5 Ways to Make Life Easier when Remodeling Your Kitchen

How to make life easier when remodeling your kitchenHow to make life easier when remodeling your kitchenAfter 13 years, it was time to remodel our kitchen. Our appliances were beginning to fail, the counters were scratched and the cabinets showed years of wear and tear. After much planning and saving, my husband and I decided 2012 was finally the year for a new kitchen. Since we have two kids, we were worried not only about the expense, but how we could minimize the impact of the remodeling process on our everyday lives. Being careful planners, we naively thought we could manage it like a work project. We did a budget, researched the best appliances we could afford, hired private contractors and finalized the design. My husband was the supreme project manager, with neatly organized contract folders, timelines, and spreadsheets. He was constantly going back and forth between the different vendors to ensure everything was on time.

Of course, as any person who has remodeled their kitchen will tell you, things have a way of not going according to plan. There are so many moving pieces that even the best of planning comes short. You not only have plumbing and electrical wiring to worry about, but also delayed deliveries, minuscule measurement errors that can turn into a nightmare when trying to actually make everything fit together, and lighting issues that may require adjustment.

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The worst part is not being able to cook at home. With two children, it is not a minor issue. You can deal with it for a few days. But when a couple of days turn into a week or more, it stresses you out and will also impact your budget. If you have kids, it also alters their routine and can throw them off for a bit. We managed by setting up a small fridge, small camping electrical cooktop and microwave in the dining room. It was better than nothing. But is was very limited and in the end we relied on takeout, microwaveable mac and cheese, and pizza. A lot of pizza. My kids actually weren't unhappy, but I was. Lunchboxes consisted of sandwiches and prepackaged sliced fruit packages. Not a tragedy, but not a model of nutrition.

The mess was another headache. A kitchen remodel will really mess your house up for a few weeks. There is dust everywhere and the noise is also a huge problem, especially if you work from home or your kids are home during the day.

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In the end, was the inconvenience worth it? Definitely! My new kitchen is my favorite place in my entire house. Not only that, the kids also love it, we finally have a place for everything we need, and we all feel we did it together. And lucky for you, my experience left me with a ton of valuable tips for anyone planning to remodel their kitchen. Here are 5 things you can do to make the process easier and less stressful.

1. Expect to be without a kitchen for a significant amount of time
Whatever your contractor tells you, plan to being unable to cook warm food in your kitchen for several days, even weeks if you need to make major plumbing or electrical changes.

2. When planning your budget, create a line item for eating out or takeout
It adds up! But it is worth the expense. Honestly.

3. Be practical
When changing flooring consider how slippery it is, how easy it is to clean and whether daily wear and tear will quickly damage it.

4. Use disposable plates, utensils and cups
You probably won't just be unable to use a dishwasher for an extended period of time, but you won't have a kitchen sink either.

5. Don't plan the kitchen remodel close to any important dates such as birthdays or holidays
You will create even more stress for you and your family if the remodel gets delayed. And in my experience, it always does.

- By Jeannette Kaplun

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Jeannette Kaplun is a Latina mom of 2, TV host, parenting author and blogger. She co-founded Todobebé and hosted the Viva la Familia TV show on Univision, but is now devoted to her newest bilingual venture Hispana Global. Born in El Paso, Texas, and raised in Chile, Jeannette is truly bilingual and bicultural and her work and parenting style reflects this influence.

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