People who say they have small kitchens make me laugh. For most people, small kitchens equal a smallish room with a fair bit of counter-space and some nice shelving. Small for me? Tiny. Minute. Miniscule. It's been quite an adjustment, but I'm finally finding some ways to make it work.
My kitchen consists of a stove/oven, a refrigerator, and a sink (but no garbage disposal). There's no dishwasher, some cupboard space and about a whopping four square feet of counter-top. Most of the time I cannot even open up the oven all the way because I bump into the other side of the kitchen.
Here's what I've implemented that has worked for me and my life a little bit easy when it comes to teensy apartment living.
1) Downsize -- Toss anything extra. Mostly I say this to refer to plates and silverware. I had probably 12 plates, and about 20 sets of silverware. Most of this had been given to me, but I felt guilty not accepting it and it was creating clutter in the cupboards (and in the sink!). As I rarely, if ever, entertain (and even if I do, it's usually just one friend at a time due to my limited space), I got rid of all except two of my plates. Yes, two. For bowls, I kept two small cereal bowls and one medium soup bowl. I wheedled my silverware down to just two sets of everything.
2) Consider space efficiency when buying appliances/accessories -- I don't own an actual coffee pot of a blender, no space for either! I use a french press for coffee (easily stored in a cupboard when not in use) and an immersion blender for soup and smoothies. Also, I originally started with a drying rack for my dishes that was immense, but not very sturdy and didn't hold a lot despite it's looks. One cheap purchase later, I was switched to a smaller drying rack with a silverware "strainer" and I even have a little more counterspace!
3) Cook as little as you can -- OK, this one is mostly a joke. And it's a sad joke at that. For a while there, I just completely stopped cooking because of the sad state of my kitchen. Sometimes it's just easier to ignore it than try to work around the space.
4) Use/buy smaller pots and pans -- I have the large saucepans and pots, but try to avoid them as they not only take up a lot of room, but they're also a bear to clean up afterwards...