Andrea did almost all of the prep for the kitchen reno, including packing up most of the kitchen and moving boxes to the guest bedroom upstairs. Some of my absence was pure laziness, some of it was avoiding fighting about what went where and keeping my stress levels down, some of it was I wanted one of us to know where everything was so we wouldn’t be doing the dance of “where did she or he put that?”, and some of it was ownership…the basement reno was mostly about me, whereas the kitchen design and renovation was more driven by her frustrations than mine. I had a couple of issues, and I certainly had views during the design, but I wanted her to feel like the renovation was her baby. Plus she would be home for some of it, which would help with “ownership”. Other preparations though required getting the non-kitchen area ready.
I confess that going into the kitchen reno, I didn’t understand the full scope of the disruption. I thought our disruption would be mostly limited to just the kitchen and part of the family room. But having had the experience of drywall dust everywhere in the basement, and even with the dust barrier that was going to go around the kitchen during the reno, we moved everything into corners on the first floor and covered them with drop cloths.
For Jacob’s playroom, aka the family room, that meant taking all the toys and shelves, putting them at the far end of the room, and covering them with tarps. We also moved the kitchen table + fridge + microwave into the area, before the dust barrier went up — this made the room our interim kitchen for the duration of the reno. If you remember, we were only going to be 2-3 weeks for the reno, so Jacob could do without his setup for that time, and we’d mostly be limited to disruption for breakfast and making lunches as we would eat out some of the time and BBQ the rest. Fourteen to seventeen days, no problem.
As an example of my cluelessness about the level of disruption, I had never thought about our front room being particularly disrupted. I still thought, to the extent I thought of it as all, as being a bit crowded but mostly functional. As you can see from the cover-ups and even just the placement of everything, it would not have been even remotely usable during the renovation.