On the 5th of June this year, I moved from Bremen to Braunschweig. After living for five years in Bremen, my emotions were flying high. I especially felt anxious because I was moving into an apartment without a kitchen and I kept wondering how I would manage. (it is customary in Germany to buy your kitchen when you move into a new apartment)
In addition to having no kitchen ie. the kitchen cabinets, stove, oven and sink, I didn’t have any electric appliances either. The situation was quite tough. Nigel and I had planned our kitchen layout online and the delivery date was set to be in 3 weeks. In reality, though, it took longer as the supplier kept on postponing our kitchen delivery. In the end, we had to reconfigure our kitchen with another company and the kitchen was finally delivered on the 22nd of July 2021, so I went 6 weeks without a proper kitchen!!
Setting Up a Temporary Kitchen
The first thing I did was set up a temporary kitchen, it was nothing fancy but it’s a necessity that I was so grateful to have. One mistake I made was setting it up after I started unpacking. That was not a great idea because the last thing I wanted to do after a long day of moving was organize a temporary kitchen and figure out where everything had been packed.
Keep Boxes Accessible
But regardless of how much I planned, I was bound to forget a few items that you will need over the next couple of weeks. So I made sure to keep the boxes where I packed kitchen items accessible for last-minute items.
I knew ordering out every day wouldn’t be an option since 3 weeks is a long time. So I created a meal plan based on the timeline. The meal plan was pretty detailed on what I was eating each day. I couldn’t buy fresh food and keep it for long so usually my meals were either canned, tinned, dried and occasionally fresh food which I could finish within a day or 2. I ended up buying a single plate stove for cooking and warming up food. (I used my meal plan template, you can read the post here)
The days I decided to eat warm food were the hardest. Because I had no access to a kitchen sink. I used to wash my dishes in the bathroom but I made sure that I had a drain blocker to avoid food going down the drain. Trust me, the last thing I wanted in addition to having no kitchen was to get the pipes blocked and need a plumber to check it out. I often used disposable dishes to avoid the huge wash-up, but of course, I still had to wash pots.
Gift Cards and Coupons
Now for the times, I didn’t eat at home, I tried choosing places that I had gift cards or coupons for. This way I wasn’t breaking the bank, yet still had the opportunity to eat out.
Using the Too Good to Go App, I could order surplus food from restaurants and shops. All I had to was choose a restaurant or store, then order a “magic bag” of surplus food at a reduced price and then collect it from the store.
Embrace the chaos
Living without a kitchen and living through a renovation is a HOT MESS and can quickly become extra stressful if you don’t embrace the chaos, the mess and everything else that comes along. I kept telling myself that it will be worth it in the end and this is just temporary. And if I’m being even more honest with myself, this was such a “first world problem”. I had ZERO room to complain. I lived like that because I was getting a new kitchen How is that anything to be stressed about?! Perspective is everything…