The Ultimate Guide to Survive Your Kitchen Remodel

By: Rachael Boyer

Jul 4, 2022

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You know that doing a kitchen remodel in Fargo, ND is the best investment you can make in your home.

You also know that a beautifully designed kitchen provides a significantly better living, entertaining, and cooking experience.

Whether you are doing a kitchen remodel in anticipation of selling your home or you just decided that now is the time to have the kitchen of your dreams, you know that it’s going to be  worth it.

The problem is…

A proper kitchen remodel takes time and careful planning to get a return on investment and not pull your hair out during the process.

Having a kitchen that is out of commission during a remodel project can seem daunting, even downright frightening.

It doesn’t have to be that way…

In this post, we’ve put together 8 simple tips to allow you to not just survive the kitchen remodel process – but thrive!

Follow along as we walk through a series of suggestions for embracing the kitchen remodel experience…

…even during a notoriously freezing Fargo, ND winter!

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1. Understand the Process

Before the remodel even begins, take the time to interview various contractors
and find someone that will work with you to bring your kitchen remodel vision to
life. Make sure that the contractor you choose is licensed, upfront about pricing,
provides an actual cost breakdown so you can see exactly where your money is
going, and will share with you a calendar or plan of attack for the entirety of the

Too often there is an ambiguous end date provided for remodel projects, leaving
you in the dark as to how exactly the contracting team intends to complete the
renovation within that time frame. Asking for a clear snapshot of the steps of your
kitchen remodel is not an overstep - it is a necessity. When you are living in your
home while the renovation work is being done, you need to have an idea as to
when certain steps will take place. For example, if the kitchen cabinet boxes are
being refinished and sprayed, you will most likely need a plan to have dinner out
that night due to the smell that can be present. If you are kept in the dark as to
when these steps take place, it creates unnecessary stress and scrambling in the

Something to ask contractors during the interview and estimating process is
whether or not they use a construction management software that can be shared
with you. Some remodel companies will utilize incredibly useful tools, like these
software options, that allow you to communicate with your contractor directly,
approve any change orders, see your finish selections, and follow along with a
shared calendar. If a contractor tells you they “have their own process” or that a
detailed plan is unnecessary - this should definitely be considered a major red flag.

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2. Be Prepared by Getting Organized

Nobody likes the feeling of frantically trying to accomplish a task. Getting your
kitchen packed up prior to a remodel will absolutely take longer than you think.
This is not a “I’ll just toss everything in some boxes” type of a situation. Take this
opportunity to organize things into respective boxes - packing away things you
know for sure you will want, keeping things you want to sort through in another
set of boxes, and setting aside anything you will need for your makeshift kitchen
during the remodel. Because everything is sure to be moved/shifted multiple
times, you will want to take care when packing anything fragile. By setting
aside an appropriate window of time for packing, you will alleviate stress and
start your remodel off on the right foot.

Do you have a mini fridge or portable stove? These are two items - along with a
toaster oven - you will want to have set aside for your temporary kitchen. If you
don’t have these items already, look into borrowing them from a family member
or friend - or consider purchasing them, as these will be your primary appliances
for a few weeks. By planning for this ahead of time, you can borrow or find
budget-friendly options and have them set and ready from day one of the

Set some funds aside for take-out meals or eating out. When you are craving
something you can’t make at home, or just need a change of scenery for a meal,
planning out this budget ahead of time will allow to enjoy these take-out or eat-
out options without guilt/stress that you are spending too much on food.

3. Create A Construction-Free Zone

You will absolutely want, and even need, a remodel haven. Have a section of
your home that is tool-free and untouched by anything dealing with the
renovation. Creating this space will allow you to retreat from the construction
chaos and relax - still feeling at home even in the midst of a major kitchen
remodel. Giving yourself and your family a place to take a breath and relax is key
to living at home during the process, and provides a sense of normalcy.

Critical to the success of this haven is ensuring everyone on the team is aware
that this room is off limits. No tools, no jackets, no nothing. By keeping the entire
team on the same page, you don’t have to wonder when someone will pop in or
whether or not you will come home to a pile of stuff in your designated sanctuary.

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4. Set up your Makeshift Kitchen and Dining Area

Part of this remodel-free area should house your mini fridge/coffee
maker/portable stove/etc. Having these items set up and ready to go from day
one of the renovation will make the transition from normal kitchen to tiny kitchen
as natural as possible. Whether your morning coffee or nighttime tea is a
necessity, having the tools you need to keep up the status quo for these habits
will alleviate last-minute panic as to how to make it work. Knowing ahead of time
how much space you’ll have in the fridge, or what meals you’ll be capable of
making will help with planning for stocking your temporary pantry. We’ve said it
over and over again, but it’s just that important - planning before the remodel
starts is key!

