5 Things You Shouldn’t Pack During a Renovation


27 Apr 5 Things You Shouldn’t Pack During a Renovation

The past few weeks have been slow going. Why? Well, let’s for a moment say my contractor didn’t get a not-so-healthy dose of the Norwalk virus. And let’s say he didn’t recover only to be called to jury duty. Let’s just pretend everyone was healthy and present. Things have slowed because of the curse of the crown molding.

Even with the nice, newly installed, straight-as-an-arrow ceilings this job took the better half of a week. You see, the walls are still wonky as all get out. And this architectural challenge stretches what should be a one-day job into a multi-day nightmare. Each piece had to be finessed by hand.

I’d have curled into a ball and wedged myself into the corner of the dumpster if faced with this. But these guys are master carpenters and seemed to enjoy the challenge. And the results are worth the wait.

In the meantime, my stove remains in a box and my mother is still generously allowing me full use of her kitchen. Four weeks into what I thought would be a whirlwind reno, I realize that my zeal to pack up my cupboards clouded my judgment. More than once, I’ve rummaged through this, for a much needed item.

And inevitably, that item hid in a box at the bottom of the stack or in the furthest corner. Why? Because Murphy never gets sick or called to jury duty.

If you ever find yourself thinking, “We’ll just knock down a wall and move the stove. How hard can it be?” do no pack everything. Especially these:

  1. Your good knives: Enough said.
  2. Your barbecue utensils: A gas grill and have a full tank of propane isn’t enough. At some point you have to flip the food.
  3. Your spice grinder: You tell yourself you will simply use pre-ground spices. But when the craving for Indian-roasted cauliflower hits, you will find yourself creating a makeshift mortar and pestle with an antique wooden potato masher and a pottery bowl.
  4. Your spices: You will tell yourself that along with the pre-ground spices, you will pick up a few essential herbs to get by on. Immediately upon being packed away, all herbs, spices and seasonings  become essential.
  5. Your coffee system: You will last two days on pre-ground coffee brewed in a Mr Coffee maker.

If my mother didn’t have a microplane and really good oven mitts, the list would be longer. What kitchen item can’t you live without?

  • Barb
    Posted at 11:18h, 27 April Reply

    Just this: I hear ya, sister. Especially about the coffee…that stayed out when we reno’d. What did I pack that I wish I hadn’t? Hm…Too long ago now for me to recall. How sad is that…but suffice it to say that I very likely packed my bbq tools, as well.

    If you had just called, I totally would have advised you on that coffee maker, though.


    .-= Barb´s last blog ..The Great Mocha Almond Angel Food Cake Off/ December 3, 2007 =-.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 13:12h, 30 April Reply

      @Barb, yup. I hauled out my old system after a short time. I’m just no good without my morning latte. I should know this, but the reno has affected my ability to think clearly.

  • Lisa MacColl
    Posted at 15:28h, 27 April Reply

    My occasional coffee drinking mother once helped me pack my apt. She packed my coffeemaker, and didn’t label it. Now Charmian, you know I love my java. I had a very ugly few days until I found the right box. Next time I moved, the coffeemaker went into the backseat of the car.

    I couldn’t live without my really long oven mitts that let me take things out of the oven without burning my lower arms, my Pampered Chef chopper, my good pots and knives and a mug for coffee. Oh wait, better make that 2 mugs. Hubby needs his coffee too. I’d also need my coffee, my good tea and tea strainer and a microwave pot to heat the disgusting Alphaghetti that my 5 year old would live on. Better keep the kettle out too.

    See, this is why I can’t renovate. I couldn’t pack anything away long enough to do it.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 13:14h, 30 April Reply

      @Lisa MacColl, oh the oven mitts. My mom has great oven mitts and I’m coveting them. Mine stink. They will not get unpacked and if my Mom’s go missing? Well, don’t blame me.

      And believe me, I will not be renovating anything again for a very, very, very long time. Unless I win the lottery and can be traveling in Europe during the whole ordeal.

  • Maggie
    Posted at 17:27h, 27 April Reply

    Don’t pack up your sense of the ridiculous and keep your sense of humour within grasp.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 13:15h, 30 April Reply

      @Maggie, well put. These two things are necessary in all of life, not just renovations. I think I’ll print this out and post it on my monitor!

  • Robin Smart
    Posted at 19:08h, 27 April Reply

    Dear Charmian,
    I’m with you on the knives. I even take mine on vacation. I can live with all the other crappy stuff in the “furnished” cottage, but not without a really good sharp knife. If you don’t pack the wine everything else fades inyo a haze of “it just doesn’t matter”.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 13:17h, 30 April Reply

      @Robin Smart, the wine is within easy reach. Always. The corkscrew? Not so much. Dang!

      Fortunately, some are screw caps and I know plenty of people who can arrive with a corkscrew for the low, low price of a glass of wine.

  • Walter Helena Photography
    Posted at 03:08h, 28 April Reply

    What a lovely blog; thank you for sharing!

    If you’d like, please stop by my blog for a chance to win a fine art photographic giclee print…by me :)

  • Cheryl
    Posted at 14:36h, 03 May Reply

    I couldn’t live without my wooden cutting board. I hate, hate HATE plastic boards, and those flimsy plastic “sheets” make me pull out my hair.

    For what it’s worth, I think I can smell the end of your renovation. Hang on a little while longer. Your beautiful new kitchen is just…around…the…bend.
    .-= Cheryl´s last blog ..Petticoats =-.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 12:16h, 04 May Reply

      @Cheryl, you can smell the end of my renovation? Are you sure you aren’t just getting a whiff of my ever-increasing panic? Some people say you can smell fear. And I’m getting quite anxious at the thought that I’ll never see my living room again.

      That said, I’m with you on a good wooden chopping board. I swear, plastic grabs at the blade. And those sheets? Don’t get me started!

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