Let’s start by loading the dishwasher.
There’s a simple rule – small items take precedence. Two simple reasons for this simple rule. One: a small item generally takes nearly as long to hand wash as a big one. Two: a big item takes longer to shoehorn into the dishwasher than a small one. So, fill the machine with small items, then hand wash the bigger ones that won’t fit. Try it: it’ll save you time and effort.
Other than that, rules can not and must not be defined. To attempt to do so would be akin to writing a single law governing human behaviour in
Leeds, Asbakistan and Outer Space. I will propose a bet, sight unseen, that tomorrow morning, when we each unload, neither of us will have accurately predicted the detail of the other’s dishwasher content. Wanna play? No. So load it as seems best for you - but only one you! The only ruling principle of dishwasher governance is dictatorship.
A good rule of thumb is to put the more delicate items (crystal,
Emptying the dishwasher.
Apart from knowing where to put the stuff, and therefore in what order to unload (which will not in any way correlate with the loading procedure), the only universal rule here is: make sure it's clean before putting it away. I will draw a veil over recent alleged incidents in this area.
Hottest possible water, plenty of it, thick copious black heavy duty murderer’s gloves – then just get on with it. Glasses first (not more than one at a time in the sink, or they’ll magically break even though they don’t touch each other).
The satisfaction at completing the washing up before retiring can be added to that of not having to face it in the morning. This total then has to be subtracted from tomorrow evening.
When cooking, as far as possible, wash up as you go. Things like sieves, colanders, measuring jugs, saucepans in which you have just simmered the frozen peas –all of these and more can often just be rinsed off, dried and put straight away. Seconds now – aeons of angst and stumbling incapacity later.