Scrape the dishes, but don't pre-wash them.
Load the bottom rack with large items--dinner plates, cutting boards, colanders, pots, large soup bowls and the like. The rack tines are close together, so load the plates in a row for maximum capacity.
Load the middle rack with small bowls, small plates, glasses, cups and plastic storage containers. Use the fold-down arms on the side if you have a lot of glasses or wine glasses. Otherwise, fold them down for even more room.
Load the top rack with utensils, tiny bowls, cup lids, cutlery and measuring spoons.
Place dishwasher soap in the soap dispenser. Turn the unit on.