Lesson # 1, from Dane, was to stack the dirty side of the dishes towards the center. I was trying to stacking them pretty close together in the same direction, to fit as many dishes as I can, but since the water sprays from the center, if you stack them facing out, the water won't reach all of the dishes. I had no clue.
Lesson #2, which I learned from this NYT article. Don't prerinse your dishes before putting them into the dishwasher. I always thought I was helping the dishwasher, but turns out you want enough food particles in there to act as the abrasive. Who knew! So now dirty dishes, in you go, as is.
Lesson # 3 is that you are probably using way more soap than you need.
This article also provides pointers for the washing machine and dryer as well. It's quite informative!