Pre-treat certain stains, such as blood, cooking oil, pasta sauce...really anything hard to get out of clothing.
Empty pockets because if I don't there WILL BE a wallet getting washed.
I don't bother turning shirts inside out, although I have made certain exceptions...
Seperate darks, lights, towels, bedding, jeans, delicates. Whites go with the lights, unless I'm using bleach and then they get washed seperate. Oh, and the babies stuff is ALWAYS washed seperately with a milder detergent.
Cold water, detergent, fabric softener sheets in the drier.