Planning to give the space in your home a refresh? Finding temporary storage during your remodel is as important as picking the right tile or paint color.
After all, major projects can take months and can shut down rooms of your home. This is especially critical for a kitchen remodel. You have to find a place, after all, for everything from your cereal bowls to your fridge.
“Your home is not a home for a small period, or sometimes not so small period of time. It’s going to turn into a construction site. Would you want your personal belongings in a construction site,” says Tal Ben Zur, owner of L.A. Remodeling Co.
Our renovation experts have some super handy tips to help get you through your next modernization project and make your dream home come true!
Finding Temporary Storage in Your Home
Whether it's a kitchen or family room, usually all the items in the area being remodeled will have to be removed during the construction phase. Identify any space in your home, such as the garage or a spare room, where you can temporarily store those belongings.
“It’s not ideal for us to be moving stuff around,” Ben Zur said. “We love it when people say the movers are going to come and put everything away.”
For a no-fuss experience, you’ll want to ask yourself some key questions as you’re packing: Will you need any of the items in the near future or can they be kept in boxes during the length of the project. Items that you need to get regularly should stay within reach or remain visible. Less important items can go to the back of the stash.
Like most moves, the best thing to do is label each box so you know the contents and can quickly retrieve items in a moment's notice.
In some cases, like with a kitchen remodel, you’ll also need to find space for newly purchased large items such as appliances or cabinets.
If that’s you, Clement suggests you put the new cabinetry in a climate controlled area until it’s installed.
“Outside is a disaster,” he said. “Generally, in a kitchen or bath remodel it is in the homeowner’s best interest to set aside the use of an adjacent space — you want to make it so the contractor is close to their work.”
Staging a Food Prep Area
Kitchen remodels are of course especially disruptive and require extra storage space and planning. And you want to make sure you’re able to eat and function even with the many unforeseen delays in construction.
“A kitchen remodel is a many-months long process and it starts when you’ve decided to go ahead and hire a designer,” says Mark Clement, a Pennsylvania contractor and half of the married DIY duo behind My Fix it up Life website. It can end with a fantastic space that makes it all seem worth it, but the journey requires a lot of storage moxie on the part of the homeowners.
Clement suggests using your basement or your outdoor space such as a garage as temporary storage for a kitchen. The key to making it work will be access to water, he said.
“I’ve seen and been someone who’s washed dishes in a tub,” Clement said as he chuckled.
But there's only so many times you want to get on your knees to use your tub to wash the dishes used for last night’s dinner.
Being on the east coast, where basements are common, Clement said his clients typically use this space for a temporary kitchen. All you need is a table, microwave, compact refrigerator (like ones in a college dormitory room), and enough space to prepare and eat your meals. You can also add a compact hotplate for a little more cooking space.
For those fortunate enough to have an outdoor living space, this becomes the ideal kitchen space (weather permitting). And of course there’s always delivery.
“It’s up to the person and their budget, there are a lot of ways to meet their lifestyle,” he said.
Going the Self Storage Route When You Remodel
If you're like most people, however, a room remodel like the one above, requires finding extra space you just don’t have. This is true especially if you want to use your garage to park your cars or for seasonal gear and more. Maybe you don’t have a spare room to spare.
Instead of living in tight quarters for months, Clement suggests you could instead find a self-storage unit.
“Nobody has an infinite amount of space,” Clement said. “If you’re able to move your things, a storage facility is a great place, especially if it’s climate controlled.”
In California, Ben Zur said garage conversions, upgrading them into a living spaces, are popular projects these days, but there’s a lot in most garages.
“People are converting their garages and that’s where all the clutter is. It’s a mess for most people,” he said. “That’s where temporary storage comes in handy.”
Public Storage has a ton of storage unit options to help you store your stuff during a remodel.
Try a Remodel Vacation
If you’d rather forgo a storage facility, Clement has another suggestion to help you stay sane during a remodel: go on vacation!
This option, he said, is probably only viable if you’re doing a minor room or bathroom renovation that’ll take a week or less.
Clement recalls the time he helped a family redo their son's bedroom. Everything had to be taken out of the room while he custom built bunk beds.
”Every square outside that room was jammed packed with stuff,” he shared. “But we planned it so that I did all the stuff while they were out on vacation.”
While this project was painless for the family, Clement says you may need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
“When you stop using a bedroom, whatever you put in that extra storage room is pretty torpedoed, and there’s no extra place to do stuff,” he said.
If a kitchen remodel is in your future, consider these tips for storing your refrigerator. We also have expert renovation tips to help you prepare for the big construction project ahead.