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Temporary Kitchen Set Up

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Setting Up A Temporary Kitchen For The Renovation Period.

A well set up temporary kitchen may save your sanity. Renovating your kitchen does take time, even in the best-case scenario, you will be out of your real kitchen for at least a day or two. For major renovations, you are looking at months out of a kitchen.

When my husband renovated our house, we were out of a real kitchen for about two years. Due to careful planning and setting out; the lack of a real kitchen didn’t feel overwhelming.

First, carefully pack all items from your old kitchen, keeping aside the essentials listed below.

Items you will need to transfer to your temporary kitchen:

  • Microwave and electric kettle
  • Minimal non-perishables like soup, condiments, cereal, tea, coffee, sugar, rice, pasta, etc.
  • Microwave-safe cooking dishes
  • Bare minimum crockery, cutlery, cups and utensils (or disposable),
  • Dishcloths, paper towels, and garbage bags.
  • Plastic washing up basin
  • Fridge/freezer or Esky/cooler
  • BBQ outside for a little variation
  • Portable electric hotplate or induction hotplate
  • Pack all other non-essential kitchen items away in carefully labelled boxes ready to transfer to your new kitchen.

Using a laundry as a temporary kitchen.

A laundry room makes a great temporary kitchen. Separate food prep areas from dirty clothes and harmful detergents. Laundries are ideal because it is already a “wet” area, however, care must be taken due to the hazardous items that lurk within. Ensure you have enough storage space and access to running water.

  • Pack away laundry items that don’t require access for a short time – such as old towels, detergents that get intermittent use etc.
  • Thoroughly clean and disinfect shelves and a bench area that will be used for food/utensil storage and prep – keep a strict separation of this area from detergents and dirty clothes during the period this area is to be used as a kitchen. Many germs can be spread by dirty laundry and laundry detergents and cleaning agents can be hazardous if ingested.
  • Set the microwave on a sturdy shelf or bench-top where it doesn’t wobble and will not fall.

Using a bookshelf, table, or drawer unit as a temporary kitchen.

If a laundry is not an option for a temporary kitchen another great option is a bookshelf or drawer unit. If your old kitchen was a reasonable quality – keep a portion of bench and cabinetry after strip out to use as your temporary kitchen in a suitable location.

  • Place your temporary kitchen away from thoroughfares and renovation work.
  • Plan to do the dishes in a plastic basin, another sink, or the bathtub. If you will have very limited access to running water, use disposable plates and cups.
  • Move your old refrigerator, small mini-fridge, or Esky to a convenient space close to a water source.
  • Small appliances such as microwaves, toasters or toaster ovens, portable hot plates, slow cookers, and small electric grills will be immensely helpful in preparing home-cooked meals.

How Do I Prepare Meals During My Kitchen Renovation?

  • Prior to the renovation, fill the freezer (providing you are keeping your fridge/freezer in the house during renovation) full of easily microwavable meals such as soups, stews, pasta sauces, and pies.
  • Learn how to microwave pasta, rice, and jacket potatoes for a simple but filling accompaniment to meals.


Smith & Smith is renowned for beautiful made-to-measure kitchens at friendly prices. You can rely on our 40 years of bespoke kitchen design and cabinetmaking experience. We are cabinetmakers – you buy directly from the manufacturer and cut out the middleman. Clients have returned to Smith & Smith for kitchens in their second home, property development as well as holiday homes.



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