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One of your client’s biggest home investments is in a new kitchen. So how do you make this process EASY for your client, so they will love you forever?

It’s not just about throwing everything in boxes. It is about the mental preparation for a remodel as well as determining what to do with all the stuff they have now! Yep, that includes dealing with all of the stuff that should have been donated or thrown away years ago.

Mental Preparation

The first thing to do, is get your client mentally prepared. Yes, they are so excited for the new tile and the awesome new faucet, but it takes some work before the new kitchen appears! Plan to do walk through with your clients several weeks before demo begins. If you do this with your clients, they will forever be in your debt! Why? Because you are helping them AVOID the overwhelm.

When you walk through the kitchen and let them know that they will have to start packing up, remind them that this is a means to an end. The end just happens to be a gorgeous kitchen!! During the walkthrough, provide them with steps to break down the packing up process and this will ease their anxiety!

Gather Packing Supplies

Supplies needed:

  • Boxes or reusable storage bins (I like plastic bins that I can later use for bookkeeping purposes)
  • Remember special boxes for wrapping glassware and china- and art boxes if you are wrapping up any existing art
  • Packing material
    • Paper
    • Bubble wrap
    • Packing tape- in a couple of colors (one color/room)
    • Quart and gallon size clear plastic storage bags
    • Sharpies- in a few colors (colors for different parts of the kitchen)
  • Code for the pen colors (Sounds crazy, but it HELPS!!)

I use clear tubs from the Container Store (Image from the Container Store)

Before Packing Everything Up

Be sure to have your client set aside items used every day. If they are trying to set up a temporary kitchen, remind them that they are not going to be a gourmet cook for a while! They will be going out a lot because they can’t face the mess, BUT make sure you they have all the important things. Place all of the smaller items below in their own zip lock bag to keep them dust free, then box them with the larger items:

  • Coffee maker and coffee is number ONE!! Unless you are a tea person. Then, you can get your tea kettle:)
  • A few pots (only if you have a hot plate)
  • Rice cooker that can cook a number of things (They are easy to clean!)
  • Utensils
  • Can opener
  • Some like their own plates, bowls and utensils, but it’s very hard to wash them, so others prefer disposable plates, bowls and utensils
  • Dishwashing items
    • Soap
    • Sponge
  • Foil and plastic wrap for leftovers
  • Trash bags

Packing Time

Two weeks before the remodel begins, remind your client that the “exciting” remodel is about to start! At this point, they may be running short on time and patience. I tell people to hire a packer and a mover, if their budget allows. It may seem a waste of money at the time, but I have broken so many things when I pack myself. It saves time and sanity.

If they pack up themselves, which most people do, remind them to have the specialty boxes for glassware, art and wardrobes. Again, it may seem like a waste of money, but when the boxes are stacked up, dropped or knocked over, they will be happy they went the extra mile. Glassware, plates, platters, art, pottery should all be wrapped with multiple papers or bubble wrap.

For food items, label the box by category, like pantry items, baking, spices. Oils spill and break. I really don’t recommend packing that up:) Tell your clients to double check the tops to make sure they are on tightly!

Cookbooks should go in smaller boxes because they get heavy really fast!


  1. Seal the box with a colored tape (one color for part of the kitchen)- or colored pen.
  2. Label the box in two locations- one at the side and on top with a location and a number
  3. Write each number down by location, so you know how many boxes you have. An example would be “#3-PANTRY-soup cans”

What about all of the “stuff” they don’t want any more? This is the time when they should be encouraged to declutter! Don’t wait until the job is completed. It will be even more overwhelming!

Have them place the items they don’t want in two categories:

  1. Donation
  2. Trash

What about window treatments?

For window treatments, encourage them to take them down and bring them to a dry cleaner. They will clean them, press them and keep them in a bag until you need to install them again.

What about art?

Should you remember where the art is hung?  If you want to put everything back in the same position, take a picture of the room for later. I never do this, because I like to move art around- AND, their kitchen is NEW, right?

  1. Remove from the wall
  2. Dust the frame
  3. Wrap it in paper (bubble wrap, if needed)
  4. Pull out the nail and hook and place them in a Ziploc bag (Some hooks and nails you can’t use again, so throw those out)
  5. Tape the plastic bag with hooks on a glass-framed image- and mark the box!

If you are wondering why I recommend removing art and window treatments- just know that whatever is left in a house can get damaged and dirty even if the room is taped off. Trades are always peeking behind plastic curtains (walled-off areas) because they need to access electrical outlets or to get measurements. Also, dust remains even after the trades are gone! The fine particles keep flying around even after a deep clean, so take precautions.

Be sure they unplug electronics and pack them up. Have your clients do surrounding spaces too, because a remodel scope often changes once the work has started. You may include something you weren’t planning on because there are workers at the house and your clients wants to get it done while they can.

There you have it! Hopefully, this plan of action will help alleviate any stress or anxiety your client may be having. Yes, it is work, but purposeful work- with a GORGEOUS NEW KITCHEN- is always is a bit easier:)

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If anyone has some other great tips, please add them in the comments below!



PS. Don’t forget to help your clients out with the Guide to Help Your Clients Organize for a Kitchen Remodel!

Click Here to Download the Kitchen Remodel Schedule