How to Set up a Temporary Kitchen When Renovating

How to Set up a Temporary Kitchen When Renovating

Learn how to set up a temporary kitchen in no time. With a bit of creativity, you can create a functional temporary kitchen during your kitchen renovation.

Pick a room for your temporary kitchen

Pick a room that could be used as your temporary kitchen. This could be a spare bedroom, laundry room or office. Remember it doesn't need to be perfect, as long as it has outlets and a window it will suffice. Close to a sink is a plus, bonus if there is a sink in this room. I used my spare bedroom which has a bathroom close by.

Declutter the space

packing boxes

Once selected, take the time to declutter the space. Although its tempting to throw everything in a box and move it to storage, don't. Take this as an opportunity to go through the items in the room. Decided what to keep, sell or donate. For example, I had a click and grow sitting in my spare bedroom. I knew I wasn't going to use it during the renovation so I sold it! When you transition the room back you'll be so thankful you did! And you'll have less stuff to store during the renovation.

Reuse and Thrift Kitchen Systems

Images are from except for the DIY kitchen island dresser which I took myself .

What do I mean by kitchen systems? I mean countertop space and storage for your temporary kitchen. Determine the minimum amount of countertop and storage space you'll need for your lifestyle. Then find items you can repurpose for your temporary kitchen.

If you are gutting your kitchen, use your old base cabinet(s). Or if this is not an option, buy a kitchen island or bar cart on Marketplace. If you need to be really thrifty use an old dresser and put laminate on top. Remember it doesn't need to be pretty, it needs to be functional.

To build our temporary kitchen I created two countertop spaces. I used an old base cabinet for cooking and prepping. Then I purchased a bar cart for a coffee station. By creating these separate areas I had enough room for my appliances and I've been able to keep the space clean.

Temporary Kitchen Appliances

appliances for temporary kitchen
Images are from

In order to make your temporary kitchen work you'll need appliances. Incorporate what you already own, but consider buying second hand if needed. First and foremost I'd suggest an induction hot plate. It heats up faster than my stove top and I can cook any meal that doesn't require an oven. Then adding in small appliances like a microwave, instant pot, air fryer, kettle or toaster oven.

Now maybe you're thinking what about the fridge? Well depending where your temporary kitchen is, it might be too much work to move your fridge there. And that is okay. Remember it doesn't need to be perfect. Purchasing a mini fridge is an option but its not enough space for most families. With that in mind, move the fridge as close to the temporary kitchen as possible, as long as its accessible it'll work.

Our temporary kitchen is on the second floor but our fridge is on the first. We moved our fridge to the front foyer away from the renovations. We decided we were willing to walk downstairs every time we need something from the fridge. But believe me I'm cannot wait for the day my fridge is in the same space as my stove.

Kitchen Utensils

If you're looking to reduce the amount of work you have to reduce a Cutlery utensils plate - to reduce dishes and clutter has one dinner set per person therefore one plate, cup, cutlery. Or if you'd rather switch to paper. For cooking utensils reduce it to the bare bones - one large spoon, ladle, spatula. One large bowl, strainer.

Create a Dish Washing System

Personally I've been using my bathroom sink with a folding table beside with a drying rack. If you'd feel more comfortable you can switch out your bathroom sink for an inexpensive laundry sink while you're renovating. You can use a Rubbermaid utility box to carry in dirty dishes to the sink.

How to Set up a temporary kitchen

How to Set up a temporary kitchen

Kitchen renovations are difficult but it can be alot easier if you set up a temporary kitchen!


Kitchen systems (Choose what fits based on what you have available and space)

  • Old Base cabinet(s)
  • Bar cart
  • Old/used kitchen island
  • DIY dresser with laminate on top
  • Folding table
  • Shelving unit

Kitchen Appliances (Add what is needed to fit your cooking style) I only have a few of the appliances mentioned

  • Induction hot plate (highly recommend)
  • Instant pot
  • Air fryer
  • Toaster oven
  • Toaster
  • Slow cooker
  • Kettle
  • Blender

Kitchen tools & dinnerware

  • 1 Pot
  • 1 Pan (cast iron is best) least amount of cleaning
  • Strainer
  • 1 Spatula
  • 1 Large spoon
  • One place setting per person (plate, cup, mug, utensils)

Dish washing system

  • Drying mat
  • Drying rack
  • Small folding table
  • Dish tools ( sponge, dish soap)
  • Laundry sink (some like to switch out bathroom sink while renovating, makes cleaning dishes easier)
  • Rubbermaid utility box - to carry dirty dishes from temporary kitchen to bathroom sink


  • Drill
  • Screw driver
  • Extension cord(s)


  1. Pick a room to be temporary kitchen
  2. Decutter the selected selected room
  3. Move in kitchen systems (base cabinet, bar cart, folding table, dresser with laminate on top, basic shelving unit etc)
  4. Move in appliances ( fridge - if possible, induction hot plate, instant pot, air fryer, coffee maker, microwave, toaster, toaster oven, etc)
  5. Add in dinnerware and utensils - one plate set per person, spatula, large spoon, strainer, large bowl
  6. Stock temporary kitchen with dry goods items.
  7. put all other kitchen items in storage while renovating.
  8. Create dish washing area - small folding table for drying - pick a spot it can be stored when not in use.

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

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