The final stages of mitosis begin in anaphase, when the mitotic spindle segregates the duplicated chromosomes. Mitotic exit is then completed by disassembly of the spindle and packaging of chromosomes into daughter nuclei. The successful completion of mitosis requires that these events occur in a strict order. Two main mechanisms govern progression through late mitosis: dephosphorylation of cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) substrates and destruction of the substrates of the anaphase-promoting complex (APC). Here, we discuss the hypothesis that the order of late mitotic events depends, at least in part, on the order in which different Cdk and APC substrates are dephosphorylated or destroyed, respectively.