#OneRoomChallenge 4: Chicago Urban Kitchen Rejuvenation – Cabinet Swap

October 26th, 2017  |  City: Chicago | Published in Host with the Most, Host with the Most

Chicago Condo Kitchen - Before Remodel

Downtown Chicago Condo Before Remodel

Welcome back! We’re on Week 4 of Calling it Home and HouseBeautiful‘s One Room Challenge Fall event, where bloggers showcase a room remodel over 6 weeks leading up to the big reveal!

Here’s were we stand on our Chicago downtown kitchen remodel:

  • Week 1: Why and how we got the opportunity to remodel our kitchen and where we started.
  • Week 2: Envisioning our look and feel
  • Week 3: Building it back up

And here we are, on Week 4 to talk about what we did with our old cabinetry, shown above in all its outdated glory! 

As soon as we started meeting with contractors and looking ahead to a 5-weeks-later delivery of new cabinetry, I started to think about what do to with our old cabinetry that was still functional, in good visible condition, and a solid quantity that we were confident could outfit another full kitchen. As the contractors spoke about “demolition”, my mind started to race and I cringed at the idea of our cabinetry being dismantled, destroyed, and wasteful. I began to look into organizations that would accept furniture donations. Here’s what I came up with in Chicago:

  • ReStore Chicago, a store that resells furniture and the proceeds benefit Habitat for Humanity to build or rebuild homes.
  • Sinai Health System, an organization that serves Chicago’s underserved west side communities.
  • Rebuilding Exchange, a non-profit social enterprise whose mission is to create a market for reclaimed building materials.
  • Jewish United Fund, an organization that impacts every aspect of local and global Jewish life, providing human services for Jews and others in need, creating Jewish experiences and strengthening Jewish community connections.
  • The Ark, an organization that helps families return to self-reliance.

I called each organization to schedule a donation pick up, thinking it would be simple. Turns out – donation pick up schedules fill up very far in advance! We only had a small window of time to conduct the pick up because we needed our old cabinetry to depart our home while we moved everything out to replace the floors, so this presented a challenge. But, we were determined to donate our cabinetry and save it from becoming waste.

After trying to reschedule the pick up and ask our contractors for timing flexibility, we resorted to scheduling a move on Dolly, the on-demand app for moving and furniture delivery. (Perk: Use the link for $20 off your first move!) We’ve used Dolly before to move a handful of items vs. a full moving load, and it came in handy this time. Think uber meets movers (pretty smart concept!).

I’d like to say the pick up was a smooth as butter too, but we ran into a few snags when we forgot to reserve our building elevator (required for larger items to respect our neighbors, rightfully so), and thankfully, we had a very patient driver who we were sure to compensate extra while we ironed out our building protocol. Needless to say, we also ordered our contractors a pizza for going out of their way to help us donate our old cabinetry, and there were many people involved in helping to accomplish this goal.

So, what’s the moral of the story?

  1. Re-use or re-purpose things from your home before remodeling to save cost, retain some of the history, and practice eco-friendly design.
  2. If you can’t re-use your old items and they’re still in good condition, consider donating them to those who can use them.
  3. If you’re scheduling a donation pick up for larger items you aren’t able to simply drop off, schedule in advance for a smooth move.

Check out another One Room Challenge participant’s journey to remodel his guest bedroom and bathroom. Tim also donated to ReStore and reminded me to share our decor donation story with you. Stay tuned for next week’s post as we approach the big reveal of our new kitchen! (Disclaimer, we need the next few weeks to clean everything up and put on the finishing touches so the timing is just perfect!)

One Room Challenge design logo

 

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