When it comes to loading the dishwasher efficiently, there are a few things to consider. Every dishwasher is a little different in how the interior is organized. The interior configuration will be a factor in how your place dirty dishes, glasses and pots and pans.
Most dishwashers have a spate basket that is designed to hold the silverware. It allows the silverware to stand up and be washed from top to bottom. Keep in mind that how you place the silverware in the basket may affect the amount of water and detergent that actually hits them. If the tines of the fork are down inside the basket, they will get less vigorous cleaning than if they are placed handle down. If placing knives blade up, be very careful when loading and unloading the machine. The silverware basket is also a great place to place your sponges and small lids which may fall between the rungs of the shelves.
If you are washing delicate glasses or cups in the dishwasher, it is best to place them on the top rack where they will safest. It is important to be sure that delicate items are not crowded on the rack as well, since the pressure from the water can move them, and you don't want to allow them to touch each other. Try to place soft plastic glasses in between the more delicate items if at all possible.
Other items that are best placed on the top rack include some plastic containers and lids. They should be as far away from the heat source as possible, which is often at the bottom of the dishwasher.
Large trays and platters are best placed on the outside of the rack and in most dishwashers will only fit on the bottom rack. Make sure they are secure since you don't want them moving around and banging into other items in the dishwasher.
Most dishwashers have prongs that come up off the racks to keep items secure in an upright position. Use these to maximize the amount of cleaning that the washer can provide. They hold the dishes in place and allow enough space for the water and to move easily between soiled items.
Pots and pans
These are among the hardest items to place efficiently since they are awkward sizes and shapes and often need to be placed at an angle to maximize the cleaning. Just be careful, whatever angle you place these items at, that they have plenty of room for the cleaner to hit the dirty spots.
The most efficient thing you can do when loading your dishwasher is to make sure that you don't overcrowd the items that you want to get clean.