Before you wash anything, make sure you check the pockets! No one likes to find out that they've washed their wallet, someone's phone number, or even worse, a pen, a tube of lipstick, or some other item that will get on everything and ruin an entire load of laundry.
It's also important that you separate the clothes into different piles, with whites, light colors, and dark colors all in different groups. Pay particular attention to any new clothing with dark or vibrant colors, as these may need to be washed separately, to avoid them bleeding their colors all over your other clothes.
Once you have done this, you are ready to start your first load. Choose the amount and temperature of the water you desire, then turn on the washer to get some water running. Add your laundry detergent, letting some lather begin to build. Add the load of clothes, making sure not to overfill the machine.
After the load has finished in the wash, it's time to dry. The drying selector has several options to choose from, depend on the type of clothes you are drying. Make sure to add a fabric softener, which will help to cut down on the amount of static electricity which will build up in your clothing while drying.
Finally, be sure to remove your clothing from the dryer and either fold it or hang it up immediately after drying, to avoid getting wrinkles in your freshly laundered clothing. Also, if you have a great deal of laundry to do, you might want to go to a laundromat, where you can use several washers and dryers at the same time, which will significantly cut down on the amount of time you will spend on this chore.