My mom was what I call a “neat cook.” One of those who cooks without making a mess. When she was done cooking there was very little clean up. She occasionally comments on other friends/relatives cleanliness while cooking, as in, “When Mrs. H. cooks her kitchen looks like a hurricane hit it!”
I, on the other hand, didn’t inherit that trait. When I'm done cooking my kitchen doesn’t look like a post- hurricane zone, but it does look like a pretty good storm passed through. If Mom were to critique my cooking style (which she has), she would say that, in addition to the mess, I dirty too many dishes, bowls, pans, and utensils.
Mess? Yeah, kind of. When I dice an onion or something, stray pieces go everywhere. Transferred contents seldom completely make their intended target. And then there's the spatters, drips, etc. While I don't know about *too many* bowls, etc., I do tend to prepare ingredients separately (i.e. chop onions, dice tomatoes, measure liquids, etc.) and combine them later. Then there's the extra cutting boards used for raw meat. DW does most of the clean up, but I made these messes long before we met.
What about you. "Neat," "messy," or somewhere in between? If you're a "neatnick," what's your secret?