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Tips for when living in someone else's space...

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Hi everyone! Long story short, my family is needing to stay with the in laws for about 6 weeks!! I'm having a hard time finding my groove with three different challenges...

1) NO COUNTER SPACE. It's a small space and there's NO counter space. Im taking... deep fryer and skillet sitting on top of the stove, the left portion of the counter is the cat dishes and bowls (3 cats..), the middle counter part is toaster, drying rack, cutting boards, and the right side is coffee maker, canisters (like for flour, sugar, e.t.c) and bread, buns. Even the kitchen table has stuff. Theres no room, like yesterday when I was making soup and cutting my veggies my board was half hanging over the sink. So this challenge is making healthy prep really hard cause of the limited space and my grossed-out-ness of 3 cats who are allowed on the counter. I brought my instant pot though here and I've been using it daily since I can saute and cook in it!! But my second challenge is...

2) no fridge space. I'm not exaggerating. Theres almost no spare room in there. It's full of jars, containers, drinks, and things I'm trying to stay away from. I'm used to making extra supper each night so I can have something healthy to eat the next day for lunch, I have an almost 2 year old and 7 month old so having HEALTHY meals I can reach for and just warm up is what I used to do... but now there is no space in the fridge. Same for having my healthy staples, like greek yogurt, cottage cheese, etc. I'll boil some eggs today to have on hand for the next few days but spaces is challenging. I'll need some pantry ideas for snacks and meals, like breakfast I'll try to stick to oatmeal but I'd love more ideas cause oatmeal for 6 weeks os craziness lol, and lunch I love tuna but what else?

Please dont tell me to move some stuff around in the kitchen because this isnt my space and I want to be a respectful house guest.. This is their space, not mine. I'm looking for food and prep tips please and thank you!

Replies

  • chazza55
    chazza55 Posts: 27 Member
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    Can’t say i have been in your situation but only thing i can think of would be to see if you could pick up a basic folding camping table to help with the prep. I got one for camping and it packs up to nothing. Maybe find a cheap half size fridge on eBay if you could house that in your area? You’ll be amazed how cheap it is to buy a 2nd hand fridge, then when you’re done you can resell on eBay barely costing you anything overall.

    Other than that i got nothing. Hope you figure it out.
  • SisterSueGetsFit
    SisterSueGetsFit Posts: 1,211 Member
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    I was also going to suggest buying a cheap, used "dorm sized" fridge. You could keep it in the garage or possibly your sleeping space. I'm sure you can pick one up on Facebook marketplace or Craigslist for less than $50. Counter space is trickier. Maybe just move things while you're chopping/cutting and then move it back. Good luck.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 28,032 Member
    edited February 2020
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    Hi everyone! Long story short, my family is needing to stay with the in laws for about 6 weeks!! I'm having a hard time finding my groove with three different challenges...

    1) NO COUNTER SPACE. It's a small space and there's NO counter space. Im taking... deep fryer and skillet sitting on top of the stove, the left portion of the counter is the cat dishes and bowls (3 cats..), the middle counter part is toaster, drying rack, cutting boards, and the right side is coffee maker, canisters (like for flour, sugar, e.t.c) and bread, buns. Even the kitchen table has stuff. Theres no room, like yesterday when I was making soup and cutting my veggies my board was half hanging over the sink. So this challenge is making healthy prep really hard cause of the limited space and my grossed-out-ness of 3 cats who are allowed on the counter. I brought my instant pot though here and I've been using it daily since I can saute and cook in it!! But my second challenge is...

    2) no fridge space. I'm not exaggerating. Theres almost no spare room in there. It's full of jars, containers, drinks, and things I'm trying to stay away from. I'm used to making extra supper each night so I can have something healthy to eat the next day for lunch, I have an almost 2 year old and 7 month old so having HEALTHY meals I can reach for and just warm up is what I used to do... but now there is no space in the fridge. Same for having my healthy staples, like greek yogurt, cottage cheese, etc. I'll boil some eggs today to have on hand for the next few days but spaces is challenging. I'll need some pantry ideas for snacks and meals, like breakfast I'll try to stick to oatmeal but I'd love more ideas cause oatmeal for 6 weeks os craziness lol, and lunch I love tuna but what else?

    Please dont tell me to move some stuff around in the kitchen because this isnt my space and I want to be a respectful house guest.. This is their space, not mine. I'm looking for food and prep tips please and thank you!

    When I moved in with my mom for a few months she cleared lots of space for me. I helped. I understand the dynamic with in-laws is different, but it is respectful to say, "Can we work together to make more room in the kitchen and frig?" The gracious thing for them to do would be to do that.

    Plus, if theirs is a normal cluttered frig, there are probably lots of items in there overdue to be tossed out. You can help read expiration dates on labels.

    If not, do get a mini frig and possibly freezer. (Note: the freezers in dorm frigs are pretty useless - I'd get a dedicated frig, and if you need freezer space, a dedicated freezer.

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  • tcunbeliever
    tcunbeliever Posts: 8,219 Member
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    Amazon or a local Dollar General or Wal-Mart or whatever...folding camping style tables are cheap, I got my beach ones for $10...which to be fair are small like side-table sized and you may need something bigger...and a cooler...and some $1 freezer packs...assuming you have freezer room available, you can just buy twice the freezer packs you need and rotate them from your cooler to their freezer as needed.

    The cat thing is sooo ICK.

    The other option is to just go shop every day...spend the extra money on pre-cut veggies...you would still need a cooler for cooking ahead, but you wouldn't need the chopping room.
  • breanamock
    breanamock Posts: 28 Member
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    And lots of lysol wipes for the counter!
  • LunaLove2013
    LunaLove2013 Posts: 16 Member
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    You guys are awesome thank you!!!!!! Folding camping table and mini fridge would work perfectly!!!!!! Woot woot, I'm a happy girl, thanks for the ideas.
  • SisterSueGetsFit
    SisterSueGetsFit Posts: 1,211 Member
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    You guys are awesome thank you!!!!!! Folding camping table and mini fridge would work perfectly!!!!!! Woot woot, I'm a happy girl, thanks for the ideas.

    Yay!!!! So glad these ideas will work. Good luck to you. Keep us updated.

  • PKM0515
    PKM0515 Posts: 3,088 Member
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    breanamock wrote: »
    And lots of lysol wipes for the counter!

    I believe Lysol may be harmful to cats.