For those little last minute details that you need to attend to like washing the "fancy" dishes and glasses.
Arrange things in the dishwasher so every dish will come out sparkling.
Load plates with the dirty side facing center - where the spray is the strongest.
Up or down?
Forks - prongs up.
Knives - blades down for safety.
Spoons - some up, some down so they won't stick together.
Keep platters along sides or back.
Place glasses and mugs between the tines. Wine glasses should be placed between unbreakable items that will keep them from bumping or breaking.
Be sure plastic items and lids are placed securely so they aren't dislodged and possibly exposed to the heating element where they could melt.
I know how tempting it is to put in just a few more items, but try to resist because the spray water might not reach them.
But, first of all - make sure all items are dishwasher safe!!!
This is where being a control freak kicks in...Even if it says it is "dishwasher safe"and the item is special to me or has a design on it, I play it safe and wash it by hand.
(Hence the 75 Disney mugs I love and want to keep nice.)
Remember to enjoy the holiday with your loved ones. There are always pretty paper plates and plastic cups!