When we started our kitchen reno this fall, I didn’t anticipate exactly how disruptive the process would be. Of course, our brand-new kitchen will be totally worth the hassle, but living without a kitchen for a few months definitely requires some flexibility—and a few key products so that you’re not ordering pizza for every meal. Here are 10 kitchen renovation essentials that have made life bearable for me and my family while ours is being gutted.
Without a kitchen counter, I knew I needed a makeshift food prep and storage surface. We bought this surprisingly sturdy table, and it’s just the right size for our appliances. It’s also really easy to wipe clean!
Buy it: 6 ft Fold-in-Half Table, $60 at The Home Depot
We already had this shelf in our basement storage area, so we moved it upstairs to create a temporary pantry for keeping snacks accessible. It’s quite lightweight, which makes it easy to move around between spaces, but it’s definitely too wobbly for heavy objects (which is why we don’t keep any appliances on it).
Buy it: HDX 4-Tier Garage Storage Shelving Unit, $36 at The Home Depot
I’ve already raved about this rolling cart I’ve had for years. Right now I’m keeping cooking utensils and spices on it, so I can easily roll it over to the table when I’m making dinner in my air fryer or Instant Pot.
Buy it: 3 Tier Metal Utility Cart, $40 at Target
Speaking of air fryers: I have this one. I line it with foil when I cook to minimize washing, which is extra helpful because I don’t have a kitchen sink. I use this thing every day, sometimes multiple times a day, as a stand-in for an oven.
Buy it: Power AirFryer XL, $130 at Wayfair
In the absence of a stovetop, I’ve pivoted to smoothies for breakfast. This blender is super compact, making for easy storage, but it’s also surprisingly powerful (no chunks of frozen fruit getting stuck in my straw). It’s also wireless, so I don’t have to worry about using one of our few outlets in the living room food prep area.
Buy it: Ninja Blast Portable Blender, $60 at Best Buy
Other than space, the biggest hassle has been finding outlets for all of our appliances in the living room. It’s always a good idea to keep extra power strips on hand for when outlets are in short supply.
Buy it: Amazon Basics Power Strip, $20 at Amazon
Our kitchen had a built-in, over-the-stove microwave, so we bought this one to get by. It’s pretty small, so it doesn’t hog the table, but I haven’t had any problems fitting leftovers inside. I’d recommend a little microwave like this one for anyone with limited counter space!
Buy it: Kenmore Microwave, $50 at Target
We happen to be doing our reno during soup season, so you know I had to keep my Instant Pot on deck. I love that it’s faster than a crock pot, and it takes up less space. Right now, I’m using it for cooking jobs I’d normally do on the stove (mainly soups, stews, and sauces).
Buy it: Instant Pot Duo, $76 at Walmart
With all that extra room under the table—and no cabinets to speak of—I’m using these long, shallow storage containers for my non-perishables. Because they have wheels, they’re really easy to pull out from beneath the table when I’m digging for a can of beans.
Buy it: Sterilite Underbed Storage Bin, $20 at Walmart
We’re trying to minimize dishes since we don’t have a dishwasher or big sink, but I also wanted to be conscious of our environmental impact. I decided to buy compostable paper plates as a solution, and it’s been working well so far!
Buy it: Hefty ECOSAVE Compostable Paper Plates, $11 at Walmart
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