You should see my kitchen counter while I'm baking. Actually, you shouldn't, I would be embarrassed by how messy it is. I always seem to end up with a layer of flour and sugar on the counter. When I go to clean it up, I end up smearing it around and getting it on the floor and myself. Of course, all this could be avoided if I would only listen to something my gram would tell me every we made cookies.
Use the sink. It's so simple, so obvious, but something I rarely remember to do.
Before you start baking, make sure the sink is emptied of dishes and glasses and all of those pans from last night's dinner that you haven't gotten around to washing yet. Now, when you need some flour, place the container in the sink before you scoop and level the measurement. Any flour that misses its target can be instantly washed down the drain, no mess! If you keep your baking supplies in canisters, putting them in the sink before you refill them also keeps the messiness to a minimum.
My gram would insist on measuring out everything this way, and I was always trying to get around it, not wanting to take the ingredients the few steps over to the sink and then back to the mixing bowl. Any time that she was distracted by the phone ringing or her dog barking, I would try to measure out things over the counter, and every time, she would catch me.
"ahh ahh ahh, there's flour on the counter."
"Just a little..."
And then of course we would have to pause in the cookie making to clean up the flour before it spread around and got out of hand.
It seems like such a little, silly thing to do, but when it comes to saving on clean up time, every little bit helps, especially when you hate cleaning up as much as I do.