The kitchen has long been the heart of the home. But it’s also been a centre for grime, grease, and an assortment of kitchen tools you’ve used once then put away.

It’s been 5 years, if you haven’t started juicing by now, you’re not going to start…

The kitchen is also usually the first place you want to unpack!  It gives you the feeling of being “home” and it’s exciting to imagine all the meals you’ll cook and holidays you’ll celebrate.However before you grab that first box, do these 5 things to make sure your new kitchen is in tip-top shape;

1. Wipe down EVERYTHING

If it’s a horizontal or vertical surface, give it a wipe! Use something with a degreasing ingredient (or make your own with vinegar and baking soda) to make sure all the stick and grime is gone. You’ll be amazed at how dirty a “clean looking” kitchen can actually be.

2. Line the Drawers

Drawer liners are the best way to preserve your cabinets, make it easier to clean, and add a touch of design. Make sure to look for ones that are removable and wipeable – so you can easily change them out or clean them when needed.

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3. Test the Shelves

Don’t trust grandma’s china collection on the top shelf before you’ve checked it. Sometimes the shelves can be off balanced or missing a support. Do a quick double check by placing some pressure on each area of the shelf and wiggling it around.

4. Think about the Flow

Just because your plates went above the sink at your old home, doesn’t mean that’s the best place for them at your new one.  Think about things like where you’ll stand when you’re unloading the dishwasher, what you’ll need at arm’s reach when cooking, and what parts of the kitchen are considered the driest or the warmest (this is important for storing dry goods or baking supplies!)

5. Make labels

Especially if there’s more than one person in your house, use painters tape to mark where everything is.  This will make it easier to find things in those first hectic days and help you get back into a routine much easier.