When I first began cooking it was all very haphazard and onions which were meant to be sauteed would invariably end up on the wrong side of opaque whilst I searched for spices or prepared additional ingredients, that's why the guys on tv make it look so easy!
Garlic is used in such a variety of cuisines, I go through ridiculous amounts of it. Treat yourself to a decent crusher with removable plate, again for easy cleaning. I'm not averse to using Lazy garlic and ginger from time to time but my preference is always fresh.
And to get rid of all those garlicky, fishy and onion odours? A wee steel egg. Although to be fair, they can be banished by rubbing your hands over a piece of cutlery or steel utensil under cold water to the same end.