I don't have much counter-space in my home nor do I have tons of cooking equipment because of lack of storage so my suggestion and something I do every time I cook is to take every utensil and pot, pan or cup I use and immediately rinse it as soon as Im through using it (only takes about 5-10 sec.) and throw it in one side of the sink. This way if I need to use it again for that same meal preparation its ready for me to use plus when Im done cooking there really is no clean up except to place everything in the dishwasher.. Its a habit that must be learned over time to just automatically do, but it makes cooking easier and cleanup a breeze.
** One more tip for easier clean-up is to put the ingredients back in the cabinets or refrigerator where you got them from as soon as you are through adding to your recipe.**