I'm one of the messiest cooks in existence. Seriously. I can't seem to adopt that "clean as you go" mentality. This is why most of the cooking happens when Steve is not around - he can't stand how messy I make the kitchen. I try to convince him that you can't be both creative and neat at the same time, but this argument doesn't win him over. Anyway... the moral of this post is that I have been trying to figure out little ways I can make clean up easier after all is said and done.
The main problem of my messy cooking is dirty dishes: dirty bowls and pots and many, many dirty spoons, spatulas and whisks. I'm one of those types who gets out a new spoon every time something needs to be tested for consistency. Or I lose my spoon each time I set it down and before you know it every single spoon in the entire kitchen is used up and I'm still not done making whatever it is that I was making. So, I figured out that using a small glass to hold my utensils keeps them from 1) getting the counter sticky, 2) getting lost. Even if I have to use a few different utensils for the actual creation process, I at least don't end up using 8 spatulas to scrape one pan.
See... so handy. Now I only use one of each. And my favorite part... while cleaning up I can just add water to the glass to make the dish washing much easier when the time comes. :-)