1. Sore feet and fatigue will trip up any cook. Arrange cushioned mats in front of the sink, stove and countertop to support your back and keep those dogs from barking.
2. Lighting is one of those things you don't notice unless it's bad. You're a better cook when you can see all the details, so keep your kitchen well lit with under-cabinet lighting to help you read recipes and see inside the soup pot.
3. A garbage pail doesn't have to be stylish, but it does have to work. Choose a sturdy, medium-size pail, since large ones mean garbage gets stinky before you fill it and small ones lead to too many trips outside. Opt for a pail that opens with a step, and avoid swinging lids, as trash and food scraps stick on their way in.