How long did it take you to pack up your kitchen?

lululemonFebruary 22, 2009

I know I am asking a lot of questions but I want everything to go smoothly (who doesn't) so when should I start packing? We haven't even completely finalized the cabinet layout yet - still getting in quotes on the layout I designed then there will probably be some tweaking.

Should I start packing seldom used items now? And where did you store it all? The basement and garage are out of the question. The basement is finished with only a small and very full furnace room for storage. It will also house our temp kitchen - all except the fridge which will live in the dining room on the main floor. Not very convenient but better than eating dust with all our meals - my cooking isn't that bad! The garage is also full - DH used it to store tools and things for his business. I was thinking of renting storage for a few months to get everything out of the way.

Let me know how creative you were - necessity is the mother of invention!

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I'm about 90% done and it's taken me and one strong man about 40 hours so far, but it also includes the dining room. The kitchen has been the main storage area of the house, so there were also mailing supplies, photographic gear, tools, a hammock and beach lounger, card chairs, etc. Some of the esoterica, and the more delicate or dust averse items have been scattered in way upstairs. The rest is going in the living room, which is, fortunately, very large and underfurnished. The temp kitchen is going in the large and also underfurnished entryway because there's nowhere else.

The first things to go were the stemware, and chargers, to under the quilt frame (no quilt) in the corner where they'll be safe. Then the company dishes, objets d'art, vases, old dishes, linens, camping supplies, candles and extra pots. At a certain point went the small appliances, cake pans, extra mugs and collanders, and basically anything that wouldn't be needed before demo because the kitchen had become too much of a wreckage to prepare anything fancy in. Most recently, the wine, and the flour, which, as I said on another thread, made it feel like it was really happening.

I've just carefully packed in that whole corner working out from the quilt frame. It's taken over part of the hearth, and the comestibles are on the other side of the room. There's a massage table set up in between, which has made a great packing station since my strong man was complaining about how heavy I was packing the boxes. But that's the extent of my creativity. Mostly, it's just be box it, toss it, or dump it upstairs. :)

Start soon. There's no time like the present. I'm finding that even though I thought I had all my choices made, as demo approaches things keep swivelling and I spend a lot of time running around looking at things, making new choices, meeting with the contractor, searching for answers online, etc. At least I'm not in a panic about packing.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 12:47AM
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It took me about 3-4 hours, but that's because it's a small kitchen and most of the stuff really didn't get "packed". We just moved the non-essential stuff into the guest room. The essential stuff got loaded onto the DR table and a bookshelf we placed there for just that purpose.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 1:00AM
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We just had our house tented. They brought us dozens of clear plastic bags to use for food storage. To me the bags made it so simple that I decided to keep the bags and use them for the kitchen remodel packing. Except for some fine china that I packed a few weeks ago, I waited til two days before the demolition and stored most in the plastic bags. The dr table has been pushed to one side of the room and has everyday china and glassware that we gently placed a sheet on top. Several drawers from the old kitchen are stacked with their contents next to the plastic bags. Under the kitchen sink items are all in an old laundry basket and placed in the garage. Several appliances are under the dr table. The fridge is being moved to the garage and I will unload/load that at the last minute. Demolition begins in the AM. I have moved a few things to a table in my MB like the coffeepot. I am hopefully having a kitchen in 3-4 weeks so was willing to use my den/dr space. Hope this helps give you a few ideas.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 1:30AM
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Since we have been incredibly slow in this DIY process, I packed slowly. I started with rarely used items. I also began the process of getting rid of items at the same time.

I used the linen closet, other closets, bedrooms (just dh and I now, although our son would come home every so often and experience the fun.)

We had a little pantry that was remaining so I kept the essentials in there.
If I had an empty spot somewhere, I stuck a box in it!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 6:04AM
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I am not really packing stuff just moving it. Only the crystal and china accessories were packed. The china is kep in special cases so they were just moved. I cleared basement shelves and am moving stuff down there slowly. Mostly stuff I rarely use. Although yesterday I needed my large lasagna pan (also freezing food to supplement my one burner cooking during renovation) so it was easy to retrieve. I only have weekends to work on this so I have been doing it for the last four weeks. All the non-essentials are in the basement and some of the extra food -- I have a good size pantry closet. It has been a good time to purge unused kitchen items as well.

I am waiting to hear from our contractor for the start date before I do the heavy lifting. That includes clearing furniture in the living room for the temp. kitchen and moving a table from my office to the living room for the kitchen. Closing and moving the dining table into the living room. I will take a few days off from work for that phase.

I find making a "to do" list and having inventories of some items helps. I inventory all of the food in the basement so I know what is there. Saving on food shopping right now.

