen ideas during the renovation process. 


Surviving a kitchen renovation is tough, but not impossible. We’ve seen how setting up a temporary kitchen can help ease the transition. Key appliances like hot plates and microwaves are crucial.

We learned that smart meal prep and storage solutions keep things smooth. Who knew freezer meals could be such lifesavers? And let’s not forget those one-pot wonders for easy cooking!

Maintaining cleanliness during this time isn’t an uphill battle either. Simple hacks like using paper products or employing your bathroom sink to wash dishes make all the difference.

In essence, learning how to live without a kitchen during renovation involves creativity, patience, and planning. Embrace it as an adventure – you’ll get through just fine!