How to live without a kitchen (and kids)

Heyyyy, so as you know if you saw this update on our renovation, we’re at the stage where we have ripped out all of our kitchen! Gahh! How to live without a kitchen has been on the top of my google list for some time and the majority of advice is use your dining room (we’re getting rid of that…), use your downstairs w/c to wash pots (we’re getting rid of that…) or use your utility (we’re building one…). So what’s a girl to do with no kitchen, no dining room, no downstairs bathroom and no utility? Make do!

I’m not going to lie, this is the part of a renovation that filled me with dread – kitchens are literally the hub of the home, it’s where we do all the cooking, where the boys try to get away with kicking around a football, where I yell at them for tantrumming over homework… you get the picture. There is so much about a kitchen that we don’t even think of – washing our pots/loading the dishwasher, laundry, chopping food, feeding the dogs and the list goes on.

Anyway, rather than dwelling on what we can’t do, I have a list of what we can do and I’ve created a makeshift kitchen in my living room that I’m going to walk you through – you might find some things aren’t applicable to you, you might find some things work perfectly, but here is how we plan to survive without a kitchen for the next 2 months.

  • Clear a space for your kitchen area – look around the space that you do have and work out where would work to set up a “kitchen space”. Frankly, whereever it is, you’re probably going to feel like it’s a pain in the arse BUT it will make so much more sense to set up an “area” instead of having things everywhere.
  • You need a fridge – if you’re like us, then you will be getting rid of the fridge in the kitchen and replacing it with an integrated one… which is all well and dandy until you realise that you actually have to have somewhere to store food. We asked our kitchen suppliers to let us take the integrated fridge for mum’s annexe early and we now have it sat in our living room with allllll the food in there and the top part of it has become a unit.
  • Turn storage boxes into kitchen worktops – We have obviously had to empty a whole kitchen, which means a lot of storage boxes. We’ve been buying these and these ones from Asda, some have gone upstairs into bedrooms to live out of the way, others have gone into the corners of the living room that are free and then 3 that will be used the most have gone into the “kitchen space” next to the fridge. I have one filled with the kitchen things I know I use every day or will make life easier for me. These are: 3 kid’s plates, 3 kid’s bowls, 3 adult plates, ricer, grater, peeler, measuring cups, sieve, chopping boards, 2 microwaveable bowls, clingfilm and a measuring jug. I’ll come to explaining where we have put the utensils and cutlery in a mo but that could easily be in here.
  • Pantry boxes – in the other 2 boxes underneath the “I will use this every day” I have two boxes filled with pasta, biscuits, sauces, ketchup that we would use – everything that we would use frequently. I have a MAHOOSIVE spice cupboard which will be shared out between the annexe and home, so I have put the majority of spices in another corner of the room in a totally different box (which we’re actually using as a side table for the other sofa) but the herbs/spices we use all the time are in this box. Include things like sugar and extra tea bags/coffee here. Tins of beans etc are in the lowest box because they are heavy.
  • Pressure cookers are THE best thing ever – So when we started doing this I said to Adam that I was really worried about the kids (and us I guess!) living on crappy microwave meals – apart from the fact that they are often really bad for you, they are SO blinkin expensive. I didn’t feel like we could justify the cost of a restaurant or takeaway every night for 2 months, so I went with a pressure cooker. Initially I was going to stick with our slow cooker but my mum bought me a pressure cooker as a present and it is FAR better. I can cook anything in it – anything. Pasta, fajitas, stew, casserole, joints, curries – anything. It’s quicker than an oven, but doubles as one, the only thing I can’t really do is fry anything. We’ve put out pressure cooker on top of our microwave.
  • The Microwave is your BFF – next to the pressure cooker, I can’t encourage a microwave enough – whilst the stew is cooking in the pressure cooker, the potatoes and veg are all being sorted by the microwave. It’s fab! We’ve popped ours on top of our side table, and actually emptied the side table out to make way for other things…
  • Side tables are useful storage for dry foods – We have cleared out the side table in our little kitchen area and filled it with cereals, and the pull out draw is filled with utensils and cutlery. We kept out the potato masher, wooden spoons, tongs, whisk, apple corer, spatula and tin opener.
  • On top of the microwave… – we have the aforementioned pressure cooker, the tea/sugar/coffee canisters and salt & pepper pots.
  • Use the top of the fridge as a kitchen top too – we have a kettle, a chopping board for prepping some foods (sandwiches/making cuppas), kitchen roll and 3 cups. We also have the butter out on there but hopefully we can shift that into the fridge soon!
  • Canister for potatoes and onions/other veg that doesn’t need to be in the fridge has been brilliant too.

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