How to Clear Out and Pack Up Your Kitchen for a Renovation
Remodeling presents a unique opportunity to assess what you have and purge the items you don’t need. The exciting part? Your new kitchen will only be filled with things you love and need.
When embarking on a renovation, it’s a good idea to begin decluttering your space and packing up belongings for temporary relocation as early as possible. Pulling out everything stored in the kitchen and making decisions on whether it stays or goes can take quite some time.
Pull Out What You’ll Need During the Renovation
If you plan on riding out your kitchen remodel at home, you’ll probably still need access to some everyday essentials like a microwave, a toaster, a coffee maker, dinnerware, cups, and basic utensils.
Because you’ll most likely be washing dishes by hand — quite possibly in the bathroom sink — it’s important to keep things simple. For example, keep out only one or two tableware items for each person, washing between uses.
If washing dishes is too much of a hassle, there’s always disposable options. In fact, this might be a perfect time to use up any leftover party plates, cups and napkins from past gatherings.
How and Where to Store Your Kitchen Stuff
For a kitchen project with a relatively short remodel time, like two or three weeks, the temporary encumbrance of storing kitchen stuff in another room of the house might be manageable. Formal packing is most likely not necessary.
However, if your remodel is expected to last longer than a month, it’s probably a good idea to pack up kitchen items in moving boxes. Doing so will ensure the items stay safe and clean. Plus, you’ll be able to easily stack the boxes out of the way.
Since kitchen items can be on the hefty side, try to use only heavy-duty boxes in small and medium sizes. Use packing paper or newspaper to wrap fragile items like wine stems, and to fill in empty spaces in boxes so things stay secure. Be sure to label your boxes so you can unpack efficiently.
Create a Purge and Pack Strategy
So that you can maintain some semblance of order, consider going through your kitchen belongings one category at a time. Start by getting out items in a certain category and laying them on the table or countertop so that you can take stock of what you have and decide on what you actually need.
• Dishware. If you happen to own multiple sets of dinnerware, this is the time to let go of those you don’t love or no longer use. Check for chips or cracks in the sets you keep to see if any pieces should be let go, as chips and cracks could potentially expose your food to harmful materials under the glaze. For sets that contain pieces you never use, consider breaking them up and getting rid of the unused pieces. As far as barely used fine china goes, ask yourself if it has sentimental value. If yes, then box it up and store it somewhere safe, whether in the kitchen or elsewhere. If the answer is no, then it might be a good idea to explore the reason why you’ve held onto it and see if passing it along to someone else might make more sense.
• Serving pieces. Your style of entertaining is something that tends to develop over time. In a lot of cases, the serveware you start out with isn’t the serveware you end up using. This is a great time to go through your serving pieces and evaluate what items don’t fit your hosting style anymore.
• Mugs and cups. Because these typically have some kind of sentiment attached to them — a favorite vacation spot, special event, or pictures of a loved one — they can be hard to sort through. Step one is to ask yourself which mugs/cups you actually enjoy and use, and which ones are simply taking up space because they seem sentimental. If mugs/cups are part of a collectible series, consider keeping just your favorites.
• Storage containers. Sort out any mismatched or incomplete containers and dispose of them straight away. Then identify any plastic to-go containers designed for single use and decide if they’re safe for continued use. If not, either toss them or put them with your recycling. Have the needs of your household changed recently? For example, maybe the kids have grown up or moved out. This might be a good time to reassess the types of storage containers that are necessary or the amount of containers you need.
• Gadgets and small appliances. Do all your appliances and gadgets perform as advertised? Do they make your food prep and cooking easier or more efficient? Take stock of yours and get rid of any you do not use. Try to focus on whether the item is useful to you now, not if it might be in the future.
• Kitchen extras. Go through your miscellaneous kitchen tools and evaluate what you have, as well as how many you actually need and use. Lose any surplus items and throw away the broken or defective gadgets, like melted spatulas or chipped nonstick pans.
Think Twice About What You Keep
It can be difficult to decide on which items stay and which items go. If you’re having trouble, consider reflecting on your current lifestyle and what it might look like in the near future. Which items do you feel are truly essential? Which items do you really love? In addition, evaluating your family members’ ages and needs as well as your entertaining style are other factors to help guide your decision making.
Once your remodel is complete and the time has come to unpack your kitchen stuff, take time to think about where items are placed. You’ll want your most-used tools in prime, easy-to-access spots. Also consider your family’s daily routines and try to make your kitchen setup support them.