Remodeling Your NYC Kitchen? 12 Sanity-Saving Tips

Get ready for the mental and physical challenge of living in your apartment whilst it undergoes this major renovation.

Q: I’m giving my kitchen a complete makeover, and I want to live in the apartment while the work’s being done. What can I do to keep my life as stress-free as possible?

A. Close your eyes. Imagine waking up, getting out of bed, and heading into the kitchen for a cup of coffee. Now imagine that your path is blocked by a giant sheet of plastic covering the entrance to your kitchen, and the room behind the plastic is in a state of total chaos.

The bottom line: you will not have a usable kitchen for any purpose that you would normally use a kitchen for.

You won’t be able to cook. You can’t store anything that you’ll need day-to-day. Your food-related routines will be upended. Most of your kitchen will be packed away in boxes, plus there will be constant dust all over your house.

Contractors need a lot of space, and you need to live, eat, and sleep at home so preparation for this type of renovation is crucial. If you’re a planner, this is where you can shine. Be sure to do the following:

1. Know what you’re getting yourself into (and for how long). There is no rule of thumb when it comes to remodeling timeframes, but you can expect a kitchen renovation to take four to eight weeks. To make planning easier, you may want to ask your contractors to keep you posted on their daily schedule so you know when they’re planning to show up, and how long they’ll be. Knowing their schedule in advance will help you organize your own schedule better, and plan your preparations.

2. Move your appliances. As a last sprint before the work begins, cook several meals (if you cook) and freeze them all. Then move your fridge to an area that’s safe from the demolition. Granted, no one wants a fridge in her bedroom, but there may be no other way. Set up the coffee maker in the bathroom–you can even use it for some light cooking! (More on that below.)

3. Plan your storage tactic. Along with your microwave and fridge, your tuna tins and peanut butter will need a place to live. Even if you’re just eating cereal with milk in the morning, you’ll have to store your bowls somewhere. Try to fit a small table near the area where you’ve stored your food to make it easier to make a sandwich.

Read the full post at Brick Underground’s Renovation Qs, where you can find the unvarnished answers to your renovation conundrums.