Our frugal kitchen upgrade

I’ve been meaning to share with you my latest miracle, but today has been a tiring and stressful day so I’m afraid I won’t give it over with the enthusiasm it deserves.  But since this directly relates to my stressful day and the busyness in our house right now, I’d better explain!

Since we’ve moved in to our apartment here, I’ve had it in mind that I’d like to put in new kitchen cabinets.  The bottom cabinets are original to the apartment, and the top cabinets, though good quality, are a different color than the bottom cabinet and don’t fully use the wall space available.  Since my kitchen is functional though not beautiful, this hasn’t been a high priority.

When my husband left to the US ten weeks ago, I took the opportunity to get some things around the house taken care of.  My husband works really, really hard and it’s not relaxing for him to have a list of projects to work on when he gets home.  So I try not to even mention my thoughts about the things I’d like to do around the house!  I decided with him away it’s the perfect time to get some things taken care of.

One of these things was to see about improving the way space is used in my kitchen; I’ve been preparing for homeschooling by doing some things to make our home feel more homey and to make the space more efficient for our needs.  About two months ago I began scouring the internet looking for used kitchen cabinets.  As some of my long term readers know, we’ve done a lot of renovations in the past ourselves, including putting in a new kitchen in our house in the US.  When we did that, I bought a high quality used set of kitchen cabinets in excellent condition for a great price, and this is what I wanted to do now.  Of course, the savings aren’t just in buying the materials inexpensively, but in not having to pay for labor costs.

That was the snag with my scenario this time around.  My husband is in the US, my oldest son is in Jerusalem and doesn’t have vacation until mid-July, ds14 isn’t home until 7 pm most nights, and to top it all off, we don’t have any power tools.  But where there’s a will, there’s a way, so I kept looking and trusting that somehow we’d be able to upgrade our kitchen for a budget friendly price.

After a month of looking, I hit pay dirt!  I found a two year old kitchen, great quality, nice looking, being sold by the person who had just purchased the home that this kitchen was in – his wife wanted to renovate.  The price was good, he was willing to negotiate with me and was pleasant to deal with.  We set a date for me to come by to check it out in person, and then pushed it off for two more weeks because he wanted to wait until he was living in the house.

About fifteen hours before I was finally set to look at this kitchen, I got a call from a friend who is a real estate agent.  She just sold a home and the sellers want to give away the kitchen that is there because they’d like to put in a new kitchen.  Did I want it?  I thought it was unlikely the measurements and features would suit our needs but it was worth taking a look.  At 11 pm I headed over to check it out, and since there was a short with the electricity, was able to see it by the dim light of my cell phone’s flashlight.  Very surprisingly, the kitchen had all the features I was looking for, though it was a very different look than what I was intending.

There were removal costs for this set of cabinets that the first one didn’t have, but it would still be cheaper than buying them.  Not only that, it would leave money in the budget to pay others to do the labor, and this was a really appealing feature of this kitchen!  It was a decision in line with something I’ve been working on but haven’t had time to share with you, be being conscious and taking active steps to value my life energy and make life as simple as possible for myself!   So for the first time ever in our family, none of us will be more actively involved in the physical renovations.  Dd16, ds14 and I are all very happy about this, since we know from previous experience what’s involved in a kitchen renovation.  Hashem is so good to us!

Right now my kitchen is partially dismantled and my house is a disaster, stacked with all the kitchen cabinets, the contents of the previous cabinets in boxes all over, the old cabinets on my porch….There is a big snag that was discovered after they had begun putting the cabinets in that affects how the kitchen will be assembled and is requiring me to mentally be flexible and consider different possibilities than what I had painstakingly planned based on repeatedly working out the exact dimensions of the space involved.  So I’m going to go to sleep and hope that some amazing solution will come to me when I wake up and that the kitchen will look even better than I planned, since the alternative is to be really stressed out!  Somehow it’s all going to work out so I have to keep trusting the process and not get caught up in the pressures of the moment.


4 thoughts on “Our frugal kitchen upgrade

  1. Post pictures! Before the real estate market crashed in Seattle, I used to flip houses quite a bit. I was always scavenging, sanding, refinishing. I absolutely loved it. I’m planning to make Aliyah some time this year, to Tzefat, and will be following your blog closely. Say HI to Rabbi Schwartz for me! 😀

    1. I’m planning to post pictures – I was going to include them in this post but couldn’t find the camera! If you send me your last name, I’ll be happy to pass your regards on.

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