Have the right tools.
I’m not talking anything crazy here, you don’t need to run out and buy a set of new non-stick Calphalon pans (although hey, if you’ve got money to burn, do it to it – I’ve linked to a kinda reasonable but still ‘spency set for collective drooling). But you should take stock of the scope of your kitchen and be familiar with your options. I would recommend at the very least a large shallow frying pan, mixing bowl, a pot a big spoon, at least one sharp knife and lots and lots of aluminum foil. I’m serious about the foil. It is God’s gift to the lazy dishwasher – you can toss it when you’re done. I’m also partial to my crockpot, but that’s because I got it for $15 and I like taking dips to parties.
The bottom line is you can make do with what you already have. And trust me, I’m not writing this from a glamorous kitchen filled with high end supplies. I perfected the art of cooking in the dorm and have only expanded slightly (studio apartment- need I say more?).