Browse this list of real-life renovation secrets that might just help you save time, money, and sanity during your own kitchen revamp.

By Real Simple
Updated August 22, 2016
Matthew Williams
Matthew Williams


“Order appliances, cabinets, faucets, and other new fixtures before the demo begins so that installation can start immediately after. Also, set up a mini kitchen with a microwave, toaster oven, mini fridge, and coffee maker—This will help you avoid eating take out for a month.” — M.S., via Facebook


“We installed a drawer beneath our kitchen sink as opposed to the standard cabinet. It’s a far more efficient use of space and very accessible—nothing gets lost in the back.” — R. N., via Facebook


“Instead of stripping the original hardwood floors in our kitchen, we just used a Minwax kit to clean and revive them. It saved us hours of time and so much money (The kit was only $8!).” — E. M., via Facebook


“Our neighbors installed secret drawers beneath their lower cupboards as opposed to the traditional baseboard toe kick.” — J.C., via Facebook


“You can never have too many electrical outlets—and they’re even better when they exist, but you don’t have to see them! We had extra outlets installed in the bottoms of our upper cabinets.” — K. S., via Facebook


“We expanded a broom closet by a few inches so we could add shelves for storing infrequently used small appliances along with baking sheets and cooling racks. We even added a light that turns on when the door opens.” — R. N., via Facebook


“It’s been 10 years since our renovation and I still tell people that the best choice we made was adding the counter-top button for the garbage disposal.” — D.C.A., via Facebook


“We installed a hard plumbed coffee maker so we never have to add water to it. It’s just like the water line that feeds to the fridge.” — L. K., via Facebook


“We chose 28-inch deep counters (a few inches deeper than standard) which allow us to keep things like the toaster and mixer out without them being in the way.” — R. N., via Facebook


“I was advised to hang a damp sheet in the doorway to keep the construction dust from spreading throughout the house.” — L. M. G., via Facebook


“We installed additional lighting mounted beneath the upper cabinets. It makes a huge difference in the overall ambiance—they are the first lights I turn on and last I turn off.” — C. W., via Facebook