My advice is to fill every nook and cranny of your house if you can before renting off site storage. It is way easier that way. Particularly if you discover you need something.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 6:27AM
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I started packing the day after we ordered the cabinets. Everything in top cabinets were packed up first, stuff that was seldom used. Then when I got the call that the cabinets had arrived and delivery date was confirmed, we packed up the rest. Moved essential stuff to temporary kitchen in family room.

I made packing easy by giving away all pots and pans except one good fry pan, and all dinnerware, except 2 coffee cups, 2 wine glasses. (All our pots and pans and dinnerware were hand me downs given to us after a house fire 35 yers ago) This made packing quite simple. After this was done, demoliton started and was complete when new cabinets arrived.

We are at the 85% done place which sure feels good, but being the impatient person I am, I want to be done NOW!! LOL!!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 6:37AM
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It took me about 3 hours. I didn't wrap up the plates and glass, though. They are being stored on our table (which is currently in our living room). Pots and pans didn't get boxed either. Food is in open Costo-style boxes (spices, sugar, etc).

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 7:31AM
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I culled through the kitchen stuff and made a run to the Salvation Army a week before demo started, but we didn't really pack up until the night before. We put most of it on the dining room table! (I couldn't really pack most of it away because I *need* it.)

Then, after the first day of demo, the contractor set up a couple of the old upper cabinets, without doors, on a buffet in the dining room. We put a lot of stuff back on the cabinets, and are using that as the temporary kitchen.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 8:10AM
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It took me probably 4-5 hours total, which includes some dismanteling of cabinet storage drawers,etc. I ended up putting most items in large rubbermaid containers and then putting them in the garage. A few overflow laundry baskets contained the rest. I first moved the stuff I was planning on needing downstairs to my temp kitchen (wet bar in basement.)

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 12:20PM
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It took about a day, working off and on. I put all china and crystal on the ping-pong table in the basement, everyday dishes, glasses and tupperware in DS's room (he's away at college), and bought a rolling six shelf metal rack at Costco for the office, where I stored pots, pans, blender, food processor, crockpot, etc... All boxed and canned food went into laundry baskets in DS's room. Some rarely used items such as the waffle iron were boxed and stored in the guest bath tub.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 1:07PM
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Too long!!! It seemed as though things came out of the woodwork. I would start packing ASAP. There is always the chance that the schedule will have to be modified and kitchen demo could come sooner than expected.

About 2 weeks prior to having to demo the kitchen I went through and packed up what I didn't think I would need (food and all other kitchen items). MY DH thought I was packing too early. There is no such thing as packing too early. This allowed me to use and live with that I thought I would need and adjust what I packed if I had to. I probably didn't pack enough, but with 2 young kids I didn't want to be stuck without.

I did pack all dishes and glasses and we are using plastic and paper. I am washing the plastic and recycling as much as I can. I didn't want to use "real" dishes and glasses b/c my temporary kitchen is in the basement and nothing will survive if it is dropped on the cement floor. I also have young children and wanted to eliminate as much breakage as possible. Don't forget under the sink (in my kitchen it was a black hole). I can't believe how much was back there. And most of that will have to be packed away (kept on-site in a plastic container), unless you are lucky enough to have a dishwasher in your temporary kitchen.

I suggest you go to your temporary kitchen location and set up as much as possible before hand. In my case, I have placed food items in the playroom and my sink, range (the construction crew ran a dedicated electrical line so I could move the range to the basement) and fridge is in the unfinished part of the basement/laundry room. I have a large, deep 2-basin utility tub. I purchased 4 plastic tubs (using two as bases for the remaining two where I wash in one and place cleaned dishes in the other). I also have a drying rack with telescopic ends that also fits over the rinsing part of the utility sink for dishes to dry. I had my DH place a drafting table across from the sink to use as a work surface. He will be setting up another for me today.

You will also need somewhere to store all your things. Since I have young children, it is a bit more of a challenge b/c they see the wooden spoon, colander, and the like as things to play with (I found a whisk in my bed).

The items we are not using have been packed in moving boxes and we rented two storage containers and put them in there. They delivered the storage containers to the house, we packed them and they were removed to a climate-controlled facility. We also had to empty our master bedroom and bathroom, dining room,TV room and breakfast room. We couldn't put it in the basement, since the construction crew needs access to the basement to run pipes for the new kitchen and bath, and to deal with the furnace and the HVAC issues. We used these containers when we put our last house on the market to de-personalize the house and it worked great.

What didn't I anticipate???

We are renovating above the unfinished basement/laundry room and we get dust and pieces of who-knows-what coming down through the exposed sub-flooring above. I have moved my work/prep area as far from where renovations are taking place above. I also keep everything covered.

