How I Survived My Kitchen Renovation

First of all, it’s not over. The kitchen renovation isn’t yet done, so the jury is out on whether or not I will actually survive.

A little over two months ago, with the help of a dozen friends, I demoed out the entire kitchen. All of the flooring and cabinets and part of one wall. I literally … voluntarily … put my entire kitchen out on my curb. Then the panic sank in. WHAT. HAVE. I. DONE.

Well, roughly 65 days later, I have gained about 8 pounds, inhaled more dust and paint fumes than I care to mention, and have spent almost as much money eating out as I have on cabinets. Ok, ok, that might be a slight exaggeration. And I’m sure you’re thinking, “as long as you have a plan it doesn’t have to be so bad, right?” HA

I had a plan. I had a GREAT plan. I had a budget friendly plan. That went out the window about a week in to the debacle when I wanted to avoid my house and all of the chaos therein. In hindsight, here are some tips I have for surviving life without a kitchen for a pro-longed period of time:

Paper products

This isn’t just paper towels and paper plates. I’m talking utensils, coffee cups, solo cups, everything. I washed so many utensils and mugs in my BATHTUB. I don’t want you to fall the same trap. Laying your mugs out to dry on your bathroom countertops, cause ya know you don’t have kitchen countertops or cabinets, is just kinda gross. 

Microwavable meals +  frozen veggies

There really is almost no way to prepare fresh food without so much as a counter top to put a cutting board on. Trader Joe’s freezer section will become your best friend. 

Pre-cut fruit

This is not a time to scoff at convenience. My son LOVES cantaloupe, but without a good way to cut it, the over priced pre-cut fruit it was! Hot tip, Whole Foods regularly puts their pre-cut fruit on special!!

The Instant Pot

Now, I can’t say I used this option a TON, but when I did it was heavenly. Warm, fresh dinner … WHAT?! I basically set up my tailgating folding table as a temporary work spot in my kitchen during the weeks that there wasn’t active construction.                                  


Let’s not fool ourselves. I went in with a plan. I’m sure you will to, but that plan needs a bit of grace. That grace looks like using your preferred food ordering app in a pinch. I can proudly say the day that my sink was installed, I deleted the Waitr app from my phone so as not to continue to abuse it; but it was a tool that kept me and my son fed many nights.

I’m still countertops, flooring, and a backsplash away from my dream kitchen. I’ve managed, though, to eat almost every meal in the house for almost a whole week now and it’s amazing.

Next up, I’ll attempt to lose all of the “convenience” weight gained since July. 

P.S. Never plan a kitchen remodel during bathing suit season…

Sarah Joy Hays is a native of Louisiana and graduate of LSU! She returned to Baton Rouge in 2015 after 6 years living and working in DC. She is a proud momma to an enthusiastic, red-haired toddler and is navigating all of this as a solo parent; fully relying on group texts with other moms, coffee, and Jesus. Sarah Joy, or SJ, has devoted much of her abundant spare time to the Moms on Campus, South Baton Rouge Presbyterian Church, and her newly founded Foundation that will focus on emergency disaster response. She claims to love to read, journal, and cook; but only manages one of the three out of daily necessity. SJ dreams of having a Target collaboration based on coffee mugs and dry shampoo one day… till then she will enjoy running her bakery CounterspaceBR and growing a consulting business!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here