Staying Organized During a Remodel

One of the most common times we curate a temporary space for our clients is during a renovation. Whether it's in another home or simply another room, we know our clients’ daily routine will be disrupted for a couple months, and want to ensure the transition will be as seamless as possible. Caitlin Sirianni of NEAT Method Philadelphia is sharing all the details of how her team made this possible for a recent client. 

For this project, our client was undergoing an extensive kitchen remodel. While smaller cosmetic updates can take a few weeks, a full kitchen renovation can take anywhere from 3 to 5 months. Our client would be experiencing the latter, and, as an avid cook, we knew she wouldn’t survive on take-out and microwaveable meals for long. We started working with our client months prior to the remodel to edit and sort her existing kitchen and pantry. This allowed us to take detailed inventory—from serving ware to small appliances—and assess her needs. 

When demo was scheduled to start in November, it was time for the NEAT Philly Team to pack up the current kitchen and create a temporary one. Luckily, our client had an underutilized basement wet bar. Since we had previously organized her kitchen, we knew the top priorities. Besides the daily serving (plates, cups, silverware and disposables), we had to create zones for tea, lunch packing, small appliances, and food prep essentials. Everything else—think serving ware, large pots and pans, speciality baking, and more—was packed for storage. We ensured all boxes and totes were labeled clearly with detailed category lists and color-coded based on zone in case she wanted to find that specific mixing bowl. 

Down in the basement, our first step was to clear out the wet bar, which was previously used as extra storage for entertaining, barware, and paper products. Here's what we started with..

Once emptied, it was time to layout the temporary space. Our main goal was to prioritize function over aesthetics...our client’s dream kitchen was coming soon! We knew we’d have to use the countertops for small appliances and everyday items (yes, it’s ok to break the “clean countertops” rule when setting up a temporary solution). We left out the microwave, toaster oven, Nutribullet, instant pot, hot plate, crock with cooking utensils, and oil, salt and pepper, which left just enough working space.

Remember, function over aesthetics. We created zones for our client's top priorities — cooking, food prep, lunch packing, tea, and everyday serve. Take a look at the finished results!


This once under-loved wet bar is now the perfect temporary kitchen. Although, nothing beats the new kitchen on the way! 

Don't underestimate the importance of keeping your space functioning, even if it's only for a short amount of time. If you need help getting your temporary space set up, connect with your local NEAT team for details. 


the NEAT team


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