Also bear in mind how many things you plug into which outlets. Between the construction needs upstairs and the electrical needs in my temporary kitchen I have had circuit breakers trip. If you can, try to figure out which electrical socket is on which circuit breaker and don't overload it with too many appliances.

Our basement is much cooler than the rest of the house so my DH went to Sears to purchase a ceramic heater (this led to the first circuit breaker tripping).

Now I only have one freezer (I used to have an old fridge, but it was sent to the dump to make room for the fridge brought down form the kitchen) and this has had more of an impact than I would have thought. Though it is a rather nippy 30 degrees outside so I guess I could just put some things outside......

Other Issues:
Do you have internet service and where is your router? We use wireless, however my router used to be connected to a wall that no longer exists. I had to have it relocated so I could continue to have internet service during renovation (the thought of being cut-off from GW was too much to bear...there also was that little issue of being able to pay bills). If it is located near where renovation is occurring, during construction the electrical to that router could have to be turned off and you will lose internet service.

Make sure your fridge is not on the same circuit breaker as any of the kitchen electrical sockets. If they need to turn off the electrical you will end up with ice cream soup. I don't know what type of fridge you have but you might want to check on the electrical requirements just to be safe.

Will you have adequate lighting in your temporary kitchen?

I am sure there is more. All I can say is that so far this experience will make me appreciate my new kitchen even more. I am beginning to fantasize about the first meal I will cook in my new kitchen....

Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 1:56PM
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WOW! What a range! I will definately start packing the seldom used stuff (does the stove count?) My current kitchen is small by this forums standards but the biggest I have ever had - just very poorly laid out.

I appreciate all the input from everyone. You have given me a lot to think about especially my temp kitchen setup. DH says he can "modify" an outlet in the dining room to accomodate the fridge - maybe I should ask more questions about that ...

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 6:37PM
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I started cleaning out 4 weeks before the demolition. Packing up baking pans, trays, casseroles, etc. Then boxes for everyday kitchen stuff that I know I can do without for 6-8 weeks. Then a week before I really got serious. I made a box of only those items I would absolutely need for the two of us: paper plates and cups, a few utencils, electric frying pan, toaster, microwave, coffee pot, 1 lg. mixing bowl. My best suggestion: Get those large supermarket reusable bags and put groceries in them--all similar items together. All of the bags are under our dining room table and buffet. I couldn't use our garage or basement either, so a lot of our stuff went into bedrooms we don't use.

All of our living room had to be emptied out too, because that is where the new cabinets are stored along with all the new appliances.

If you are dealing with plaster, get used to it it will be everywhere.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 7:37PM
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About a week...but we packed up the Kitchen, DR, PR, Foyer, and FR as all were affected. We had planned a structured 2-week pack-up but received a phone call 6 - 8 weeks early (on a Friday, as I recall) telling us that all our cabinets, etc. were in and that they planned to deliver them the following Monday...AND...could they demo the next day !!!!!! We allowed them to deliver that Monday, but told them there was no way we would be ready for demo that quickly and put them off for a week. So we rushed around packing! [We were supposed to start the end of February/early to mid-March....they called us mid-January!]

We rented a PODS for the duration (next day delivery, thank goodness!) and stored the vast majority of items there (furniture, boxes). Our garage was full of cabinets, appliances, etc. in one bay while the other bay was kept clear for work room as well as our "normal" trash, recycles, sports equipment, we had no room in the garage!

While only about half our basement is finished, we knew there was going to be a lot of work down there as we had major plumbing & HVAC moves/additions. (Not planned, but what occurred as well in that time frame was the complete replacement of all our water lines.) That meant nothing could really be packed there.

We only kept a couple of small pots & pans, MW-able pans/bowls, some Tupperware, prep items (tools/utensils/measuring cups/mixing bowls), and, very importantly, wine glasses, out and in our temporary kitchen (the FR). We also kept the MW & refrigerator and purchased a Toaster Oven & single hot plate. Oh, and the coffee maker...I had planned to provide coffee each day for the workers, but they declined saying they brought their own (ditto for offers of soda, water, etc.)

We used mostly paper & plastic to eat with/on throughout the remodel as we had no water on the first floor for several months...everything had to be taken to the upstairs bathrooms. (No utility/laundry sink either.)

Take note: Wine is an essential during the remodel process! It helps keep you sane!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 7:57PM
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This is all so helpful. Wasn't there a thread here some time ago about how folks set up their temporary kitchens? I can't seem to find it, but I think both lululemon and I would appreciate it. We start demo next month, after literally years of planning.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 8:03PM
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There's some information in the Kitchen Forum FAQs...

Here is a link that might be useful: How to Survive a Kitchen Remodel - The Temporary Kitchen

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 8:38PM
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That is exactly what I need! Thanks so much buehl.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 8:29PM
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