Not only will you want an area to store and prepare your food, you’ll also want a
spot to eat as a family. Whether you decide to use TV trays or a folding table,
make sure there is a comfortable spot for everyone to come together and enjoy
each other’s company. These trays or folding tables can double as food prep
space too - giving you a little more flexibility in your temporary kitchen.

Take this space to the next level with little touches of normalcy - like a tablecloth
over that folding table or putting your typical centerpiece on whatever surface you
are using to eat at. Soak in the fact that this is your new living space for a handful
of weeks, and plan to make it feel as normal and home-y as possible.

5. Have a Designated Meal Plan

If you are not in the habit of meal planning, now would be the time to give it a
shot. With limited storage space for both refrigerated and pantry staples, you’ll
want your trips to the grocery store to follow a plan vs. a free for all. Chances are
you will be visiting the store more often, as you won’t be able to bulk-buy produce
or other perishables. Have the family help create this meal plan to make sure
everyone is happy with the choices, aim to avoid messy or overly extravagant

Think about what can be done for quick and easy breakfasts and lunches that
require little to no prep - and try to buy exactly what you need for each meal as
the space to store leftovers will be next to nothing.

Grilling can be a great option in the warmer temps, and you can carry your dining
space to the backyard if that option is available to you. However, remodel
projects are not planned around the weather, and for timing or budgeting reasons
sometimes these renovations fall in the freezing temps of winter. Fargo,
Moorhead, and West Fargo can experience weeks of negative temps, clearly
negating the potential for an outdoor barbeque. This is not a problem - as plenty
can be accomplished indoors in a toaster oven and on a portable stove top.

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6. Always Clean Up

Clutter and smells will be your worst enemy when confined to smaller spaces.
When you are washing dishes in the bathtub or bathroom sink, there really isn’t
an option to leave those dishes until tomorrow. Cleaning up right after meals will
keep your space organized and will also eliminate lingering odors in what will
more than likely be a multi-use space. Putting everything away in a designated
place is also key to maintaining sanity, allowing the room to feel bigger than it is.

Make sure you have set aside all necessary cleaning supplies when packing up
the kitchen and prepping your temporary spaces, keeping them in an easily
accessible spot for any of the quick cleanup jobs you’ll have.

7. Take this Opportunity to Declutter

Now that you’ve minimized your kitchen tools, and are creating meals with a
pared-back set of options, think about what you truly need for moving back into
your remodeled kitchen. Thanks to giving yourself plenty of time to pack up the
kitchen, you can go through those designated boxes and determine what you
want to keep and what you can give away. Are those seven spatulas really
necessary? How often do you actually use two cheese graters? Moving into a
fresh, new kitchen with the essentials will prevent over-cluttering your remodeled

Take a page out of Marie Kondo’s book and ask yourself, “Does this item spark
joy?” After going through a physical transformation of your kitchen, allow yourself
to reevaluate what you use in that space and transform its contents along with
everything else.

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8. Make it Fun!

Instead of treating your remodel like a dreaded endeavor, look at it as an
adventure! If there are kids involved, frame the experience as an indoor camping
trip. Entering into the remodel process with a positive mindset will work wonders
in taking on any hiccups, moving through stress with ease, and truly enjoying the

Know and prepare yourself for the fact that some days will be tougher than
others, and plan for fun outings/events when those times arise. Purchase some
movie ticket gift cards, go ice skating in the winter or for a day hike in the
summer, plan some visits to family or friends - create a safety net of activities
before the remodel even starts.

Have an exciting time following along with the process of your kitchen’s
transformation from the inside! You’ll be able to see first hand what the
countertops look like when they are installed, watch your appliances be
delivered, check out the light fixture from the moment it is hung - etc., etc. Look
forward to each piece of the renovation, and take pictures of the process so you
can see the progression from start to final transformation. When you work with a
contractor who is transparent about how they operate, and who you can
subsequently trust, you are able to embrace the process and love the result.

We hope this list provides assistance in planning for your kitchen renovation, and reassurance
that the process can truly be an enjoyable one! Are you ready to get started with your kitchen
remodel? Follow this link to fill out our remodel form, and we will get back to your within 24
hours to start the conversation!

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