Housework has never been my favourite pastime but by far the thing I hate the most is ironing. My mother didn’t seem to have the same dislike. Her ironing routine was in fact a multi step process that started long before the iron was turned on. I remember it well. She would take the clothes off the line, lay a plastic sheet on the table, dampen all of the clothes one at a time with a shaker bottle of water, wrap them all up together, leave them for 24 hours to allow them to become evenly damp, iron them while watching TV in the evening, hang them on a hanger, wait for them to cool and then eventually put them away. Oh my goodness! I feel exhausted just thinking about it. Frankly I can’t even find the desire to do the ironing in front of the TV part. It seems like such a waste of effort.
A long time ago I made the decision that there had to be a way to avoid having to iron at all and I am pleased to be able to report that I have achieved that desire. My husband doesn’t wear business shirts to work and if he did, I might have to reconsider my approach but as it stands I rarely iron anything.
I remember being out with my cousin once and she mentioned that she had to go home and start her ‘mountain’ of ironing. I told her I didn’t believe in ironing and never did any. She looked at me with great surprise and said ‘You don’t look like you don’t iron.’ It was at that point that I fully believed that my solution worked. I didn’t iron and you couldn’t tell. Fantastic!
There are 4 basic things I do to make my ‘no ironing’ dream a reality.
1) Shop carefully. You might be wondering what shopping has to do with ironing but in my opinion it is the most important part. There are fabrics which once washed, simply must be ironed or they can’t be worn. Since I want to avoid ironing, I am very careful about the types of clothes I choose. I refuse to buy anything in linen or the type of cotton that creases easily. There are many other fabric options which, if managed correctly, cope very well without ever needing an iron.
2) Hang carefully. I hang the laundry up as soon as possible after it has finished washing. The less time spent sitting around waiting to be hung, the less chance it has to develop creases which won’t drop out once on the line.
3) Take steps to avoid peg marks. Sitting in a meeting at work and looking down to see a peg mark on my nice top used to make me cringe and make me feel as if I had to iron to get them out. I solve this problem by always having a stack of coat hangers in the laundry and hanging all of my tops on them. An added bonus is that they dry nice and straight and then can be put immediately into the wardrobe on the hangers.
4) Put the laundry away as soon as possible. Even a small amount of time spent in the laundry basket waiting to be dealt with will result in half a dozen things being so creased that they will need ironing. Sometimes the last thing I want to do is fold and put away the laundry but then I remind myself how long it takes to iron out the creases and the task suddenly doesn’t seem so difficult or time consuming.
Follow these simple steps and you too can experience an ironing free life.