There really is an art to filling the dishwasher. A combination of art and economics. Economics is all about the most efficient use of scarce and limited resources in the face of unlimited wants right? Well, the dishwasher has limited space, we have a ton of dishes that need to be washed, and we don‚Äôt want to be constantly washing them.
So devising an efficient way to fill and pack the dishwasher is really a lesson in economics. Most dishwashers help you in your quest for maximum efficiency by pre-determining spaces for assorted dinnerware and flatware.
The debate comes when you have the wide open spaces. For organization‚Äôs sake I think it is best to keep like things together whenever possible. So large plates all together, bowls all together, small plates all together etc. When the dishwasher is effectively filled and you have those last few dishes that can fit, then you place them around the already organized sections of the dishwasher. This still maintains the organized dishwasher‚Äôs integrity.
Of course you will have those odd pieces. The long ladles, butcher knives, strainers, and travel mugs. A general rule I follow is to handwash all large items which frees up space for everything else (which there is more of). Long spatulas, spoons, and knives get placed typically on the top shelf along a line.
Also, remember, a little bit at a time saves a lot later. Don‚Äôt wait till the last minute to show love to your dishwasher. It needs a little love all the time. Your sink will look much better if you keep the dishes from piling up in it and keep them in the dishwasher. Then as soon as they are clean put them all away and you have a happy dishwasher.
Go do your dishes.