The most wonderful habit that I have ever gotten into is washing up as I go. I just love finishing dinner at night and not having to tackle a messy kitchen - it is fabulous!
The golden rule that I follow is this: whenever I am starting to cook or bake something, I fill the sink with water and detergent. This enables me to add items to the water as I finish using them, allowing them to soak as I keep preparing. Then, when I have a few minutes when I start to actually cook something (eg - the fish is frying in the pan, or the potatoes are boiling in the pot) I am able to quickly wash up the preparation utensils. Because they have been soaking, there is limited amount of effort required, as no food has been allowed to go hard and crusty ;) I also try to wipe down the benches at this time.
Then, when I serve dinner, I am relieved to see that because I did some washing up, most of the items still being used for cooking will fit in the dishwasher, and generally all I am only left with the frypan to wash up after the meal. I find dinner time so much more relaxing, and knowing that I don't have to get up after the meal and clean up a big mess is a great feeling.
It is also great to do this when baking. I find when I make a cake mix (gasp! yes, I use packet mixes all the time!) and have to leave it to mix for 4 minutes, I can get the entire kitchen cleaned up in this time.
Note that it is best not to drop knives or cutting blades into the sink of washing up water for safety reasons.
One other great habit that I have gotten into is looking around for 'one extra item' to wash up. Sometimes, the water isn't all that dirty if the load wasn't big, and it seems a waste to empty out the water. Well, this is the perfect opportunity to do yourself a favour, by picking one thing that you don't wash everyday and giving it a quick clean. Things I wash up when I have spare water and time - the microwave plate, the toaster crumb trays, a fridge shelf or a fridge drawer, coffee machine parts, oven/griller racks, I even washed up the detergent drawer in my washing machine one time (it was great to get rid of all of the old detergent that builds up at the back of the drawer!). This then eliminates the need to spend a session cleaning the entire fridge out, when you could be enjoying your weekend!
If you can't find anything to wash up, try wiping down 2 cupboard doors with the damp washing up cloth or wiping out the inside of the microwave. By doing something really small each day, it saves that marathon cleaning session a few times a year, when you could be spending time doing something fun with your loved ones.
I hope that you find these tips useful - washing up is an inevitable job that we all have to deal with. Hopefully, you can get some good systems happening by following these ideas :)