We've all been there before - working in the kitchen, trying to find counter space in order to prepare that next dish, or not having enough room to eat because of all that clutter.

Many houses have a small kitchen, and for some, that means headaches, problems and food preparation nightmares. However, there are a number of cost-effective, intelligent solutions to get around these problems. As an added bonus, an updated, well-kept kitchen will often bring more value to a property, and it can make selling an easier proposition.

Regardless of your kitchen renovation motivations, you should consult a home inspection professional either before, during or after the project. This way, you'll understand every detail with this important room in a home, and avoid any costly errors that could throw a budget - and safety - out the window.

Start with a simple redesign

In many cases, a new addition or an entirely different home aren't the solutions to a small kitchen. Instead, a simple redesign can turn that cramped space into a dream culinary oasis. If a home inspection turns up any dangerous problems, like faulty wiring, a remodel could be the perfect time to fix those issues as well.

Rebekah Zaveloff, founder and principal designer at KitchenLab, wrote in an article for Houzz that little projects and design elements can be all most kitchens need, without shelling out the big bucks for a massive renovation. For example, a new area rug could bring a little creativity to a small space, or new chairs or barstools that complement the color scheme nicely. 

In addition, Zaveloff explained that fresh paint could be exactly what a kitchen needs. Something unexpected - such as turquoise - can make the space pop, but it is important to remember that darker tones make a room feel smaller, while brighter, more neutral colors tend to do the exact opposite. Perhaps most importantly, you may want to bring in the right accessories for a small kitchen. Interesting patterns, splashes of color and decorative objects can really bring a room to life. These are also more attractive to look at than clutter, so it is beneficial to clean up and put away all of those unnecessary objects as well. 

Simplify the function of the kitchen

While a redesign could be exactly what a small kitchen needs, unfortunately not everyone has this option. If your room requires some more extensive remodeling work, you should contact a home inspection professional to make sure there aren't any serious problems that could get in the way.

According to the DIY Network, smaller kitchens can't be a multi-purpose entertainment space. While you may want to have a room that can do it all, this probably isn't practical given the square footage. Therefore, it may be wise to consider downsizing, and create a kitchen that does one thing really well. For many, this means crafting a space where you can prepare food, cook it and eat it. So, homework, additional storage and folding the laundry may have to be left to other parts of the house.

In order to achieve these goals, think about bringing in new, smaller appliances that better suit the kitchen, the news source noted. Some stoves only have two burners instead of four or more, which could be ideal. A single sink and an economical refrigerator could all be vital additions to your small room. If you need added counter space, think about installing a small island, or better yet, buying a cart that can be rolled out of the kitchen when it isn't needed anymore.