When you move frequently, you learn what's important and know the details will sort themselves out over time. So when we moved recently, from New Hampshire to Arizona, I never focused on the two kitchens. There are many reasons for moving and we picked a location with clear skies and a house that was perfect for my husband's observatory. Working from home gave us the opportunity and I love my new mountains!
The main floor has an open concept kitchen – dining room – living room, plus bedrooms and bathrooms. However we spend the majority of our time downstairs, where there's an in-law apartment with another full kitchen and bath. I got the bedroom with a great view for my office.
Planning for Two Kitchens
Planning for a move should start before you begin packing. If you're worried about having enough space, try adding up the linear feet of kitchen base and upper wall cabinets in your current home, and new house. If you'll have more cabinet space, you should be okay. Otherwise you'll get an idea of how much to purge.
I totally forgot the new house had two kitchens so I gave my best friend a lot plates, glasses, plus baking and cooking utensils. She had just purchased a condo in Florida, and I was trying to minimize our moving costs, which were about $0.85/lb.
When packing, I'd already decided to treat myself to new flatware and wine glasses. I challenged myself to keep track of any new gadgets bought for the second kitchen, to walk my talk about being a smart homeowner. So in the first two weeks, I purchased:
- Garbage can as the house was built in 1995 and doesn't have them built-in.
- Drain for the sink, and in three months we've only run the downstairs dishwasher once.
- Two drawer organizers and liner paper, for flatware and the “catch all” drawer.
- Kitchen gadgets so far include a measuring cup for breakfast oatmeal, and a can opener.
Two Kitchens and Two New Refrigerators?
When we bought the house, I knew that one day I'd replace the upstairs refrigerator (big and ugly). It wasn't a high priority though, so I didn't give it a second thought until … we discovered the upstairs refrigerator wasn't keeping things cold enough.
We tried cleaning the coils but that didn't solve the problem. Sears wants $95 to come out and assess the refrigerator but having run a handyman business for eight years, I know experienced appliance repair people know the top problems for each brand and model, and make repairs on the spot. Nothing on the phone convinced me that would happen, so anticipating two or more visits and several hundred dollars, I'm not sure how much I want to spend repairing a refrigerator I don't want.
Unfortunately our home warranty doesn't cover refrigerators as that costs an extra $50, and we didn't check that box. It's the first home warranty we've ever gotten (house #14) and my goal was to avoid having to decide on a new air conditioning system overnight, along with pool issues as we haven't owned one before. To day we've had plumbing repairs, and a $3,500 condenser as the upstairs heat/air conditioning system didn't work.
So there certainly are benefits to have two somewhat independent living spaces.
For now the monster refrigerator is off, and I've been struggling with which refrigerator to replace first. The old fashion, downstairs refrigerator doesn't close/seal well, and is missing my favorite feature, the water and ice dispenser in the door.
Would love your ideas for replacing my refrigerators.