1. Check clothing tags.
Read the tags thoroughly to determine how the clothes should be washed dried and ironed. Most items will have mainly normal washing instructions. You might be surprised though that you have items that are meant to be hand washed or not dried in the drier. Pay attention to fabric type. Set these items aside in their own Special Care pile.
2. Turn clothing right side out.
Make sure none of the legs of your pants, or arms of your shirts are stuck in the garment improperly. If you are washing overalls, take the time now to clasp the latches of the overalls to their proper buttons, keeping them from getting broken, stretched or ripped. If you had any clothing tags that instructed you to wash the clothing inside out, make sure you remembered to do so.
3. Check all pockets.
It is best to have a bowl nearby to hold the contents of your pockets. Failing to check pockets can leave some nasty surprises. In my family we have accidentally washed lipstick, Dad's cell phone, and the original copy of my marriage license. These are just a few of the laundry disasters I've encountered. I still do not know how that one got into a pocket. Checking pockets can be a good way to make some extra money. My advice is to keep what you find. Family members will soon start cleaning out their own pockets.
4. Check for sewing repairs.
Make sure there are not any loose threads, rips, button repairs, or other sewing repairs. If you find any, repair them before you wash the clothes. Washing them with problems will only make the problems bigger.